Monday, March 30, 2009

grey roads

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date: 3/30/2009
distance: 94.4 miles
temp: 53 Deg F

This post is about those roads that appear as grey lines. My "Official Ohio Transportation Map" describes these roads as "Selected Local Roads."

"Grey roads" are the roads less traveled. I am learning that of all the roads which appear on the map, these roads might have the most to offer. Not the most to offer as in shopping centers, rest stops, and such but rather, the most scenery, kindest people, and most importantly, the most character.

This was a nice evening after work. I started out in only my jacket and gloves but quickly decided that I needed to stop at the Hartford Firehouse and don the 'rocket pants. Just as I was getting ready to leave, the firefighters were dismissing their meeting. Two firefighters stopped and commented about how nice my bike was. "Thanks," I said back to them. Luckily, these kind people also had places to go and we didn't talk more than several minutes.

I continued from Hartford to follow more grey roads. Though technically not a grey road, I did discover SR229. It wasn't too far up the continuum from a grey road and became ever more interesting towards Mt. Vernon.

With that, it was time to head home. I tried to put myself in the direction of Lewis Center so that I could stop at a coworkers house but ran out of sunlight. The deer that crossed in front of me near Hoover reservoir reminded me why I don't like the ride the two lanes when its dark.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Motohio to Millstone BBQ

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One of the cool things about the dealership where I bought the R1200 is that they regularly do semi-organized rides. From what I understand, the rides normally depart from the shop and almost always involve food.

From the moment I learned about it, there was never a question of whether I was going on the Hocking Hills ride. It was a chance to hang out with like-minded people and possibly learn of some new roads. This is all above and beyond being a really good excuse to get the bike out of the garage. :-)

The night before, Erica had excluded herself from participation because the morning was forecast to be a little chilly. In her defense, she hasn't any riding pants (yet).

The morning of, we learned just how chilly. It was some 28 Degrees Fahrenheit when I woke. As Erica repeatedly told me that I would be cold, I reminded her that the day was Forest to be a nice 58 Degrees Fahrenheit and that I had some really nice riding gear, heated seats, and grips.

The ride to the dealership wasn't bad except for the feeling that someone was stabbing pins into my cheeks. It had "warmed" to 30 Degrees Fahrenheit by this point. My gear was actually doing a great job of keeping me warm. The only problem was that my face was hanging out of my 3/4 helmet catching the cool breeze.

This clearly wasn't going to work for very long -- at least not without longstanding consequences (frostbite).

I was the second bike in the lot. Not long after I arrived, Ted (the guy who sold me my bike) arrived on his demonic monster of a motorcycle (this is another story for another day).

I'll have to say that Ted is one of the most generous people I know. He offered to loan me one of his personal balaclavas and/or show me the inventory on hand at the shop. Since his balaclava only solved my problem for the day, I opted to see the inventory. They had one just my size and weight and I was all set -- except that all the registers were closed because of it being Sunday. The owner, Mike Allen says, "...take it. Call us on Tuesday with your c/c and we'll run it." Can you believe these people!? They were more concerned with my comfort for the day that getting paid for merchandise that I was carrying out of their store. "Thanks guys!"

Having solved the first problem of the day, I joined Ted and other motorcyclist to solve the other problem -- hunger and the urge for coffee.

By the time we left the dealership it had warmed to nearly 40 Degrees Fahrenheit . The bike count rose to around 22 and rider count to nearly 30.

The route was one completely different that I normally take. We went south then east whereas I normally go east then south. The former route (south then east) was one that I will repeat on my own someday. The neat thing about this route was that we gradually entered the hills. We started out in plains and slowly entered the foothills. It was really cool.

I think I am beginning to understand why I love motorcycling. I've owned three bikes and ridden many others. I've accumulated more than three years and nearly 20,000 miles and yet I am still learning about the right gear for the weather, new routes to areas I frequently ride to, and constantly working to improve my riding. This might take a lifetime.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Roscoe Village

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date: 3/15/2009
distance: 145 miles
total elapsed time: 5:45
moving time: 4:00 (approx)

I picked up the R1200 from the dealer yesterday. Only two trips out and she was ready for the six-hundred mile service! The ride home was cold and gloomy so I took the shortest path possible (super-slab).

Today started sunny and a little warmer. It looked to be a good day for a ride. Erica chose to join me today. This would be her first ride on the new bike. As this post's name implies, Roscoe Village was our destination but we first had to stop to get the lady some warm riding gloves.

Gloves on hand we headed for Roscoe.

As we left Columbus the sunny skies turned grey. It felt much cooler. I believe that Erica may have suffered a bit as she hasn't yet found a pair of riding pants.

Traffic on the route was light and SR-541 was the highlight of the ride. In contrast to SR-62 west of Martinsburg, SR-541 runs straight through the hills! Sweeping curves and constant elevation changes keep things interesting as farm houses and livestock sweep by.

First impressions of Roscoe Village reminded me of the Netherlands. Albeit a hilly version but the Netherlands none-the-less. The buildings are all brick three-story structures. Storefronts line the street filling the first story of the historic buildings.

After a quick potty break, which was no doubt bought on by the cold, we sat down for lunch at Lock 27 Pub. The lady had fish and chips. I chose the "Ribs, Wings, and Rings" basket. Neither of us were overly impressed with our meals, but as we had discussed over lunch, this was probably because we both have joints near home that we consider to do the best wings, ribs, and fish (e.g. Hickory House and Old Bag of Nails).

After lunch we waddled around town checking out the Visitor Center, shops, etc. We nearly walked by River Ridge Leather. I'm glad we didn't because we really enjoyed seeing all of Dennis's hand made creations. I even picked myself up a new belt! :-)

Except for the stop in Granville for a rest and some warm beverage, our trip home was a straight shot on SR-16.

We could have spent many more hours in Roscoe Village. Even overlooking all of the "kitche shops" we left much of the village undiscovered. I'd like to think that this is because we intend to return.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Hear ye! Hear ye!

Chronicles of m is being reorganized to serve a new purpose.

Though I have used this site in the past as a soap box, I now plan to post information on recent motorcycling experiences for friends, family, and fellow motorcyclist to discover and enjoy. Who knows, maybe I'll even reminisce during the long Ohio winters.

Chronicles of m is also in search of a new name. This name should reflect the intention of the site as well as the original namesake. If you've got an idea, leave a comment on this post.