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  1. #1

    Default West Michigan to DC Area on 2 Wheels

    In June I'm heading to the DC area and would like to have some fun riding off the main highways between Michigan and Northern Virginia. Has anybody ever driven from the Midwest to the East Coast (DC area) and if so, what are some "must roads" when heading between the two places?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Come to Mind

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The first would be the Amish Country Byway in Ohio, and then the old National Road through southwestern Pennsylvania and western Maryland.


  3. #3

    Default How about Southern Ohio?

    Thanks for the advice. Friday I picked up some maps at AAA and the guy there I told about the National Highway asked me what route number that is. Without a map, I didn't have a reply

    Now I determined the fastest route east to Baltimore and Camden Yards, but I need a more detailed map of Ohio so I can have some choices as far as a scenic one-day journey back to West Michigan. The biggest deterrent to doing 3/4 of a day's worth of back roads is I have to be back Sunday night and I'm planning on leaving first thing Sunday AM. So, adding 50 miles onto a 650 mile trip won't be bad, but anything more than that may make getting back in one day improbable.

    In looking at a map, I may be able to take 50 west out of DC rather than the highway 66, head west toward Winchester, VA and traverse the Allegheny Mts. Maybe head south on 220/ 28 just west of Augusta, VA and find those interesting roads in Southern Ohio. I don't have any details on best routes in Southern Ohio a friend recommended so I need a decent map.

    I like the 230 or so miles on 40/70 through mid Ohio (has a lot of historic stops and what-not), but the main thing that I'm looking for is curvey, scenic roadways.

    The last half of the trip will be highway as I would make up time (Cincinnati up toward Indy and north on 69 into Lansing). Rush hour around either of those two cities would be a nightmare... then just head west on 96 into Grand Rapids.

    Any further tips, advice, words of wisdom? I did read the tips about preparing for a long trip and the one about getting an extra couple of hours of sleep 48 before the trip seems like a great idea! I'm crashing at 10 or earlier the two days before my road trip as I get up by 6:45 no matter when I go to sleep!?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

    Default I made it! 1550 miles and 30 hours on the Bike!?!??

    My trip to and from the Baltimore/Washington, DC area was a success! 1,552 miles total over 30 hours. 680 on Day #1 and 829 on way home:
    Jon Karnes was right about the 555 just west of Parkersburg, OH. Lots of hills, dales, curves,etc iin which you seldom get up over 55 mph. Fun road! Highly recommended.
    I took route 50 west out of the Washington, DC area through horse and bed and breakfast territory leaving at 8:15 AM (another GREAT ROAD esp in W VA. My plan was to stay on 50 all the way to Ohio 555, but I mistakenly took 522 out of Winchester, VA and ended up going north so I had to reroute myself back onto 50 after consulting with some motorcyclists headed home to Ontario. I just cut west on highway 68 as I made my way through the Appalachians and elevations approaching 3,000 feet. I then went south on 220 in Cumberland, Maryland and found the two-lane roadway.

    Getting back on 50 west after a brief stop at 11:00 got my heart racing. You would wind your way up through dozens of sharp curves and hairpin turns then start your descent swaying right and left, often diving into sharp turns and then rolling into several small towns in West Virginia. Of course there were tons of bikes out on a sunny, mild, breezeless Sunday afternoon.

    The trip wasn't without challenges though. In Zanesville, OH a cool north wind hit me in the face as changed direction and headed north. I found out that a thunderstorm warning was directly ahead of me and a warning was issued for the next 45 minutes. I donned my wimpy rain gear before heading north on wet but rain-free roads.

    At about 7 PM I decided that the planned back roads to Findlay had to be scrubbed from my trip as it started to get late. I had to highway it home from there taking 70 west and then 23 out of Columbus all the way north and get on 75/ 475 past Toledo and on to Michigan.

    This route was a safe and dry one as storms were raging over Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana. I saw lightning west and north of me, but only saw a smattering of rain hit me as I headed west on 96 past midnight!?

    After 829 miles, I pulled into my driveway at 1:30 the next morning, eased a leg over the back of my Shadow and dismounted. It took me all morning Monday and a full pot of coffee to wake up and slowly recover, but it was well worth it. What an adventure!!!

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