Monday, August 31, 2009
The Snowville Loop is a really nice, relatively short ride (25 miles). There are no notches, but there are a few short moderate climbs and also that famous "Asparagus Hill" which is a short, steep challenge! This should be an easier climb than it was in the early part of the season!! Fewer bugs, too!
The ride goes through Center Conway, South Conway, into part of Brownfield, ME, then to Snowville and Eaton, by Crystal Lake. A stop at the Eaton Store to buy lunch or snacks could be done (but don't use their toilet)...!). Probably best to eat lunch at the picnic tables along the lake in the woods near the Eaton Store or the tables at the beach - if they are still there! Best to use the porta-potty at the beach. Return by Route 153 and Stark Road.
The ride starts in Conway Village out of the public parking lot near the corner of routes 16 and 153, behind the Mountain Center Physical Therapy building and the Laconia Bank.
Be ready to ride at 9:00 am.
For a longer option, start at the public parking lot behind the Eastern Slope Inn to add 14 miles round trip (38 total) via West Side Road. Meet up with the rest of the riders at the parking area in Conway Village. Leave the parking lot at Eastern Slope no later than 8:15.
Tom and I are on the road again - we are riding the Petit Train du Nord Rail Trail north of Montreal. We will be back for the Thursday Ride on Sept 10th.
Have a great ride in the sunshine!!
For the map, try either of the following links:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It looks like Thursday is going to be a beautiful day for cycling, so let's do a repeat of the ride which set the high-attendance record earlier this season. There are a number of ride options in this area, and, if the weather forecast is correct, it looks like they all will catch a tailwind on the return leg back to the cars.
Starting place: The Peace With-Inn Bed and Breakfast. Catherine Kyle has once again offered us the big parking area there (parking area on the left side of the Inn). The Inn is 7 miles from North Conway: Take East Conway Road past Sherman Farms, bear left onto Route 113 North. At Webster's Country Store bear right to continue north on 113, and continue 1 mile north to the Peace With-Inn, on the left. Here is more info on the Peace With-Inn: http://www.peacewithinn.com/directions.htm
For a link to the interactive map at MapMyRide.com, please see the posting for the July 9, 2009 ride.
Total distance for the route from the Peace With-Inn to The Basin and return: 37 miles (relatively flat ones!)
Shorter options -- lots of possibilities here... here are some ideas for you:
Start at Peace With-Inn and ride to the Stow Store: 19 miles. Add the North Chatham loop for a total of 25 miles.
Start at the North Fryeburg Fire Station or the White Church at the corner of Fish St and Route 113, to The Basin and back: 26 miles (ride out to McNeil via Fish St and meet the rest of the riders out there on their way to The Basin).
Start at the Stow Store, meet the riders and go to The Basin: 18 miles
Ready to Ride at 9:00 am.
Carpool? Those form the Bartlett/Jackson area: Meet at Grant's Supermarket parking lot in Glen at 8:00 am
Bring a lunch and snacks to enjoy in The Basin
We hope to see you Thursday in the sunshine!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Again this week I am setting up a ride out of the valley. This is in an attempt to get us away from all the tourist traffic, and perhaps also to make all of US the tourists for a change so that we can go explore new terrain and see beautiful scenery!
Again, this is one of my most favorite rides! Farms, fields, horses, cows, mountain views, covered bridges, rivers, streams, villages, little white churches, closed papermills, etc. This ride has everything the region can offer.
The Lost Nation Loop starts in Whitefield at the town green with the gazebo in the center. We ride east towards Jefferson on route 116, then North Road through Grange and Lost Nation to Groveton. We then ride about 2.5 miles down Route 3 (wide shoulder) to Northumberland and cross the CT River into Guildhall, VT. We ride the VT side of the CT River on Route 102 then cross the Mt. Orne Covered Bridge just south of Lancaster. We ride almost to Dalton along the NH side of the CT River and then take route 142 back to Whitefield.
I know that it is more driving than we typically do, and more miles biking than we typically do, but I think this ride is worth it!!! Bring a camera and bring plenty to eat and drink, as there are not many places to get supplies until we reach Groveton. We will eat lunch at the park at the Groveton Covered Bridge.
For the map try either of these links:Start time: 9:00 am, ready to ride
Carpooling: If you want to carpool, meet at the Attitash parking lot at 7:50 am
Directions to Whitefield: Route 302 through Crawford Notch to the light at Twin Mountain four corners. Take a right onto Route 3 and follow it to the center of Whitefield, a tiny town green with gazebo.
Parking in Whitefield: There is parking around the town green in the center of Whitefield (intersection of routes 3, 116, 142) and behind the bank which is across the street from the green in the center of town. Wherever you park, meet the riders on the town green at 9:00 am. Allow at least one hour drive time.
Options? Unfortunately, there are no really good shorter options here. Do the whole loop for the ultimate experience!
Difficulty? No notches. No Asparagus Hills. A bit harder than last week's ride from Bethel to Andover. There are some good rolling hills. The toughest climb (probably not even a quarter mile long) is not far out of Whitefield, so it is at the beginning of the ride when we have more energy to get it over with.History: Lost Nation seems to always be associated with The Republic of Indian Stream, (perhaps because of the book written about this interesting region of NH?). The place called Lost Nation, where we will ride (don't blink or you may miss it...), is not geographically contained within The Republic of Indian Stream, so I am curious as to how they are historically related. Can anyone help with this history?
Information about the Republic of Indian Stream: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Indian_Stream
About the novel, Lost Nation, by Jeffrey Lent: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Nation-Jeffrey-Lent/dp/0871138433
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The traffic in the valley these August days is really heavy, and any local ride I have done lately has been sharing the road with a continual line of traffic. I think that until Labor Day is over, I will be setting up Thursday rides that are out of this valley in as quiet a place as possible for our enjoyment and safety!
The ride I would like to do on Thursday is a new one to ThursdayBike but is one of my favorite rides. Do you like the North Road to Bethel Ride? This is an extension of it!
We routinely ride North Road about 20 miles from Gorham to Bethel then eat our lunch at the park on the river. Less than 0.1 mile from the park, Intervale Road heads north along the east side of the Androscoggin River all the way to West Rumford. (Carters XC Ski area is on this road). It is quiet because all of the car and truck traffic stays on Route 2, which is on the west side of the river. From West Rumford, the route crosses the Androscoggin and Route 2 and continues to head North to Andover following the Ellis River Valley.
Andover has a couple of good lunch spots and a nice shady town green with picnic tables, so either bring a lunch or buy one there. The weather forecast looks great, so the views should be excellent, and a tailwind all the way home...
Total distance: 49 miles (No notches! Not hard! You can do it!)
Shorter options: (but, I really want you to do all of it!) To the Lovejoy Covered Bridge (Maine's shortest covered bridge) in South Andover (No lunch!) 40 miles. To The Androscoggin River in West Rumford (No Lunch!) 25 miles.
Starting Time: 9:30 am Ready To Ride from the riverside park at the end of the bike path in Bethel on Route 26 (our usual lunch stop with picnic tables, porta-potties and playground).
Parking: There are not a lot of parking spaces at the riverside park! If the lot is full, you can park along Main Street in Bethel, also there is parking near the convenience store/DunkinDonuts on Route 2 right at where the bike path crosses the river on its own bridge. I also noticed parking spaces on the right side of Lincoln Road which is a right turn off of Parkway Road (runs parallel to the bikepath). Wherever you park, just ride your bike down to meet the riders at the park at 9:30 am.
Carpool: Meet at Grant's parking lot in Glen at 8:10 am
Driving to Bethel: There is a lot of construction on Route 2 from Gilead to Bethel - lots of delays and one way traffic. Best plan to drive Route 2, past the junction with Route 113 (Evans Notch), continuing on Route 2 about 0.3 mile and take a left turn (Bridge Street) to cross the Androscoggin on the Gilead iron bridge. Take a right onto North Road and continue in peace and quiet to Bethel. Take a right at the end onto Route 2, then next left at the blinking light onto Parkway Road that leads to the riverside park on route 26.
To see a map of the ride click either the link or the button below ( I will bring printed maps for you):
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This scenic ride starts on Mt. Clinton Road, across Route 302 from the Highland Center at the top of Crawford Notch. Although Mt. Clinton Road is overdue for some paving, just take a relaxed, slow, morning ride picking your way around the potholes. It is a wonderful quiet ride in the cool shade through the woods for 4 miles. Fly down Base Road behind the Mt. Washington Hotel, then turn right on Route 302 towards Twin Mountain. Check out the Ammonoosuc Upper Falls on the left (there is a kiosk there) just at the point where you spot the roof of the hotel in the distance. Turn right on Route 302 and continue past Fabyan's and straight through the lights at the Twin Mountain 4-corners to Trudeau Road at the "Crossroads of America" building. After a gradual climb on Trudeau Rd, take a left onto Route 3 and ride a gradual downhill back to the Twin Mountain 4-corners. Back onto route 302, ride a few miles to the Zealand parking area on the left. The dirt road at the end of the parking lot (a short walk or dirt ride) leads to the Lower Ammonoosuc Falls which is a good spot to have lunch. Continuing up the dirt road for a very short distance leads to pavement again and back to Route 302 for the classic ride by the Mt Washington Hotel and the Presidential Range. The Crawford Notch climb from this direction is not long or too hard, especially if we get a tailwind!!
Start time: 9:00 am, ready to ride
Start place: Parking area on Mt Clinton Road, right near the intersection with route 302. (Take a left into the lot just after turning right onto Mt Clinton Rd from route 302.) This is a Forest Service parking lot - you need a parking pass to park here. If you do not have one, park at the lot located at the top of Crawford Notch, on the left side, just after you pass though the notch. It is a hiker/climber parking area, right next to the railroad tracks. Park there and then ride over to meet everyone at the Mt. Clinton Road parking area (about 1/2 mile).
Total Distance: 34 miles
Lotsa' options....here are a few possibilities...
Shorter version: Cut out 11 miles if you turn back at the Twin Mountain 4-corners.
Another shorter version: Cut out 5 miles if you start on Route 302 and don't do the Mt Clinton/Base Road section.
Longer version, with bragging rights: Start from home, Attitash, Bartlett, 4th Iron or Willey House and climb Crawford Notch to the starting point.
Flat version (very scenic, but fewer calories burned...): Start at the Eisenhower State Park parking area (sledding hill in the winter) on the right side of Route 302, about a mile after Mt. Clinton Road. Ride Route 302 to the gas station/Fabyans area near the Base Road /302 intersection and wait for the riders coming down Base Road to meet you there. You could start from here about 9:20 or so and probably have not too long a wait.
Carpool? If you wish to carpool, meet at the Grant's parking lot 8:15am.
Here is a map: