Norm’s Favorite Rides Near Dayton, Ohio
Sport Touring Corner
By Norm Kern
Home for the winter – the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) rally season ended in early November with the Texas Hill Country rally in Kerrville, Texas, so there are no more motorcycle trips for me until at least April, 2023. Still, I like to ride all year round, and will put on the heated gear and go out for a local 100-300 mile day ride whenever weather permits.
Last winter I put up a simple web site to share six favorite local routes that feature twisties, less-traveled county and gravel roads that can be ridden out of my home base in Dayton, Ohio. A number of riders in the southwest Ohio area downloaded and enjoyed them, and I made several new riding friends as a result.
This site, https://norms-rides.flybyweek.com/ got such a good response that it’s been completely redone to work equally well on phones, tablets and desktops. The update added six more routes, so there are now a dozen to choose from. Additional ones are coming in 2023.
Norm’s Favorite Rides fall into three categories:
TWISTY routes feature sharp curves and elevation changes with mostly smooth clean pavement, and are preferred by riders of sport and sport touring bikes
TECHNICAL routes, like Twisty routes, have sharp curves and elevation changes, but also include county roads that may contain potholes, patches, gravel on pavement, slips, etc, that may require a slower pace. They are perfect for riders of ADV style bikes, as they take you on the little back roads with the most interesting terrain and scenery.
ADV/GRAVEL routes utilize mostly dirt and gravel roads.
Each route on the site features a complete description, an interactive map, and a GPX file download link that contains both routes and tracks for each route. Be sure to go to the website to see all the routes, but here’s the basic info on some of the new ones:
06 Indiana EZ Gravel N 264 is a mix of technical and adv/gravel roads. It starts on Austin road just West of exit 41 of I-75. Goes through Germantown and Camden to Liberty, Indiana, where it picks up a network of farm roads with mixed gravel and pavement, bounded by state route 44 on the South and US 40 on the North. If you want to practice riding gravel roads, this is a good route- nothing difficult. Any road bike will work, but it’s more fun on a BMW GS, KTM Adventure or Suzuki V Strom of any size. The return route has a few twisties NW of Camden but otherwise is pretty much straight back to the start on Austin Road. 264 miles.
07 Indiana EZ Gravel S 228 is a mix of technical and adv/gravel roads a lot like the EZ Gravel N route above, but goes South and West once it hits Indiana. It crosses a bridge over Brookville lake, following farm roads with mixed gravel and pavement, bounded by county road 260 on the North and US 52 on the South. It’s a shorter distance at 228 miles, but has more hilly terrain and twisty roads.
Lunch stop is the Pioneer restaurant in Brookville, Indiana, a favorite mom and pop dining experience.
09 Old Y Breakfast Tech 207 This technical route begins on US 42 just South of Waynesville, OH. The first order of business is to get to the Old Y restaurant near Winchester, Ohio, for breakfast! (about 45 miles) They have excellent food at very low cost and are very popular with farmers and working folks. After breakfast the route winds its way through county roads almost to West Union before heading back north. Includes part of OH247, which is a very fun twisty state highway. South of Hillsboro the route heads West, backtracking Part 1 through St Martin and Blanchester, back to the finish at Waynesville.
10 Old Y Lunch Tech 190 is very similar to 09 Old Y Breakfast Tech but initially skips the restaurant to do a different loop in the same area in the opposite direction, then stopping at the Old Y for lunch.
12 Jane’s Saddlebag Tech 245 is a technical route that runs southwest from the Austin Road start, crossing into Indiana just north of Harrison. It explores many fun roads in southeast Indiana before crossing into Kentucky at Markland dam. From there it stays on back roads to Jane’s Saddlebag near Big Bone Lick park for lunch. From there it’s another thirty miles to I-275 around Cincinnati and up I-75 to home.
There are two more new routes on the site, and I will report on them in depth next month.
Feel free to contact Norm Kern (his email link is on the site) in the off-season (November-March) if you want to ride any of the routes with him.
Just point your internet browser to Norms Rides at
Connect with local Ohio MSTA riders at these monthly breakfasts:
Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM December 17
Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068
Central Ohio Breakfast Meet – Sunday January 8. Arrive at 8 am to eat, 9 to ride if weather permits.
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137