@ the Big Muddy & I-80
Thanks all for the road info! If I can get through south side Chicago before 3:00 in the afternoon I'll ride thataway, if it's closer to 5:00 or 6:00 I'll be riding US 24 'cross Indiana and into Lima.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned US-24 from Fort Wayne, IN to just west of Toledo, OH along the Maumee River.
The road is mostly two-lane, and if US-24 is busy you can hop over to the south side of the river.
US-24 rolls right over the top of the former Miami & Erie Canal, so if you know where to look there are remnants / relics of that era as well. Some roadside markers, some fragments of locks, a dam at Defiance and another at Grand Rapids (both OH), a grist mill / sawmill outside Grand Rapids OH, and a mule-drawn canal boat at the same place.
Road itself winds pleasantly along. Certainly not tight and twisty, mostly just pleasant and winding. Nothing too tight.
@ the Big Muddy & I-80
US24 is sounding like a pleasant ride from the Quad Cities. If I can depart work early Thursday that's the route I'm taking.
Any recomendations for restaurants along 24?
Like my dad (BE in IN) said, 24 is only two-lane until you hit Logansport now. From there on east to Ft. Wayne it's now all 4 lane. I concur with my father and I'd hop on 124 south of Wabash to avoid having to ride through downtown Ft. Wayne, to see some of the local color, and to avoid all the cops. Make sure that you're careful on 24 once it turns into 4-lane. The police love to pull people on that road, and it's really easy to crank it up with realizing it. Also, I usually see an Ohio cop everytime that I've picked up 30 right around the Ohio border. See you all there!
Originally Posted by Doug Grosjean
recomendations for restaurants along 24
Fort Wayne has "Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island," just known locally as "Coney Island." It has been in the same location, pretty much unchanged since it opened in 1915 (I think). They have without a doubt the best coney dogs on the planet. It is a little over a hundred miles from me and I often make it the destination for a lunch ride.
You may be correct in Indiana, I can't say for sure as the atlas I just looked in is dated 2001. Last time I was down US-24, to Wabash for a family reunion, was 2002-2003. US-24 was mostly 4-lane from Wabash to Fort Wayne, and a ways east, but at that time it wasn't 4-lane all the way to the Ohio border.
Originally Posted by YB in IN
When I looked at the 2001 atlas (admittedly perhaps outdated), it appears about 25-30% of US-24 across IN is 4-lane. That number is likely higher now, but I've no way of knowing how much higher.
However, US-24 is almost all still 2-lane in Ohio, at least it was yesterday. There's a section around Napoleon-Defiance that is 4-lane, but if you take OH-424 instead (it's simply the old US-24 before re-alignment), you will be on 2-lane from the Ohio-Indiana border all the way to just outside Toledo.
From Napoleon east, you can even ride the south side of the Maumee River instead, if you find more traffic than you'd like on US-24.
Eating along the way:
Defiance has Kissner's, a really neat bar-grill dating back at least to Prohibition IIRC.
Waterville has Koral Hamburg, which is a neat 40's era fast-food joint. Local BMW riders congregate there on Sunday mornings early.
Addys for both below:
524 Clinton St
Defiance, OH 43512
12 N 3rd St
Waterville, OH 43566
Also see my other post / thread about "Other stuff along the way". That's mostly stuff to see along US-24 in Ohio. Canal boat ride, gristmill / sawmill, locks, dams, Miami & Erie canal remains, and some "ghost" town sites if you know where to look. The "Other stuff" thread has a link to an article I wrote nearly 20 years ago on Maumee River ghost towns. Couple nesting bald eagles out near Florida, Ohio; east of Defiance. Ohio DNR has built a parking lot and viewing area for visitors.
Interesting if you're into that, dull if you're not. YMMV.