Zanesville, Ohio Shamrock Tour®

Text: Florian Neuhauser • Photography: Florian Neuhauser, Steve Mauk

Ohio is where I met my bride, Sarah. If Steve had not subscribed to RoadRUNNER, I probably wouldn’t have met her. I love coming here and riding the thrillingly curvy roads of southeastern Ohio. As part of our “at home” series, you can trust that these four loops are top notch. If not, it’s Steve’s fault.

In 2007, Steve came down to North Carolina to attend the second Memorial Ride for my dad. It was a small event, and I don’t recall talking with Steve specifically. Fellow motojournalist Jim Parks, however, did. A year later, we were all in Ohio for our first dual sport Shamrock Tour. Steve introduced us to his family, including his youngest daughter Sarah. On departure day they invited all of us for breakfast, and Sarah played the piano. You know how the rest goes.

The Triple Nickel

Steve was aboard the venerable KTM 790 Adventure, and as the honorary guest I got to choose a bike from his stable. My options were between the Suzuki GSX-S750 and V-Strom 1000.

With blue skies in the forecast, we decided to ride the famous Triple Nickel first. SR 555 departs Zanesville to the south and immediately throws unsuspecting lefts and rights. I picked the GSX-S, a willing accomplice to the day’s shenanigans. It put a wide smile on my face, and it wasn’t just the tingly vibrations felt from the foot pegs and seat.

South of Ringgold, the asphalt is fresh, dangerously so. The smooth and grippy surface invited us to turn up the wick, but as anyone who’s successfully traversed this sinister stretch of road knows, you can’t go faster than you can see. And you usually can’t see over crests or around blind corners. It was a roller coaster ride, and none of that computer designed kind either. Think of a wooden roller coaster that sends you on your way with a mild case of whiplash.

Choosing a lunch spot for motorcyclists is easy. Just look in the parking lot. Bikes there? Must be good! Well, not always, but we lucked out. Two world-traveling gentlemen on their BMWs had picked a good restaurant in Marietta.

SR 26 was a blur, literally. At one point, the road name picked up an additional zero as we turned right on SR 260. I thought we saw a covered bridge or two, maybe a red one, but I couldn’t be sure. The road required our full attention with the neverending succession of curves. Briefly, I thought about taking a photo. “We’ll probably see more,” I decided. The famous last words of the motorcycle journalist who returns without the shot.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the March/April 2021 back issue.