There’s a road in southeastern Ohio called the Ohio Triple Nickel (Ohio 555).
It’s an incredibly beautiful stretch of highway– farms, forest, hills
Ben comes with us on this ride, and Alaina convinces Monica to come, too. Two black 1450cc Harley-Davidson Dynas and a white, 250cc Honda Rebel. Sorta like a Harley sandwich.
Alaina and I are in front, then Monica, and Ben’s at the back. Monica’s a little nervous, so she takes it nice and slow… which means Ben and I can’t really go as fast or lean into the curves as much as we’d like. Turns out that’s probably a good thing.
About halfway down Ohio 555, we hit a patch of road that’s recently been chip sealed. Gravel. I fucking hate gravel. Imagine riding a bicycle over a road full of marbles. This stuff is right in the middle of the lane with clean tracks on each side where traffic has pushed the gravel into the asphalt. I can’t go outside-inside-outside on the curves because I’ll go right through the gravel. Go through the gravel too fast and lose control. So, instead I keep in the right tire-track of the lane and go slow. Well, I think I’m going slow until I check my mirror on a straightaway and see Monica’s little Rebel and Ben’s Street Bob way the hell back there. 5 miles of gravel. 10 miles. 15 miles of pain in the ass, chip sealed road. Time to take a break.
Ben and I are not fans of this part of the Ohio Triple Nickel.
Alaina and Monica need some practice making dumb faces. N00bs.
Then we’re off again and finally get to some lovely paved road. Never thought I’d be so happy to see double yellow lines.
We make it to the legendary Smiling Skull in Athens around 8pm.
The Skull is a biker bar on the edge of a college town. It’s off the beaten path of all the dudebrahbros, is cash-only, and has killer drink prices. $2 for a beer. Oh. And there are skulls everywhere.
Ben’s been looking forward to getting a Smiling Skull patch for his vest (I picked one up last fall), so he asks the bartender if he can buy one. She checks and says they’re sold out.
“Well, how about the one on the wall, there? I’ll give you $10 for it.” Ben asks, pointing to the merch hanging near the ceiling.
“Nope, sorry. But you can ask Chris.” She points to the owner, sitting at the corner of the bar.
Ben walks over and they have a nice conversation. Chris tells Ben he can have the patch on the wall for the usual $5. Awesome.
We hang out for a couple hours, then Ben heads back to Columbus. Alaina, Monica and I crash at Alaina’s mom’s place for the night. Next morning, we head up Ohio 56 back to columbus.
We may not have been able to go as fast as we wanted to on the way down, but the scenery and company make it all worth it. Kind of like (a blended) family: you may not always get to do exactly what you want, how you want to do it, but as long as you’re with people you love, it’s worth all the headaches and happiness.
Keep your knees in the breeze,
Here are some more pics of the trip.