216 miles down, 246 miles back, 55 miles between RON’s = 517 towing
322 riding the first day, 126 the second day = 448 riding
Total 965 miles.
The bike roads were all good (a few bad spots). You could ride as fast as your look-ahead distance would permit. Advisory signs read anywhere from 45 mph down to 15. You will probably want to pay attention, because driveways, hills, animals and surprise course direction changes make it so you can scrape on the turns as often as you want to. The worst view was still good – trees on both sides of a narrow, windy blacktop road. The rest of the time, there were plenty of places where a person could make good money taking scenery shots, if there was a safe way to do it. There are enough fuel points near the beginnings and ends of road segments. Food is at larger towns. In between, nothing but twisty roads, cows and so forth. No EMS, no recovery service, no repair parts seen on this route, except in major towns.
27 April 2018
Due to poor weather outlook, motorcycle was trailered to Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1861 Riverway Drive, Lancaster Ohio, 43130. (734) 654-4445. 216 Miles
Fuel Stop at Marion Ohio.
29 April 2019
Left the trailer at Holiday Inn with their permission. US 33 East to Nelsonville. 38 Miles, unremarkable.
Topped off at Nelsonville.
The twisty part began upon leaving Nelsonville on Ohio 78 East. The route went through several small towns, but none with interesting reasons to stop. There was construction at several points along the route, mostly projects being done beside the road, but a couple where the road was being repaired. These spots did cause a bit of a delay and caused the road surface to be slippery with sand or gravel. Nevertheless, it was a good run to McConnelsville. 44 miles.
Continuing on Ohio 78 East, to our fuel point at Lewisville, the road was cleaner and less obstructed. There were plenty of curves and lots of good scenery. We saw a loose cow lying about 2 feet from the roadway. She was just chewing her cud and watching people go by. 48 miles.
Lewisville to the turn off on Route 536 was the same. 20 miles.
Route 536 to Hannibal was significantly twisty with lots of elevation changes thrown in for good measure. There were a few bad stretches where the road foundation was washed away, but it looks like Ohio is very quick to repair the road. 17 Miles.
Ohio 7 South, AKA Ohio River Scenic Byway is fairly straight, good road that stays fairly near the Ohio River and border. 12 Miles down the road is the Riverview Restaurant. Not bad food, good prices, with a nice river view. Stay on 7 five more miles to get to Route 260. Total miles for this leg is 17.
Route 260 goes through a national forest. No services available. The road is smooth, curvy, and hilly with occasional views of pasture land or sights. There is no place to stop, however. 10 miles.
Route 260 goes southeast to Marietta. This stretch was twisty and hilly, and woody with occasional vista type views. Closer to town, there was more pasture land. There were times when you might feel like you are driving through somebody’s farm yard. No stopping places. 26 miles.
By the time we arrived at Marietta, the temp was upper 30’s and rain appeared not far off, so we deviated from the recon plan. Marietta was a fuel point. The plan called for going west on 550 to the intersection of 555 and going north to the RON. We decided to take fast roads back to the trailer in Lancaster instead, then drove to the RON, bike in tow. We took Ohio 7 South 17 miles, West on US 50 29 miles, and then US 33 West 56 miles. Total this leg: 102.
Once we loaded the bike, we took route 37 north to I 70 to Economy Inn, 4925 E Pike, Zanesville, Ohio 43701. The place was a dump. Wouldn’t do that again. Total this leg: 55 miles.
30 April 2018 We decided to extend the trip so we could finish the recon, more or less. We took local roads to the beginning of what Ohioans called The Tail of the Dragon, route 555, also known as The Triple Nickel. There were some great views, but no places to stop. Lots of 90 degree or greater turns and lots of hills. Most of the route was rolling hills through pasture lands, with a few small, mostly unnamed settlements along the way. We ate at the Triple Nickel Dinner, 1060 High Street, Chesterhill, Ohio 43728. Food was good, homemade, generous portions reasonably priced. Several other bikers stopped while we were there. Chesterhill was 40 miles south of the starting point on 555. Then we took the rest of the dragon’s tail until it intersected the Ohio River Scenic Byway (Ohio 7). Except for the Triple Nickel Dinner, there were no stops or services along the Dragons Tail. 63 miles (total on 555).
Since we had to go back to the beginning of 555 to get the trailer, we turned around and took 555 back the way we came. It was a good thing we did. The road and the scenery were different but just as spectacular going north as it was going south. It was not at all like riding the same road twice. It was more like riding the same road type for 120 miles. We only saw one place to stop to take a picture. There was not enough site distance to be safe starting or stopping a run, except, perhaps, from somebody’s driveway. It would be hard to say whether 555 was twister than 536, but 555 has a lot of great pastoral views that 536 doesn’t have.
We then trailered up and drove 246 miles back to the point of beginning.