'Yahoo! YAHOO! Yahoo!'
No, I'm not turning into a yodeling, cheese making, motorcyclist from the alps. (In case you didn't know, they all yell 'yahoo!' while making cheese - if you quote me on this I'll deny it)
None the less, if you haven't ridden Kentucky 22, it would be hard to understand what all the yelling is about. If you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about - you can't help but yell 'yahoo!' inside your helmet throughout this ride. I yelled it so many times that I can still here it echoing around inside my helmet weeks later.
You're probably wondering what the heck about this road would make a grown man yell 'yahoo.' Well, I'll tell you.
It could be the scenery - it's definitely nice, not spectacular, but nice. KY 22 is one of those beautiful ridge roads that Kentucky road planners seem to produce in abundance. So, great scenic views of Kentucky landscape are in no short order. But, that's not what got me excited.
It could have been the great road conditions of KY 22. Large portions of this road have been freshly redone with a nice, flat, pure black layer of asphalt - and even the older parts of the road are still in great condition. No potholes or loose gravel to be found. But, you guessed it, that's not what got me excited either.
Some might even think that it was a lack of traffic on the road. Since KY 22 connects a whole lot of nothin' with an equally large amount of nothin', you really won't find much traffic at all on this road. But, nope, still not a 'yahoo!' worthy item.
One word describes what gets me excited about this road: twisties. I think the road planner may have designed this road on an etch-a-sketch after WAY too much coffee (with some illegal narcotics mixed in it) because KY 22 over-delivers in the twisty department as far as roads are concerned.
I never quite understood why you don't hear more bikers talking about this road. You hear a lot about other 'twisty' roads in the area, but I still have yet to find one that delivers the number of quality twists and turns that KY 22 does.
Plus, it connects with so many other great roads in the area that you could easily spend a day or two riding by connecting one great road to the next. Oh well, who knows why people don't talk about it, lets just keep this one a secret between you and I.
You'll want to start your KY 22 adventure in a small town called Williamstown, KY about 1/2 mile from exit 154 off of Interstate 75. There isn't much in this little town - so if you're hungry you'll want to head a couple of miles north to Dry Ridge (exit 159) and grab your breakfast or lunch from the Mcdonald's near the highway.
After clearing a few houses, and some big, gradual sweepers you'll be in the middle of farmland and the road will really get going! I don't know what was going on weather-wise on this particular day but it made for some really cool views. Check out the clouds in the sky in the pic below - they formed this weird tunnel that went as far as the eye could see!
One of the reasons I love this road is because it's twisty in a fun way - lots of cambered, smooth twisties, that you can see through followed by nice big sweepers to put a little speed back on to the tires. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy roads like OH 555 for the pure challenge of 90 degree off-cambered, no-line-of-site, ridge curves - but it doesn't put a smile on my face like KY 22.
KY 22's basic formula for smiles: Fun twisties:
Followed by big sweepers:
Before you go off thinking that this ride is nothing but all smiles and 'race track' like conditions - just remember to be careful. This road will rear it's head up and show you who's boss towards the end with a couple of very tight decreasing radius turns that will throw you for a loop. After getting pretty confident over the last 20 miles, I almost ended up in a ditch coming in a little to hot on some of those turns. So, as always - don't get lazy and put your guard down - you never know what a road will throw you. That's all part of the adventure.
Anyway, enough of the parental warnings - lets get back to the ride. If you're more in the mood for just taking a leisurely cruise - this road will not be as relaxing (because of the twists) as some other roads, but it does have the usual great views, being a ridge road.
If you're looking for interesting stops along the way, you'll be disappointed again. KY 22 is one of those roads that connects nothing to nothing, with a whole lot of nothing in between.
Don't get me wrong, I love this road but it's not as multi-purpose as some of the other roads. Said another way, this road is good at one thing: serving up twisties. So put your leathers on and go scrape some metal off your bike. But, don't expect the road to offer up anything else - you'll be disappointed.
If you're looking for a leisurely cruise - KY 22 is going to be disappointing. If you're looking for interesting stops along the way - KY 22 will disappoint you again. If you're looking for some 'yahoo' inducing, grin from ear to ear, scrape metal off your motorcycle twisties - KY 22 will definitely deliver.
Great pavement. Beautiful ridge road. A twisty lover's delight. Just make sure you're in the right frame of mind to enjoy the road. P.S. If you've got a bigger bike - plan for a little more time because you will go slower or make sure you do some extra workouts on that upper body before hand!
Are you wondering about KY 22 West of I-75? It's not great, which is why we didn't include it here.
Things to Consider
I said it before, and I'll say it again - this is a one trick pony road - it has lots of twisties. Make sure that's what you're looking for in a ride before you try it out.
The other thing to consider is if you're on a non-sporty type motorcycle - you may want to plan a little extra time because you won't be maintaining the speed limit on this road.
In general, talking about Kentucky weather is a challenge. Most Kentuckians will tell you that if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change. With the exception of summer, weather conditions are unpredictable and can vary from one part of the state to another. Summers tend to be humid, sunny, and warm. Daytime highs often pass 90 F. and can exceed 100 F. Winter is rarely harsh, but there is a tendency toward ice storms during January and February that sometimes makes winter driving conditions dangerous.
Because of the heat in the summer, I'd recommend the spring and fall as the best times to ride this road.
Finally, there isn't much (correction: nothing) along this road or at the end of it where it meets up with KY 10. So make sure you fuel up near I-75 and grab a bite to eat before heading out!
Nearby Things to See
There really isn't much to see along this road.
Link up with KY 10 at the end of KY 22 and you'll find lots of interesting stuff. You can see that road profiled here: Tobacco Farms and a Motorcycle Paradise on KY10
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Kentucky. This motorcycle route has 4 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by OpenRoadRider in March. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by OpenRoadRider