Despite my better judgement, I woke up early Sunday morning with the intent to snag the latest RAT Pack Moto Tag in south Indiana. Still significantly frosty outside, Lola started up with no protest thanks to the new battery. I loaded up in my usual winter kit and set out on a boring route down the freeway, headed for a VFW in Milan Indiana. I was reluctantly on a tight schedule, so the freeway trip down was an uncomfortable and unfortunate side effect. I did however have a follow up plan, once in Milan, the temperature would finally be above freezing and I’d be ready to hit some of my favorite twisties across the border, Indiana Route 229.
My RAT Pack pals showed me 229 and surrounding country roads a while back; I’ve been looking for an excuse to get back down that way. When the latest Moto tag landed on the message board, I wasn’t about to pass it up. After a small cup of coffee and a topped off tank at a gas station in Milan, the fun could finally begin. After a little jaunt up 101 and 48 I finally arrived at my prime destination. This section of 229 is only about 22 miles between Indiana 48 and US 52. The planned stretch of 229 is bisected by the city of Batesville. While I currently know jack about Batesville, the preliminary scouting report says I’ll be back to find a good sandwich and figure out what the story is behind the German architecture and the old movie theater. Considering the hostile winter we experienced, I was extremely concerned about the road conditions. The first leg to Batesville wasn’t especially confidence inspiring, but once through town, road conditions improved significantly; after finally cracking open the throttle a little last week, the 10 mile leg between Oldenburg and U.S. 52 was outstanding. Oldenburg was actually the destination the last time I was down this way. There’s a nice mom and pop spot called “Wagner’s Village Inn” with some excellent broasted chicken, but I’ll fill you in on that later.
Once I arrived at U.S. 52, Google informed me I could add 4 more minutes to the ride home and hit the curves on Indiana 121 while I was out and about. Undoubtedly the view on 121 was far better than a monotonous trip up the 101, so the choice was simple. 121 was in nowhere near the condition of 229, evidence of winter sand still very evident in the curves and on the edge of the road. I spent a fair amount of time behind a pickup truck, so maintaining traction wasn’t exactly a difficult task. 121 was by no means the fast paced ride I was looking for like 229, however the sights were actually better. On the next trip down I’ll be sure to set aside more time, some of the roadside abandoned barns and whatnot were definitely photo worthy. I also cannot confirm or deny seeing a steam powered locomotive.
While it was a rushed trip, it was unquestionably worth the effort. 229 is probably the most twisty stretch of roadway, locally, short of West Virginia of eastern Kentucky. At the same time I stumbled across a laundry list of new destinations to stop and take photos in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more photos and road food!
I’ve been on 121 before (Laurel, Haspen Acres), but I don’t remember when. It’s probably been 15+ years, and I doubt if it was on a motorcycle. I ride through Brookville, Metamora, Connerville, Liberty, several times through the warmer months. I don’t know why I’ve never used that road to connect the dots. Looking at the map, I bet there is some good dual-sport roads out through there too.
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There was a lot to see in 121. I will certainly return. Agreed about dual sport roads, I saw alot of dirt and gravel that morning.
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