Friday, July 29, 2011

Steve Swensen's Ride to Hiram and Cornish

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Steve Swensen will host the ride for this first Thursday of August. After the ride, he has invited everyone over to his lake house for a swim!

The ride will start out of the parking lot behind the convenience store/gas station at the Brownfield 5 corners where route 160 crosses route 113/5, near Pig Street. The ride will start at 9:30 am.

Steve's lake house is on Lovewell Pond, just north of the 5-corners, on the right side of Route 113/5 going north, turn onto Fire Lane 15, Cranberry Lane.

Here is a map:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't Yank the Crank

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Bethel to Bryant Pond, Maine

Looks like the weather will be great for a ride by the beautiful woods, farms and lakes of Maine!

This ride will take us from Bethel to Bryant Pond, 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 convenience store, a larger-than-life telephone monument and great lakeside dining.

But Wait... there's more!!!

The ride is nice and quiet, along the Androscoggin River (essentially a continuation of the North Road experience), fields, farms and forest plus shore side riding on North Lake in Locke Mills. No Notches! This will be a welcome relief from the traffic and noise around the Mt. Washington Valley in tourist season.

This ride starts out of the riverside park in Bethel -- the picnic destination on the North Road ride. The first 12 miles follows Intervale Road which parallels the Androscoggin River as it flows north towards Rumford. We turn east towards Bryant Pond, go through the village, try to find that famous outhouse, pay our respects at the Hand Crank Telephone Monument, then go to the lake for our picnic lunch. The return is by North Pond in Locke Mills, then by East Bethel Road (look for some interesting sculptures on the left), then back to the cars via Intervale Road.

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 always eat lunch on the North Road Ride).

Drive to Bethel via Route 2 and take a right on Bridge Street, at the flashing light (soon before crossing the bridge over the Androscoggin). 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 8:15 am. Otherwise, see you in Bethel!

See map link at the bottom of this post...

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: (I will bring maps for everyone)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brownfield-Hiram Loop

Thursday July 21, 2011

Dave and Connie Kinsman have offered to host a ride. This will be new ride for ThursdayBike, and I think it will be new favorite!

Here is the ride description from Dave and Connie:

"Here is the ride we planned for Thursday. It's not too long because it sounds like the day will turn hot.
We will meet at the Community Center, formerly Brownfield School on Main Street in Brownfield (we always ride past it on our extended Brownfield ride) at 9:00am.

Turn right from the school and ride up Main Street to Route 113. Cross 113 onto Route 160 north. Follow 160 to the monument in Denmark. Turn right onto Route 117 south. Stop at the Hiram Store in Hiram village.

Continue to Route 113. Turn right and ride about 2 1/2 miles up 113 to Notch Road. There is a small shoulder along this stretch. Turn left on Notch Road and follow it about 6 1/2 miles to the end. Turn right on 160 north back into Brownfield. Turn right at the park to return to the school. This ride should be about about 34 miles."

David and Connie will try to be there early to direct parking. David will lead the ride and Connie will sweep.

Here is a link to a map :

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

North Road (let's try this again...) 9:00 am

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The weather forecasters seem certain that Thursday will be a fantastic day, so I think it's worth trying to do the North Road ride (again).

Two weeks ago the rain turned (most of) us back to do a ride in North Fryeburg where the temperature was 10 degrees warmer, it was not raining and the sun was partially out. There was one who actually did the ride from the Gilead bridge to Bethel and did not get rained on. She wondered where we all were....

Let's start the ride at 9:00 am, summertime schedule.

Start at the intersection of North Road and Hogan Road, on the north side of the Androscoggin River, ready to ride at 9:00 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 trailheads, 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 (including a convenience store on the bike path), 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 9:45.

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 8:00am 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, 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".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

White Mountains and Whitefield, 9:00 am

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

The weather looks good for a ride with mountain views! It should be sunny, clear and not hot, so let's head up to the Bretton Woods area for some Presidential views. (The forecast as of Wednesday night still looks great!!)

I tried to put together a ride that mixes the good parts of other rides that we have done in the Bretton Woods, Twin Mountain and Whitefield area. It is impossible to avoid hills, but the ones on this ride aren't too bad!
We can decide after the ride how this one rates as compared to the others - keeper or not?!

Let's start the ride at 9:00 am, ready to ride, summertime schedule.

The whole ride is 39 miles, an out-and-back ride.
The ride goes to Twin Mountain, turns right on route 3, then right again on route 115. There is a gradual climb up to the lookout point. We then take a left and go down Airport Road past the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge parking area, past the airport and out eventually to route 116. The gazebo on the town square in Whitefield is 1.6 miles on route 116. There is water available from a faucet, a convenience store with toilet, an ice cream store, a lawn, park benches and a gazebo. What else could cyclists want??

We reverse the route for a return with beautiful White Mountain views.

For the 39 mile ride, start out of the Eisenhower Wayside Park parking lot, located downhill about 1.5 miles from the top of Crawford Notch, on the right (the sledding hill in winter). There is (used to be?) a flag and a sign.

Shorter Options:
For a 33 mile ride, start out of Bretton Woods ski area, park near the fitness center ~9:10 am
For a 29 mile ride, start out of the Zealand parking lot, on the right side of Rt 302 before the Zealand access road/campground ~9:20 am
For a 24 mile ride, start out of the gazebo at the Twin Mountain tourist info center at the 4-corners where route 302 and route 3 intersect ~9:35 am.

If you want a few more miles (42 total), which includes the short climb up Crawford Notch at the end of the ride, park at the Mt Clinton Road Parking area (need a forest service parking pass) at the top of the notch. Ride down to meet the rest of the riders to start riding at 9:00.

Carpool out of Grant's parking lot at 8:15 am

If the weather forecast actually is true, it should be a great day!

Here is a map: