Friday, August 20, 2010

Great River Ride – Day 15 – OH-555 and AMA Museum


Day 15 was such a fun day; I’m not sure where to begin. We left the horrible little super8 in Charleston (avoid this one!), and rode into downtown Charleston to view the capitol. It is a pretty nice building.


We both liked the gold/bronze roof as we rode into town the first time. It is right on the river and surrounded by the mountains. A pretty scenic little place.

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Charleston itself is surrounded by industry, so I didn’t think it was that nice. On the one end coal, and the other maybe more coal or oil? Not sure. If I go back, I think I might splurge and get a hotel on the river.

We left town on I-77 (more mountains and foothills!) again and took it north until we could link up with OH-124E which is one of their scenic byways along the Ohio River.

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It is a really scenic road. The road itself is in pretty bad shaped, but it is paved! We followed OH-124E until we could link up with OH-555.

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I have been told by many people to take OH-555 from Little Hocking to Portersville.


The road is in good shape. It winds up, down, and around the river bluffs. I found it to be fun, but challenging. Many of the crests are blind and there are many blind corners as well. Sometimes you even get blind crests with a blind off-camber corner too! It took over an hour, and I spent most of the time going from second gear to fifth and back again. To me, it felt harder than the Dragon’s tail because the dragon is slow and predictable. OH-555 also had cars across the double yellow and even some logging trucks! Click on the map above and zoom on the sections between B and C. I have the whole thing on the GoProHD, but will have to sort through it later.

OH-555 ended mysteriously with road construction (no detour?), so we couldn’t take it all the way to Zanesville, OH as planned. I took OH-669 east which was also great fun. A bit more flowing than OH-555, but the same general theme. We followed that until it ended at a creek. I picked up County2, OH-2, or old river road not sure which and followed that north along the creek until we got to Philo and then Zanesville. From Zanesville, it was a quick jump down I-70W to Columbus, OH.

We stopped in Pickerington, OH to visit the AMA Motorcycle Museum.


It was well worth it, and a highlight for me. The museum had covered, guest motorcycle parking with free lockers to store your coats/helmets/etc.


The lockers require a quarter to get the key out, and then when you’re done you get your quarter back. Many people didn’t figure this out, so I found some extra quarters! They also have lockers that you can use your own lock on. We were the only ones to ride to the museum of the couple other groups there. The AMA offices are also on the same campus. I found it quite sad that there were almost forty cars in their parking lot, but not one employee rode to work on such a beautiful day.

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We spent almost two hours in the museum and could have spent a bit more, but they close at 5pm. I took a picture of every bike in the place and most of the signs. Check it out on the flickr link below. (200+ photos!)


One of my favorite exhibits were these two cut away bikes.


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They claim this is an early motorcycle. It has two extra outrigger wheels…


Interesting three into three exhaust on a BSA


Some superbikes!


Welded foot pegs??


Dakar rollchart. Imagine navigating the desert at over 100mph with this!


Harley Sidecar:


Hill climbing motorcycle with an extended swingarm and chains on the tires!


On the museums website they have a cheap hotel listed for Country Inn & Suites for $69. We decided to follow that and ended up with a king executive room for that price.


Very nice! They also told me I should park my motorcycle on the sidewalk near the front door sitting area, so they could watch it for me. Even nicer! The room is comfy and quiet.

Did I mention we spent the whole day riding in 65-80F temps with clear blue skies nearly all day?! It was really nice not to have to put on rain gear. We’ve had to wear it everyday for well over a week. We also couldn’t remember the last time we’d rode under blue skies all day either. We only planned on 188 miles today, but managed to put in 242 with the detours and going to dinner.

Columbus was a bit warm at nearly 90F, but still fun. We found a great place for dinner and ate until we could eat no more.

Sorry for the late post, but we were so tired after such a fun day. We just went to bed after dinner and slept almost 12 hours!

Full Flickr Album here (over 200+ photos)


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  1. Oh!! I can see the happy expressions on your helmets for sure! Glad you guys have found sunshine and great riding! Too bad you didn't come across a stray Ural at the Museum....I won't tell you that Gary found two roaming around Wyoming!!! I didn't tell you that....!!!
    Keep having fun and I hope the weather stays blue and sunny!

  2. OH 555 is a great road. I've done some of that too! And, great you went to Pickerington. Isni't that a nice little road leading up the the museum? Another place I love. I'm always surprised that there are so few people there whenever I've gone. I always stop on my way to Granville, a suburb of Columbus where I have some friends. What fun to do your riding today under beautiful blue skies...

  3. Eve:
    Nope, no Urals at the museum. It was 100% about American motorcycle history. They are the AMA = American Motorcycle Association after all. :) Besides, I have a Ural I see every day in MN. :)

    When I find more than five minutes, I'll have to check his blog out. It's pouring rain right now, so perhaps the time is near.

    OH-555 is a great road. It is now in my top favorites next to AZ-89A. The road to the campus was nice. Gives them room to expand later.

  4. When I worked at the AMA, most rode and the covered parking was full of bikes. New President Dingbat fired all the rider/workers, so there you have it. Why would you want people that ride (and understood you) run YOUR motorcycle organization?