Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't Yank the Crank!

Thursday, August 26

Bethel to Bryant Pond, Maine

Looks like the weather will be fine for the Thursday Ride!!

This ride will take us from Bethel to Bryant Pond, ME, the site of last hand-cranked telephone exchange in the USA. This little town is also famous for a 3-story outhouse. It also has a nice bakery and a convenience store, outdoor dining near the telephone monument and a lakeside dining option also.

And, there's more!!!

The ride is nice and quiet, along the Androscoggin River, fields, farms and forest plus shore side riding on North Lake in Locke Mills. No big hills! This will be a welcome relief from the traffic and noise around the Mt. Washington Valley this week in the height of tourist season.

If you have done the ride to Andover, this ride shares the first 12 miles with that route following Intervale Road to the south and east of the Androscoggin River. Where we typically turn left at Rumford Corner to cross the iron bridge over the river, this route to Bryant Pond takes a right. At Bryant Pond we will stop for snacks (great bakery) and/or lunch. The return is by North Pond in Locke Mills, then winds back via East Bethel Road, a nice back road complete with interesting sculptures...

The ride will start at 9:30 am at the Bethel town park on the Androscoggin River at the intersection of the bike path and Route 26 (where we typically eat lunch on the North Road Ride). Drive to Bethel via Route 2, and about 0.5 mile past the brand new bridge over the Wild River (Rt 113 intersection, Evans Notch area) take a left onto Bridge Street. The construction after this point on Route 2 probably makes it a good idea to turn left on Bridge Street to drive on North Road the rest of the way into Bethel. When you get to the end of North Road, take a right on route 2, then a left at the light and drive about 0.5 mile to the park, on the left at the stop sign.

Ride distance is 40 miles.

Ready to ride at 9:30 am!!

If you want carpool, meet at the Jackson Ski Touring/Wentworth Golf Club parking area across the street from the J-Town Deli at 8:20 am. Otherwise, see you in Bethel! See map link below...

Here is some info on Bryant Pond:

"Bryant Pond achieved some national fame and media attention beginning in the mid-1970s when its family-owned Bryant Pond Telephone Company became the last hand-crank telephone exchange in operation in the United States. When in 1981 the local company, operating from a two-position magneto switchboard in the living room of owners Barbara and Elden Hathaway, was purchased by the Oxford County Telephone & Telegraph Company, a nearby larger independent company. A movement called "Don't Yank The Crank" was organized by David Perham and Brad Hooper in a valiant but futile effort to keep their beloved crank phones. The effort was not ultimately successful, and the last "crank" calls took place on 11 October 1983, when a modern dial exchange was placed in service."

Here is a map of the ride:

View Interactive Map on

Waiting for weather forecasts

Thursday, August 27th

I have some new rides and some old favorite "away" rides that I am itching to do. I want to look at the weather forecast this evening to get the latest on where the clearest weather will be. Looks like there is some chance of rain in Maine and some chance of thundershowers in NH. By later today I will trust the forecasts and will make a plan! Tune in later.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crank Some More Crawford

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet in the Attitash parking lot, ready to ride at 9:00. We will ride up Route 302 towards Crawford Notch as far as you want to go, with a regroup/lunch/ice cream stop at the Wiley House. About 30 miles round trip to the notch, or less as you please.

Of interest tomorrow, Cycle America's Coast-to-Coast tour will be riding down the notch, on their way from Littleton to Fryeburg. Among a larger group, there should be about 40 riders who have pedaled 4,000 miles from Seattle during the last 9 weeks. They'll likely be savoring the last big downhill cruise on this journey, but you might enjoy talking to some of these folks at the tour's picnic lunch stop, which will be sharing the Attitash parking lot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snowville Loop with New Pavement

Thursday, August 12

The word is out that there is new pavement on Brownfield Road - that downhill section that goes over the Maine border to Hampshire Street!
This is good news for us bikers - this should now be an enjoyable cruise downhill instead of an obstacle course around the cracks, heaves, rock gardens and potholes!

To avoid the construction project and the traffic in Conway Village, let's meet at the park next to the police station on East Conway Road. The park entrance is on the right, just after the police station. Drive down the entrance road to the parking and picnic area on the river. The ride goes out Route 302 (careful in the construction area on the 302 bridge - take the lane - there is not enough room for a bike and a car to travel together in the lane!), takes a right onto Mill Street to ride by the beach on Conway Lake, up Brownfield Road to Hampshire, and up the famous Asparagus Hill. The reward is then a great ride to Crystal Lake. Return by Route 153 to Stark Road, then back to the park off of East Conway Road -- picnic time on the river??

Distance = 25 miles

Ready to Ride at 8:30 am!

Here is a map:

View Interactive Map on

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weather will keep us close to home

Thursday August 5th

It looks like we will be getting a cold front coming through tomorrow with a good chance of rain with thundershowers. The timing varies depending on the weather forecast (making ride planning frustrating....again...).

I think we may be able to get a short ride in before it hits. So, let's do the old standby ride for these iffy forecasts. Let's just do the standard West Side Road/Passaconaway/Kanc. It is an out and back, so if weather threatens, we can turn around at any point and have an easy ride back to the car. The tourist traffic is not too bad on this route.

Meet at the public parking lot behind the Eastern Slope Inn and be ready to ride at 8:30 am. It could be raining when you get up in the morning, so rain will cancel the ride. It could be just warm and sticky-humid and we might be able to get in some miles. We'll see!!!