I was reminded of the risks of riding a motorcycle yesterday, when I heard about an accident close to home, on the local news. The motorcyclist was riding on I-75, (between Mitchell Avenue and the Norwood Lateral) when he hit a piece of tire on the road, was thrown off the bike and run over by a semi. He was taken to University Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. No information is available on whether he was wearing a helmet.
Taking 471S out of Cincinnati, take 275 W to AA Highway (KY 9).
From KY9, take a left onto KY 915.
After about 10 miles, take a left onto KY10 heading East/South.
Take KY 10 all the way to Willow, and turn Right onto KY22 heading West.
At Falmouth, take 27 North for about 3 miles and turn left back onto 22 West.
At Williamstown, take I-75N back to Cincinnati (or double back!).
I was eager to get back on the bike and ride some more on Sunday. In response to my post in a FreeRiders (a tristate area bikers club) forum, someone had recommended a route called Rabbit Hash Rd. in Kentucky, a few miles south of Florence. I had planned the route on Friday using Google Maps. After checking the air pressure in my tires, I headed south on I-75. At the Mt. Zion Rd. exit (#178), I turned right and proceeded west on KY536. 536 becomes Hathaway Rd and then Rabbit Hash rd. This is one of the best roads I have ridden on yet. It has everything a motorcyclist could ask for…curves, both gentle and sharp, straights, slopes. In some parts, the road was lined with trees spreading their branches over the road, giving the illusion of riding through a green tunnel. I had to force myself to focus on the road.
I turned left on route 338 toward Big Bone Lick state park. Just past the park is a straight stretch of road. There was no traffic, so I gunned the throttle and pushed the bike to about 90mph. A motorcyclist coming from the other side had the same intention, and flew past me at well over a 100mph on his crotch rocket. We didn’t bother to wave at each other. Its kind of important to have your hands on the handlebar at those speeds. At the intersection of 338 and Highway 42/127, I turned left, heading north back to 536 to complete the loop and took I-75N back home.
But I wasn’t done for the day! After I returned home, I decided to ride for a few miles on US 50 east. I usually ride on US 52 along the river till about New Richmond and turn back. To my pleasant surprise, US 50 gets nice and twisty a little past Milford. I rode till Owensville and doubled back.
I woke up around 9:00am, a little later than I had intended. It was already quite warm and I was going to go riding in my new leather biker jacket. Fortunately, the jacket has four vents and a removable inner lining, so it wasn’t too bad. According to the plan, I headed west on I-74 from Cincinnati into Indiana, where I took the US52 exit. Riding on the interstate, though challenging and fast, can quickly get boring. All that changed as soon as I started out on US52, a nice curvy single lane road with smooth tarmac, lots of trees bordering it and a speed limit of 55mph. I was so elated that I couldn’t resist letting out the occasional ‘woohooo‘ after carving up a tight curve! I passed several bikers going the other way.
I stopped at Brookeville, IN to refuel and proceeded north east on SR101 toward Oxford. I had intended to stop at the Mounds State Recreation Area but was having too much fun riding. I had a little scare on SR101 when two cars ahead, someone slammed their brakes to turn left and the car in front of me came to a dead stop. I squeezed the front brake while almost standing on the rear brake pedal. I actually heard a loud wail coming out of the front brake disk and the rear tire started to fishtail. The only thought going through my mind was ….uh oh ! Luckily, I had maintained enough distance from the car in front and disaster was averted! I was quite impressed with my emergency braking skills. But I still intend to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s course in safety for experienced riders.
Continuing toward Oxford, OH, I turned onto Bath Road off of SR101. Bath road is a narrow road with no dividing line or shoulder and passes thorough several large farms and small towns. I took SR73 out of Oxford and turned right on SR177 toward Hamilton. After I crossed Hamilton, the state routes had become slower and more congested, so I decided to take I-75 back to Cincinnati.
After I got my bike in April, I had been reluctant to ride on the freeways untill I got comfortable with the handling of the bike and the speed of traffic. Last week I finally worked up the nerve to ride a few miles on I-71. A few more short rides on the freeway and I was riding like a pro!
Now that a whole new world of previously inaccessable routes had opened up, I spent friday planning all the riding I was going to do over the weekend. I recommend “Motorcycle Rides in America” as a starting point to locate good routes in your area. Google Maps is the best mapping tool online to plan your routes. Details of my weekend rides will be provided in upcoming posts!