To Ohio and Back, Part I

Ah, writing. I’ve been neglecting my writing for quite some time. I’ve decided that it ‘s time to get back on track and finally write up my trip to Ohio from early this month. I haven’t been procrastinating, really! It’s only been a few days!1

All packed up and Ready to go!

The journey began on the afternoon of October the Second. I had taken the day off from work so that I could run some errands, straighten up the apartment, and get an early afternoon start on the trip. The destination: Columbus, Ohio. The reason: to observe everyone’s favorite anti-capitalist band from Australia rock out.


Odometer reading at the get go: 698.9 miles. The day was overcast, but the temperature was a pleasant 70° when I set out at about 3:30 in the afternoon. The planned route: US 22, to US 40 to Columbus.

US 22 was boring for most of the way. I even screwed up while still close to home, and ended up on the wrong highway near the Robinson Mall. Once I got back underway, however, US 22 was a slab2 for the first 55 miles or so. This was also before my windshield arrived, so those highway miles get tiring after a while. Combining these factors with the gray weather, it was a bleak start for the ride.

To pass the time, I had brought the iPod along. I figured that some tunes or podcasts would be nice to pass the time, provided I could hear them while still being able to hear the road and cars around me. This turned out to be infeasible at highway speeds, due to the wind noise involved, but worked nicely on the lower speed roads.

About 25 miles into Ohio, the slab section of US 22 finally ended and I was left with a nice 4 lane byway on which to ride. The road sometimes went down to 2 lanes, but traffic was light the whole way and made for a good leg of the ride.

A couple hours after leaving, I hit US 40. US 40, also known as the National Road in this area, is marked as a scenic byway, and I’d say it mostly deserves that distinction. It runs roughly parallel to I-70 to Columbus and beyond. When I approached 40, the sky also cleared up, and the temperature was still pleasant in the high sixties / low seventies. It’s a 4 lane road for most of the length that I traveled, and I encountered barely any traffic. At this point, in the ride, however, I was starting to worry about getting to Columbus in time, so I slabbed it a couple of times on 70, alternating between the nice road and the quicker road.

I arrived at my hotel around 7:45 or so, just after it was starting to get dark. I was a little worried about getting to the venue on time, as the show was billed to start at 8 PM, and I wanted to allow for time to get lost. I felt it was necessary to stop at the hotel first, though, as I preferred to leave my belongings in hotel, opposed to on the bike outside of the venue.

The hotel was a rundown Rodeway Inn, located in Worthington, which is just outside of the city. The night before, I had Pricelined for hotels, and this location was the winner, at just $35 a night and located about 15 miles away from the venue. I stopped for just enough time to leave my stuff in the room, and then hit the road again.

According to the the maps I had consulted back in Pittsburgh, it was a pretty easy route to the venue on some of the signed US Routes (such as 23 and 40) to get to the venue, so I opted for that route as opposed to simply taking the interstate. I also figured I could find food easily on some of these roads, as I hadn’t eaten since about 1 PM.

On US 23, I managed to stop at the Worlds Slowest Taco Bell Ever. I arrived around 8:00, and didn’t get out of there until about 8:45. The only customers there before me were a mother and daughter, who were ordering as I arrived. Ten minutes later, I was finally allowed the privilege of placing my order. Roughly 25 minutes after ordering, my food had finally been prepared. The incompetence at this establishment was simply staggering.

I started to worry about missing part of the show, but then I remembered that there were two bands booked before Snog that I had never heard of, so I figured they were probably just crappy local acts. After eating the very late and really terrible tasting burritos that I had ordered, I got back underway.

The route ahead was easy. Take the street I was on south until I hit US 40, turn right, then turn left onto a road that would eventually become the road on which the venue was located. Sounds easy, right? If only it was.

Stay tuned for To Ohio and Back, Part II, in which our hero gets lost in Columbus, threatened by the fuzz, and finally finds what he is looking for: a kick ass concert from David Thrussell and Company.


1And by a few days, I really mean two weeks.

2That’s what us super cool biker-types call an expressway-style road.

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