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MSTA FlyBy Week- Marietta, Ohio, August 19-25, sponsored by Thunder Roads Ohio

By Norm Kern

Marietta is located on the Ohio river in the southeast corner of Ohio, where the Appalachian mountain region begins. The surrounding area is filled with rolling terrain and the roads are a nice mix of turns and elevation changes. Just across the river is West Virginia, with its own collection of great roads.

FlyBy Week– Motorcycle Sport Touring Association’s (MSTA) largest regional rally comes to Marietta, offering a full-week celebration of sport touring. Like other MSTA events, FlyBy Week is a riding rally; expect the parking lot to be empty during the day, as attendees will all be out riding the twisty roads of the region. Evenings are filled with good food and drink with plenty of socializing. Once again, we’ll be at Baymont Inn & Suites (formerly Best Western Marietta)
701 Pike Street, Marietta, Ohio 45750

When to go
FlyBy Week begins on Monday, August 19th, and runs through Sunday, August 25. With over twenty official routes to choose from, you can ride a different route every day and still not do half of them in the entire week.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t attend for the full week. The FlyBy started over 20 years ago as a weekend-only event, where many left after work on Friday, made a dash for Marietta so they could arrive that evening, ride on Saturday, and go home Sunday.

Over the years, those who had a bit more time began arriving on Thursday. Being able to ride rally routes both Friday and Saturday doubles your riding opportunities at the rally, making the trip even more worthwhile.

Last year we decided to make the FlyBy into a full week’s event and it’s been very well-received. Most attendees still arrive on Thursday or Friday, but those who have time to relax and explore the area come early and enjoy a unique small-rally experience.

FlyBy Week activities
Every day is a riding day, but there are no large organized group rides at FlyBy Week. You can choose one of the official routes, create your own, go sightseeing or whatever strikes your fancy. Ride solo, with friends in small groups or sign up with one of the open groups if you are looking for someone to ride with.

Monday through Thursday Dinner Tours include transportation to nice restaurants in downtown Marietta. In addition to fine dining, this is one of the best opportunities to make friends and get to know MSTA members in an informal small rally atmosphere. Sign up sheets are available at registration.

Thursday is the first big day of FlyBy Week. Lots of riders arrive throughout the afternoon and into the evening- more folks to meet, bikes to look at and new people to ride with. The “Outdoor Lounge” opens, with tables and chairs under pop-up shelters. It’s located behind the West end of the hotel and becomes the social focus of the rally.

Friday, the traditional Brat Burn cookout starts around 6 PM at the outdoor lounge so everyone can enjoy a casual picnic-style dinner together and socialize. The grills will be kept going until at least 8 PM so if you arrive late, you’ll still get a bite to eat.

Saturday is the biggest riding day, so even if you only came for the weekend, you’ll have a great day of riding with lots of fun folks. Since many attendees only get to ride one day, they want to take advantage and ride one of the longer routes. Once again, we’ll have the Brat Burn, but if you want something more, the hotel has a full-service bar and restaurant and there are several others just down the street.

Official Routes
The centerpiece of any sport-touring rally is the collection of official routes. FlyBy Week has one of the best anywhere- more than twenty routes with over four thousand miles of riding. With so many to choose from, how do you decide? It’s simple- just use the EZ Route Selector at flybyweek.com.

 Routes fall into several categories-
          Destination routes include parks such as Holly River State Park in WV, New River Bridge and Gorge, and popular lunch spots like Hillbilly Hotdogs.       

          Twisty & Technical routes have sharp curves, elevation changes and are best for sport and sport touring bikes.

          Touring Bike-Friendly routes are easier and straighter.

          Easy Navigation routes have fewer instructions and are easy to follow from a paper printout.

          Adventure routes utilize mostly dirt and gravel roads. They do not contain any single-track, steep or extremely rough roads- most have been graded this season and are suitable for all dual-sport and adventure bikes regardless of size or tire selection.

          Short routes of less than 100 miles- new for 2019!

Each route has a complete description that includes a map, distance, navigation difficulty, lunch stop and highlights. There are links for downloading both paper map and GPS files.  

Help is always available at registration for printing routes or loading your GPS.

Finding someone to ride with
If you are looking for someone to ride with, we will have sign-up sheets for each day so you can choose a group based on desired riding style etc.

Registration Fee: $20 for all attendees, both MSTA members and non-members, and includes the Friday and Saturday Brat Burn.

For online registration plus full hotel and camping information, go to http://flybyweek.com/

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