After posting about my ride through Salt Fork State Park, my friend Colin from New England Riders told me to check out “The Triple Nickel,” Route 555. It looked fun, so I decided to linger in eastern Ohio another day and do it. I even managed to find a local Harvest Host to accommodate me for the night. I love it when a plan comes together.
It was only about an hour’s drive from the Cracker Barrel in Cambridge where I spent the night. I pretty much just woke up and went, figuring I could get situated, work in the morning, and ride in the afternoon. I (slowly) passed this family of deer on the way. They weren’t in the road, but they didn’t run away from me, either, so I got an unexpected great look at them as I drove by.
Soon I arrived at the Old Bridge Brewing Company in McConnelsville. They weren’t even open yet but still greeted me when they saw me pull in. I parked in a small public lot for the night with no problems. After I finished work and had lunch, I unloaded the bike, geared up, and went.
I don’t have many pictures from the ride, because it was amazing. Route 555 is a 55 mph road that would’ve been posted at 35, max, back in New England. There are a few places I could safely achieve 55, but the constant corners and hills had me pushing to maintain half that speed at times. It was so much fun. Imagine if someone picked up the Tail of the Dragon, stretched it out much longer than it’s 13 mile distance, and put it down somewhere in Ohio. That’s basically 555. So. Much. Fun.
I caught up to a couple on a Harley at one point, going almost the same pace I was. We rode together for quite a while without exchanging a word. We didn’t need to. We were here for the same thing. I stopped for a drink at a gas station. Inside, I discovered a gas station, convenience store, biker attire shop, head shop, knife shop, and sex shop. I’ve never seen that combination of needs under one roof before.
On the way back to McConnelsville I got stuck in construction traffic, and behind a school bus. All the kids waved at me. I waved back. It’s what you do. Kids love motorcycles. At one point I parked the bike, got off, and stretched my legs a bit. Motorcycles are built for riding, not for sitting in traffic. Eventually I gave up and found a different route back.
Back at the brewery, I packed up the bike, changed clothes, and got dinner from the trailer parked right there. The brewery doesn’t have their own food, but they have this, and five local restaurants will deliver right to your table. I love a good bison burger, though, so I chose this option. It was delicious.
I ordered a sampler, then was pleasantly surprised by just how yummy the Pre-Prohibition Pilsner was. Though a light beer, it had many complex flavors and was quite good. I usually tend toward dark beers, but this one really hit the spot. I lament how Prohibition resulted in what passes for mainstream beer today, much of which might as well be beer flavored seltzer.
It was a quiet night, at least until the town fire siren went off at 7:30 am, soon followed by the fleet of emergency vehicles. Considering how quickly they returned it must’ve been a false alarm. But I was awake. Rather than make coffee in the center of town, I picked up a cup at McDonald’s and parked by the river for a while to relax, let Lister roam, and write this. Today will be a travel day, making up the time and distance I gave up yesterday. I plan to get most of the way to Dayton, and visit the Air Force museum with fellow van traveler Eugenia tomorrow. She’s about to visit New England for the first time, so I expect her to pick my brain for ideas.
Also, Lister is pretty. And he knows it.