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a nice place for a motorcycle ride-in anytime

Next rides: tentatively, Sunday, June 10, 2006
and Sunday, September 9, 2006

Page last updated Tues, Sept. 16, 2005.

Meeting place: FastLane Classic Cars in St. Charles; all types of bikes are welcome.
Leave time:  9:30am sharp.
Early arrivals often eat breakfast at the Waffle House, next door.

...The Route for this ride is likely to be...
Fast Lane to 370, to 70, to Hwy 79N,
Stop at the station at the intersection of Hwy's 79 and 47, just south of Winfield.
Take Hwy 47W to Rt W, go north on W to Clarksville.
At Clarksville turn north on Hwy 79.
Stop at the Shell Station at the Mississippi Bridge area
(not the Shell on west, entering town)
Follow Hwy 79 into Hannibal.
Down the 'big hill,' across the viaduct, turn right one block to Historic Main.
Park on Historic Main, 2 blocks north of the one street light.
Eat at Breadeaux Pizza buffet
(optional, sandwiches at National Bar or homestyle cooking at Old Planters)

The Annual Rides of Fast Bikes from St. Louis to Hannibal, are just two of the many bike rides of the St. Louis group. 

Photo album links are at the bottom of this page.


Ride-in on scenic roads and join us in Historic Hannibal on the Mississippi River front for a couple of hours in June and September before returning home.

Missouri Scenic Highway 79 from Louisiana to Hannibal has numerous turnouts and overlooks.



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General Ride Information---

....'St. Louis Fast Bikes' will group up at 'Fast Lane Classic Cars' between 9:00-9:30am Sunday, June 26, 2005 and Sunday, September 11, 2005.  The plan is to leave at 9:30am sharp so be there on time.  If you miss the group start,  you can catch up with us at the Shell Station on the south edge of Louisiana, as the Shell at the Bridge in Louisiana burned during the summer of 2005 and is being rebuilt.  Otherwise meet the group on Historic Main Street in Hannibal.  They will be eating at the
Breadeaux Pizza buffet.

...The Route for this ride is likely to be...
Fast Lane to 370, to 70, to Hwy 79N,
Stop at the station at the intersection of Hwy's 79 and 47, just south of Winfield.
Take Hwy 47W to Rt W, go north on W to Clarksville.
At Clarksville turn north on Hwy 79.
Stop at the Shell Station at the Mississippi Bridge area
(not the Shell on west, entering town)
Follow Hwy 79 into Hannibal.
Down the 'big hill,' across the viaduct, turn right one block to Historic Main.
Park on Historic Main, 2 blocks north of the one street light.
Eat at Breadeaux Pizza buffet
(optional, sandwiches at National Bar or homestyle cooking at Old Planters)

.... "Fast Lane Classic Cars' is at 1427 Little Hills Blvd, St. Charles. MO 63301 is on the NW side of the I370 and Hwy 94 intersection. The exact location can be run up on one of the map sites. 

The route plan for this ride has always been to take MO Scenic Hwy 79 along the Mississippi River into Hannibal. The return is generally back on 79 but crossing at the Louisiana bridge into Illinois is always an option.  Of course individual routes can be utilized. As an example MO St Hwy W paralleling Hwy 79 to the west, is a great country road. Route/road maps can be copied from numerous map sites including: 


...A VERY STRONG SUGGESTION:  From Louisiana to Hannibal there is a stretch of about 33 miles of road with many curves and several long open stretches.  I sincerely suggest you ride this section well within your means, especially if this is the first time on the road.  There are several curves/sections that can easily fool a rider into entering them much too fast or unprepared.  A couple have reverse throws to the outside, a couple are in the 200+ degree range and feel like they just keep going.  Several are very tight, small corners.  Many are blind corners, so be on the lookout for drivers.  Wildlife can be an issue at times.  Generally there is no loose gravel on the surface, but there can be scattered small rocks kicked up from the side.  Also be careful of high lean angles across painted lines as they can cause skidding and high siding when at the extreme limits.  Many riders in this group have track time and race level experience, but many of us do not and just need to be very cautious until we know this 33 miles which is some of the best riding in the area.  I repeat, ride well within your means, do not press anyone.  Do not try to keep up with someone over the ability of your bike or experience.  This route is extremely fun to ride but can be very dangerous, so be safe and enjoy it for yourself.

….Hannibal is the birthplace of Mark Twain, so the historic district will be open on Saturday and Sunday, which includes the Home and Museums, now charging for tours. Hwy 79 takes you directly to the river front/historic area. The Historic area, on the river front, is fairly basic and not fancy, but has a great deal of history as Hannibal was a major river port into the pioneer west during the 1840-60’s. The first rails across the state were out of Hannibal in the late 1850's/early 1860's.

...There are a few normal and nice tourist/antique/gift shops with several  informal, non-fast food eating places.  Prices in the shops and eating places generally are very fair by today’s standards. 

The group will lunch on their own at the various places to eat on Historic Main Street.  The Breadeaux Pizza has a 11am-1pm daily buffet for about $5.50 and a normal menu. The National Bar and Lounge is open on Sunday's. They serve typical deep fried foods, but have a reputation for good food. A large number of riders at a time will overwhelm their cook, so that can be slow going.  The Jumping Frog Cafe is in a building by the stop lights, and may or may not be open.  Bubba's, a catfish, barb'q, cajun place is in the old grocery warehouse near the boat landing/marina.  There are two ice cream places near the Mark Twain home, one in the Antique Mall and the other being the Mark Twain Book Store and Ice Cream ParlorOld Planter's Restaurant is also on Main near the Mark Twain Home and serves a good family type of plate lunch and other dishes/sandwiche. The Mark Twain Dinette, a basic menu restaurant is up the hill from the Home.  Lula Bell's is a more high dollar meal in an old bordello near the river, just off Main. Subway is one block to the west. The Java Jive is an excellent coffee shop on Main near the new museum, joined with a local pottery, one of the best I have seen.  Personally I like the meals at Old Planter's.

...For those that like old restored villages and crafts. Clarksville has done some major things the past few years. Nothing like Old St. Charles but the population to the north is never going to support a very significant numbers of shops/businesses. There is also a move in Louisiana to restore and save some of the historic Main buildings. The project is advertised as 50 miles of arts and crafts, to include Hannibal downriver at this time.

Historical Hannibal, Missouri, Mississippi River Port, the Boyhood Home of Sam Clemens

Mark Twain's last visit to his boyhood home was just after 1900. He lived in Hannibal at the time, 1840's+, when it was becoming a functional river port for steamers and the movement into the west. Today Twain's boyhood home has been totally restored to accept the yearly visits of the thousands that come from all over the world each year to get a first hand feel for the childhood area that so influenced Twain's life and writings.  You can walk the very streets, paths, hills, caves, buildings of Tom, Becky, Huck, Injun Joe, etc.  Self guided tours of the museums, home, area can be purchased at the Museum behind the Home, at the very north end of Main St.  This includes a the New Museum three blocks to the south on Main.  Camera's are welcome; it is a great place for digitals.


the Gathering Point for many FastBike planned rides is
"Fast Lane Classic Cars" near the 370/94 Intersection at 9:00-9:30am on Sunday"

... "Fast Lane Classic Cars" is at 1427 Little Hills Blvd, St. Charles. MO 63301, on the NW side of the I-370 and Hwy-94 Intersection. The exact location can be run up on one of the map sites. 

Highway 79 out of St. Peters, north toward Hannibal.

Just south of Winfield, go west and catch "W" north.
Hwy W parallels Hwy 79 and rejoining at Clarksville and is a great country road.


Louisiana Shell Station, always a re-grouping point,
burned down early summer of 2005 and is being rebuilt,
thus the stop will be at the Shell Station on the south edge as one enters town.

(note: since the Bridge Shell is being rebuilt, the info will remain on the web page for the rides of 2006)

The Shell station is on the west end of the Louisiana, MO bridge across the Mississippi River, and is a good point to re-group both on the way north and the return trip south, as the river will/can be crossed and Hwy 96 taken down the Illinois side, catching Hwy 100 or another route back into the Alton/St.L area.  There is also a River ferry that can be taken back into Missouri.  The Cafe at Atlas is a nice old fashioned country eating spot with "real" food.  Pleasant Hill, 10+ miles south of Atlas on Hwy 96 also has a popular small town cafe on the east side of the road, sitting right under the hill/cliff edge.


Entering Hannibal on Highway 79

...You will come by the "Cave Hollow" road to "the Cave."  This is the same cave explored by Sam Clemens (Twain) and nearly all of the village youth and residence until commercialized.  Riding just over the large hill and you will be entering the original part of Hannibal.  The entrance to Lover's Leap will be to the east about midway down the north side of the hill.  Lover's Leap has a major view of the Mississippi River Valley and Hannibal.  One of the best views on the entire Mississippi. 

...Continue into Old Town on Hwy 79.  You will go over a via-duct. Turn to the right or east, either immediately at the end of the via-duct or at the first stop light. Go one block to the east to Historic Main Street, then left or north for a couple of blocks.  We will attempt to park as a group on the north side of the only stop light on Main Street.  If you come in late, and we are not on Historic Main, we will attempt to cluster the bikes within view of Main.
...The area along Hwy 61 on the west side, is the present "New Hannibal."  However, the area to the west on Hwy 36 will become modern Hannibal as the town is by-passed several miles to the west by Hwy 61 in the next few years.



Use the Hannibal Courier Post for information 

There is no significant localized shopping area in Hannibal.   "Wally Town, the Company Store," is across from the Schools on Hwy 61, plus there are a few other stores/shops scattered around town and long Hwy 61.  Quincy, Ill, 20 miles up the Mississippi River is a significant shopping area.  Historic Main, however has some very nice shops.

Hannibal Riverboat
Center Street Landing
If you want to see what inspired Mark Twain's fascination with the Mississippi, take a cruise on the riverboat that bares his name. The boat offers three different cruises. There is a sightseeing cruise that is an hour long, a two-hour dinner cruise and a two-hour jazz cruise. Call for available cruises, reservations are required for the dinner and jazz cruises. Prices: One hour cruise $9.00 Adults, $6.00 Children. Dinner Cruise $25.95 Adults, $17.95 Children (ages 3-12)

The Hannibal Trolley Co.
220 North Main St.
Explore Hannibal without worrying about traffic or getting lost. The Hannibal Trolley Co. offers a 14 mile, one-hour narrated tour of historic Hannibal. Trolley stops at Mark Twain Cave, Rockcliffe Mansion, the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sawyers Creek Fun Park, and Historic Downtown Hannibal. Prices: Adults $6.50, Seniors $6.00, Children (5-12) $4.00.

Twainland Express, Inc.
400 North 3rd
Tour Hannibal aboard a train-looking trolley that will take you past most all of the town's attractions. Offers two tour choices, one 14 mile tour and a shorter 8 mile tour. Stops at the main depot at 400 N. 3rd, 301 N. Main St. and at the Mark Twain Cave. Prices: Adults $7.10, Seniors $6.85, Children 5-16 $5.10.

Historic Hannibal 

The Tom and Huck Statue sits at the base of Cardiff Hill at the north end of Historic Main Street in Hannibal, Missouri, as a tribute to the writings of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), and as a memorial to all of the youth of the world.

Tom and Huck took their log raft across the Mississippi from the tiny River village of Hannibal to Jackson's Island on the left of the picture.  Hannibal being in the Valley to the right and just off the picture.  Cave Hollow with "the Cave" is in the left-center of the picture about 2 miles downstream.  Lover's Leap is the point of the hill on the right of the panorama. 

Jackson's Island one of the "lairs" of Tom and Huck is right off the point of Love's Leap.  The Mississippi Valley in natural times would have been ten miles of prime bottom wetland prairie with sloughs and streams.  

Viewed from Lover's Leap, Historic Hannibal is the area below the light house, with Old Hannibal to the left.  The original Mark Twain Bridge built in the mid 1930's is now gone replaced by a new bridge seen in the valley to the north.

The view from the river boat port it directly up historic Hill Street with the Tom and Becky's homes just over the top of the sign.  The Historic District is just a few blocks right along the River.

View from the north point of Riverview Park on the north edge of Hannibal, with Quincy, Illinois twenty miles away just over the barge in the center of the picture.   Bear Island is in view on the right side. On the extreme left of the picture was a secondary main channel in the 'natural' days of the river, called Bay de Charles.  In 1680 Marquette is thought to have landed a few hundred yards up the 'Bay.'  When there was no Hannibal or Quincy, in 1790+/- there was a little settlement of 6-10+ cabins and structures about a mile to the upper left of the picture on Clear Creek.  These adventures were working the salt lick about ten miles to the SW.  After boiling down the marshy salty water and producing a type of solid salt material, they were transporting the salt by horse and oxen to the settlement of cabins at where Clear Creek entered the Bay, loading the Salt on flatboats and/or dugout canoes and making the long many day journey downriver to the landing at the frontier village of St. Louis.  The area around Hannibal due to its location above St. Louis and St. Charles and being on the river front has a long pioneer history.  In the mid 1800's, several Hannibal men became very rich finding out they could bring Minnesota and Wisconsin pine timber down the Mississippi in huge rafts.  Thus major early sawmills and lumber yards formed.  Coupled with the first rails west across the state in the mid 1800's, Hannibal became very prosperous for a few decades as it was a major shipping port for lumber, metal, products to the western frontier.  By the late 1800's, the boom was over and a slow study decline of importance and prosperity started until the village tumbled into a  lower economic community of the late 1900's, early 2000 times, however to offset the dysfunctions,  the community has a wealth of very nice, talented people as represented by they yearly crop of 8th grade 'Tom's and Becky's.'

Returning to the St. Louis is generally back down 79 but an alternative might be through the Alton Area on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, crossing at Louisiana.

Taking Hwy 96 into Hwy 100 is the quickest ride back on the Illinois side. Hwy 2 down the river is a very "country" ride and one can cut back onto Hwy 100 in a couple of places (refer to a map site for better maps).  Hwy 100 north of Alton, running along the Mississippi is one of the most scenic in the Midwest.


The 2006 FastBikes Ride-In's to Hannibal 
may be held on similar corresponding Sunday's




Hannibal Ride and other FastBikes Albums Uploaded to date:

Hannibal Ride, May 2002
Hannibal Ride, September 2002
Pere Marquette Family Gathering May 2003
Pro Star Drags at Gateway, May 2003
Hannibal Ride, June 2003, the gathering.
Hannibal Ride, June 2003, regrouping on the way.
Hannibal Ride, June 2003, on Historic Main Street
Run-up Route 66, June 2003
Hannibal Ride Sept 2003, gathering at FastLane
Hannibal Ride Sept 2003, gas stop at Louisiana
Hannibal Ride Sept 2003, on Historic Main Street
Hannibal Ride Sept 2003, return stop at Louisiana.
Hannibal Ride, Sept 2003 Cycle Close-up.
Herman Ride, Sept. 13, 2003

Louisiana, Missouri Bike Show, October 2003
(not a St.L. FastBikes ride, but has possibilities for 2004)
Hannibal Ride, Sept. 2004
Hannibal Ride, June 2005

Hannibal Ride, Sept 2005

Sony has gone the money route and requires membership to download larger picture sizes.
I will likely stop using Sony or uploading any longer after this series.
Email me the number of any picture you would like in a larger file size.




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