Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The North Road Ride 10:00 am

Thursday, June 30, 2011

With the upcoming 4th of July weekend, the traffic in the valley has been increasing. The North Road is always a good place to get a calmer, quieter place to ride.

Start at the intersection of North Road and Hogan Road, on the north side of the Androscoggin River, ready to ride at 10:00 am.

To get to this point, drive north over Pinkham Notch on Route 16. Turn right at the intersection with route 2 in Gorham. Drive about 3 miles, and turn left onto North Road, just after a beautiful stone house and barn. Cross the river at the dam, and proceed about 1/4 mile to where North Road bears sharply right. Hogan Road, a dirt road with access to several trail heads, comes in from the left, and there is a dirt parking area there. (Those of you from the Fryeburg area probably do best by driving up and over Evans Notch).

The entire ride on North Road to the picnic area alongside the river in Bethel, and back, is 39 miles. The ride is not difficult - it has a mix of flat sections, rolling hills, a few short granny gear climbs, lots of farm and mountain scenery and occasional views of the river. Near the end, just before reaching Route 2/Route 5, there is a bike path that turns right at a red fire hydrant and goes behind the water slide park. The path goes for 1.1 miles, ending at a nice riverside picnic spot (and porta-potty).
Although there are many options for food in Bethel, it easiest to bring your own lunch.

Shorter Options:

Option 1. For the best shorter option, do the eastern (Bethel) portion of North Road. This starts at the Gilead bridge at a parking area for boaters. This option allows you to meet up with everyone and have lunch together at the riverside park. This is a 20 mile option.

Drive to the Gilead steel trestle bridge (Bridge Street) via Route 2 (look for it on the left soon after the intersection with the road that goes over Evans Notch - after the new Route 2 bridge), park at the canoe parking area on the southwest side of the bridge, ride across the bridge and join the riders there as they ride by on North Road at about 10:45.
You could also drive from the Hogan Road parking area 9.3 miles down North Road where you will come to an intersection with the bridge on your right. Starting at the bridge and riding to Bethel will give you a 20 mile round trip. To lengthen this a bit, start earlier, cross the bridge, turn left and ride until you meet the riders coming from Hogan Road. Turn and join in with the group!

Option 2:

If you wish to start at the Hogan Road parking area, you can ride out with the group and turn back when you've had enough:

To Shelburne and back is 10.2 miles round trip
To the Gilead steel trestle bridge is 18.6 miles round trip

CARPOOLING: To carpool, meet in Jackson at the golf course parking lot across from the J-Town Deli at 9:00 if you can either take a bike or two in/on your car, or if you would like to join a carpool.

For a map you can play with, click on:

If you cannot get this link to work, go to and search for the ride called: "North Road to Bethel". All my rides on this site are listed under "marianneb".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ride Cancelled due to Rainy Forecast

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

After a perfect day last Thursday, the weather returns to the clouds and rain for tomorrow. It seems like we would get wet at some point during the ride -- enough of that!!

Next week will hopefully be OK!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Franconia Notch Bike Path and Old Man Memorial

Thursday, June 16

Ready to Ride at 10:00 am

The weather forecast for Thursday looks good (we probably won't get wet this week!!) so lets do an "away" ride over the hill to Lincoln and Franconia Notch. The Old Man of the Mountain Memorial was dedicated on Sunday, so let's check that out too:

Traditionally, there has been a gathering at the Woodstock Inn for food and drink after the ride. If you have a Public Radio or NHPTV member card, the Woodstock Inn has a 2-for-1 deal if you bring your card.

The bike path is wonderful - a paved path though the woods, great views, interesting stops along the way (view of where the Old Man used-to-be, the new memorial, The Basin, The New England Ski Museum (free), climbers on the sheer cliffs, the lakes, the notch, Cannon Mt.).

For the longer ride (approximately 32 miles), start out of the Loon Ski Area parking lot, ride on a quiet back road in residential Lincoln avoiding the busy Main Street (Pollard Rd; turn right of the Kanc by The Common Man Restaurant), then out onto Route 3 by Clark's Trading Post. Ride up Route 3 by the 1950's style motels and cabins and Indian Head to The Flume parking area where the bike path begins. It is about 6 miles to this point.

The bike path starts at the upper, northern end of the parking lot; turn left as you enter the lot and ride up to the entrance way.

The bike path IS NOT a rail trail - it IS NOT flat - it will be a great use of all of the gears that you have on your bike. There are some short sharp ups, and short sharp downs, some sweeping turns, bridges and tunnels - all lending itself to a wonderful Disney World attraction for us. The way back is a smiling mostly downhill cruise.

This is a great time of the year to ride this, as there are not many tourists, walkers, baby carriages, in-line skaters, etc. on the path to get in our way!

For the shorter ride, just do the bike path. It is about 19 miles round trip from the Flume parking lot.

For the Longer Ride: Ready-to-ride at the Loon Ski Area parking lot at 10:00 am. Enter the Loon parking lot at the Main entrance (by the train engine), cross the bridge then bear left up towards the main lodge. There is lots of parking available on the right side of the lot.

For the shorter ride: Meet the longer riders at The Flume Parking Lot near the bike path entrance between 10:45 and 11:00 am.

Carpooling: Meet at Grant's Supermarket Parking lot at 8:40 am to load up. Drive to Loon via Bear Notch Road and the Kanc.

There are bathroom facilities at Loon, The Flume and at various parking lots along the Bike Path. There is a snack bar/ice cream near the Ski Museum at Cannon Mt. It should be open by now.

Bring water, food and snacks for a picnic either at the Cannon Tram/Ski Museum, the new memorial or by the lake. This should be a great day!

Here is a map:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June Wildflowers in Randolph and Jefferson

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Ready to Ride at 9:00 am!!

I was up in Randolph today, and it looks like Lupine Season! The lupine webcam at Sugar Hill also shows a beautiful display. So, although I had been thinking about the Franconia Ride, I think we'd better go see the lupine before they finish their display.

The other issue is the weather. I have looked at so many forecasts and it is clear that we will get hot weather and thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. Most seem to indicate 1:00. I think that we can do this ride in the cooler morning hours and be done before we get wet (all you on the Willey House ride from last Thursday are probably chuckling at that prediction...).

This ride goes by some of the best displays of panoramic scenery and lupine fields in the area. The ride includes the entire length of Valley Road, a hidden treasure, running in the valley, parallel to Route 2 but without the traffic. Valley Road lacks pavement for about 2 miles. but the riding on it is just fine (better, in fact, than a lot of pavement we have around here...). Durand Road is a terrific ride also, lined with summer houses from the 30's and their nice gardens.

Start time: 9:00 am ready to ride at the parking lot on the west end of Pinkham B Road at the rail trail crossing.

Carpool: Meet at the Jackson Ski Touring/Wentworth Golf Club parking area across the street from the J-Town Deli at 8:10 am.

Ride length: 26 miles

Directions to the start:

The start is at the Randolph end of the Pinkham B Road. There is parking right next to where the Presidential Rail Trail crosses Pinkham B. Access Pinkham B road from the Dolly Copp Campground entrance off of Route 16.

As you drive down the hill on Pinkham B and come out of the woods, where there are 2 houses on the left, the rail trail crosses the road at a public works department building. There is parking on the left side near the rail trail.

If you don't want to do Pinkham B, drive route 16 to Gorham, follow it towards Berlin and take a left on Route 2 at the traffic light. Go up the big hill and down the other side (being glad you did not have to climb it on a bike...). Just after the hill flattens, Pinkham B Road will be on your left. Take the left and drive about 0.5 mile to the parking area near the rail trail on the right.

Ride description:

The ride will go down Pinkham B to Route 2, crosses Route 2 and enters Durand Road, a scenic quite road parallel to Route 2. If you have hiked the Randolph Mountain Club trail systems, you have likely used the many trial heads on this road. At the end of Durand Road, we ride Route 2 on a wide shoulder for a short distance.

Take the next left onto Valley Road. We ride Valley Road to Jefferson Meadows. We can do the 115 triangle then have a quick lunch near the Israel River Campground and stop at their snack shop.
return is by Valley Road and Durand Road, before the storm.


Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Check this blog Wednesday night for the final plan. I want to get the best weather forecasts between 5 and 6:30 before setting up this ride.
I would like to do the Franconia Notch Bike Path - it is a shady ride on a hot day and it is good to do it before the tourist season starts, but, I would like to be sure we are done with the ride and either in the car or at the Woodstock Brewery if the thunderstorms come in!

A ride that is coming up soon is the Randolph-Jefferson Lupine Ride. The lupine bloom seem earlier this year. I am going to be in Randolph today and I will check the lupine progress.