14 March 2008

From DC to St Louis

OK, the bike was prepped, the route was planned, so I was all set to leave for Seattle on Sunday, March 9. I'd been keeping a close eye on road and weather conditions in the Rockies, since that's where I figured I was most likely to hit bad weather or icy roads that would cause problems. From other folks on ADVRider.com, I got some favorable weather and road reports--it looked like Colorado might be a go!

That's about when I started paying attention to Cincinnati. On March 7-8, Cincinnati got a foot of snow! Most snow ever, or something. Again helpful folks on ADVRider said the roads there were pretty icy, so I had to wait until March 11 for roads to clear enough to go. I finally left DC on the morning of Tuesday, March 11, destination: Cincinnati!

For the next couple of thousand miles, no pictures. Either too cold, or too boring, or both, so no pix till the Southwest.

Anyway, the ride out of DC hit lots of traffic of course, finally broke free of the suburbs, and the road got nice just before Winchester VA. Past Winchester, went into the mountains of West Virginia, where there were lots of curvy roads and patches of snow. Worse was all of the gravel and sand which had accumulated in the switchbacks on these roads...between the gravel and the fear of black ice, I rode pretty slowly.

Road was nice till Parkersburg, then pretty dull into Cincinnati. Stayed at a Red Roof Inn in Cinci. In the high-twenties the next morning, waited a bit for things to warm up, then hit the road. I had planned to follow the road along the river leaving Cinci, but the GPS didn't cooperate and I road through various Cincinnati neighborhoods until out of the city, where I picked up Route 50 again. Destination: St. Louis, where I would stay with my family.

Route 50, what to say? Not the most exciting ride, but virtually no traffic, and few of the little towns with lots of stoplights that can slow you down so much...so I made pretty good time. By the time I got to Illinois, it was north of sixty degrees, and lots of guys were out riding their bikes in the good weather.

Made it to St. Louis by about 1600 despite the weather-induced late start.

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