By Heather Rader
Posted On: Aug 15, 2016
We lean right, then left, then right again, over and over, as the motorcycle hugs every curve of the paved road. Some twist and turns I squeeze my husband tighter, other curves I relax and lean back, letting the road guide me through some of southeastern Ohio’s most breathtaking landscapes. The sun shines down, I can feel the wind upon my face, and I smile, thankful to have the freedom of the open road on the back of my husband’s motorcycle!
Most motorcyclists will tell you it’s not about the destination, but about the ride. Whether you have a destination in mind or allowing the road to lead you where it may, either way, if you want to experience the best collection of motorcycle routes (in my opinion) in the state, then cruise on one or all of Ohio’s Windy 9!
Ohio’s Windy 9 is a collection of nine routes (each approximately 50-100 miles) comprising nearly 1,000 miles of well-maintained roads in southeastern Ohio. The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has done an amazing job mapping out the routes and maintaining the roads! Request a Windy 9 map from the Athens County CVB or pick one up at numerous locations around Athens. Inside the well-detailed map, you will find directions for each route, restaurant suggestions and local attractions to stop at when you need a short break from riding! The collection of routes features roads that are perfect for cruising or more challenging roads like the sharp twists and turns of the Triple Nickle (State Route 555) that can be a bit intimidating for an inexperienced rider.
We spent two days on our Harley Davidson Ultra Limited cruising the routes of the Windy 9, in fifteen hours of riding we touched all nine routes and rode over 500 miles! From cruising along the scenic Ohio River, the twists and turns of the Triple Nickle, riding through the lush Wayne National Forest and the gorgeous Hocking Hills region, watching Ohio’s farmers tend the land, exploring charming small Ohio towns we never heard of while friendly locals waved as we passed by, the Windy 9 gave us a ride we won’t soon forget!
If you want to spend the weekend exploring the routes of the Windy 9, remember that all routes can lead you back to Athens, which makes for the perfect stopover for your motorcycle getaway! With plenty of accommodations to choose from in Athens, I would recommend The Ohio University Inn. Their “Ohio Windy 9 Hotel Package” consists of overnight accommodations (riders can request a room with a view of the parking lot to keep an eye of their motorcycle), breakfast, complimentary vehicle wash area and complimentary Windy 9 maps and helmet stickers. After spending 7+ hours on the motorcycle, a stay at the Ohio University Inn was a welcomed retreat! Whether you dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Cutler’s, or explore the numerous restaurants and bars of Athens, a stay at the Ohio University Inn is the perfect place to recharge your batteries for another day of exploring the Windy 9!
Riding through southeastern Ohio on this collection of curve hugging routes, riders will understand why the Windy 9 is a motorcyclist's dream! There’s no better way to explore Ohio’s amazing scenery than on a back of a motorcycle!
Share your Windy 9 experience on social media by using #Windy9! To learn more about the Windy 9, please visit www.athensohio.com.