Elaine and I pre-drove the routes for Friday and Saturday – all roads are in remarkably good shape and there are no closures or detours. The ride Friday down to Marietta is a winner! You all know 800 and 26 are good roads, but the 536/255 loop down to the Ohio river is really amazing. Both follow ridgetops and have great elevation changes down to the river and back up on top. We’ll make a brief stop at Zion Church on top of the hill to take in the view, and then as we approach the Ohio River we’ll be treated to dramatic vistas of the Ohio River Valley. Lots of twisties and hills on 536, but wait… Rte 255, which will take us back up on top and west to Rte 26, is perhaps the best stretch of road in Ohio currently. The first 5 miles or so are absolutely fresh asphalt, the road is narrow with no shoulder in places, little or no set back, and few guard rails. But the twisties are simply amazing. And then when you consider the hills, many with sight lines of only a few feet ahead… well, you get the idea.
Saturday’s route is also a winner. WV Rte 16 is famous for its curves. We’ll be riding the northern third of the road and you’ll find that it lives up to it’s reputation. Our morning rest stop will be at Barker’s at Smithville junction. Their line of goods (gas, groceries, clothing, hardware, deli, restaurant, B&B) tells you that they are the only store for miles around, and probably a familiar gathering spot for local folks. After Smithville the road really gets curvy all the way down to Clay where we’ll have lunch at Tudor’s Biscuit World, a hallmark of WV cuisine. The roads back are a little less curvy, which is good, because you’ll be tired of twisties by this point and ready to just ride.
Sunday everyone rides their own ride home. If you have the time, and want to ride still more twisties, I suggest taking 676 west from Marietta to 555 north to Zanesville. Rte 676 is another well-kept secret.
Here are the GPS routes and tracks: