Emmet's lunch ride - AKA Columbia North Loop + ADD NEW ROUTE
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State HWY63 North from Columbia, Mo
West (L) on State HWY124
East (L) on State HWY240
East (L) on State HWY40
(Exit) on I-70 East back to Columbia, Mo
State HWY63 North from Columbia, Mo to State HWY124 (~12mi): This super-slab divided 4-lane highway can be very fast, but quickly releases you into the famous lush rolling hills of Missouri. There's a gas-stop north of town, you should consider stopping if you're low on fuel, or need a bathroom. Next fuel is almost 20 miles (Fayette) further along this route. Just past the fuel, you'll find Finger Lakes State Park. You should explore that when you have time. This leg terminates at HWY 124 (W), very near Pinnacles Park. Huers Cafe is there as well...a great little greasy spoon.
State HWY124 (W) from ST HWY63 to Harrisburg, Mo (~12mi):
This leg is well-kept blacktop (fresh in 2012) that winds its way through heavily wooded areas. Careful of that pair of "S" turns. No biggie, but the inexperienced should obey the speed limit through there. This leg makes the whole ride for many people. While you can head back south on State Route E (more winding fun), I suggest going on into Harrisburg. You can always grab some BBQ there. Don't worry, you can't miss the spot.
State HWY124 (W) from Harrisburg to Fayette, Mo (~13mi):
This stretch of pavement is also fresh in 2012, and forest has given way to open fields and, not far out of town, you'll cross over the Moniteau River. It's not much of a river really, but marks your entry into Howard County. After another set of lovely "S" turns you'll have a chance to open it up on some straight open stretches. Enjoy the nice set of hills! Before you know it, you're just outside of Fayette. Go on into town - you'll find Emmet's there on the square. My hats off to the chef.
State HWY240(E) & State HWY40 from Fayette to Columbia, Mo (~22mi): Take it easy on this high quality asphalt. Just follow the signs back to Columbia and relax. You'll see Agriculture along the way. Do be careful of our friends working in the field. Those tractors could be around any corner! There's a good mix of straight streches, hills, and corners along this route. Even a novice will not have to fall below the speed limit to negotiate this leg. Once on 40, you'll quickly cross back over the Moniteau River (now looking more like a river) into Boone County. A more dramatic bottom land only a few miles from the MIssouri River. You can always pop through Rocheport if you wish. Can you find the old train tunnel through the bluff on the south side of town?
Enjoy, and be safe!
This entire ride is either super-slab in great condition, or roads freshly paved in 2011-2012. A real delight.
These items were covered in the scenery portion. There is pleny to explore along the way and it's easy to turn this ride into a whole day event.
I ride this route every day to and from work in Columbia. I hope you like it as much as I do.
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