Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ride is cancelled

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Tomorrow's forecasted temperatures look enticingly warm, and the rain will stop during the morning, BUT I think the wind will be too strong for fun riding. The wet leaves on the road may be too slippery for safe riding, so, unfortunately, I am canceling the ride for the 2nd week in a row.

This is the iffy season for riding around here -- but stay tuned to this blog, because I will try to post rides if the weather cooperates! One year we rode into early December!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SaturdayBike on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

RIDE IS ON!!! See you there!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Since this week's Thursday ride was cancelled because of damp cold and wet fog (first cancellation of the season!) it is worth taking advantage of a good weather day to do another adventure. About 10 days ago, Dave and Connie organized a trip over to St. Johnsbury, VT to ride on the newly completed Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (opened officially at the end of September). It is about 17 miles of trail from St. Johnsbury to Danville, ending alongside Joe's Pond. It is part of a project that is patching together pieces of the rail route to establish the longest continuous rail trail in New England, stretching about 100 miles form S.t Johnsbury to St. Albans.

The surface is hard packed smooth stone dust. There are tunnels and bridges, lots of forest and good views of the Vermont hillsides. There is a good general store in Danville for hot soup, coffee and lunch.  When we did the trail there were many bikers, pedestrians, dog walkers, and two horses out enjoying the trail. The weather forecast is sunny and 53 degrees. Nice for late October!

The surface is fine for all bikes. A mountain bike is overkill. The only occasional surface issues I saw were at some of the road crossings, the interface between the trail and the road was not always perfectly aligned. The trail climbs gradually all the way to Danville. It is a hardly noticeable climb. The downhill trip back, however, is a hoot! It is certainly the easiest, flattest way to travel east-west across any part of Vermont!! Thank you to the railroad designers and engineers!

Check out the website: www.lvrt.org

Time:  Ready to ride at the Lamoille Valley Rail Trailhead at 10:30 am.

Carpool? If you like, meet at Attitash parking lot, far end away from the lifts, at 9:00 am to carpool., otherwise, meet at the trailhead in St Johnsbury.


Take Route 302 over Crawford Notch towards Bethlehem and get onto Route 93 north into Vermont. At the Route 91 interchange, go north on 91. Take the first exit, Route 5, then take a right at the end of the ramp and go a short distance, noticing the sign for the bike path on the right. It is called Railroad Street or Main Street depending on map. Take the right and then immediate right again down a short steep slope into the trailhead parking lot. The map app says it is a 1 hour 15 minutes drive.

Bring snacks and lunch or stop at the General store in Danville.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cancelled. First cancellation of a 2015 Thursday ride

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:00 am

It is wet, chilly and foggy here at my house at the moment. I think it best to stay off the roads in this weather. The sun may be out this afternoon!

If I don't see you on the road, see you at:

Thursday evening is the MWVBicycling Club end of season party at the Red Fox, 5-7.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Franconia Notch Bike Path and Kinsman's Notch from Woodstock Brewery, 10:00 am

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

I returned from Connecticut yesterday via Kinsman's Notch, The Kanc and Bear Notch Road. The foliage was absolutely spectacular! Every twist and turn in the roads produced another jaw dropping brilliant palette of fall color, particularly the variety of deep reds and oranges.

I decided that we should head over there to enjoy the colors at the pace of a bicycle, and the particularly slow ambling pace of a bicycle climbing the Franconia Notch Bike Path and Kinsman's Notch.

For this ride we start and finish in Woodstock, at the public parking lot behind the storefronts across from the Woodstock Brewery. Starting here cuts out some mileage, reducing the ride to only 37 scenic miles.

The route goes up the bike path via the Old Man Memorial to Echo Lake, then exits the bike path to head down Route 18 by Millersill Ski Area. The route then cuts over to the glider airport in Franconia via Wells Road. We then ride Route 116 via the tennis camp and end up on the Kanc, climb Kinsman's and cruise back to the Brewery in Woodstock.

I think the bike path is actually a more difficult climb than Kinsman's. The bike path twists and turns, goes up and down - you use every gear you have, and you shift constantly...Kinsman's starts as a very gradual steady grade with great views, then increases grade at the top near the pond. The trip back down to the brewery is a downhill-all-the-way cruise...make sure your brakes are working well!

For those that want a shorter option, just enjoy the bike path all the way to its end and then turn back and enjoy the mostly downhill cruise to the brewery, for about 28 miles. The Kinsman's Notch riders will be there eventually to join you. The sunshine might allow for one last outdoor burger and beer on the patio.

To get to the parking lot in Woodstock:  Join the Leaf Peepers and drive the amazing colors of Bear Notch Road and the Kanc to Lincoln, following the Kanc past the Route 93 interchange into Woodstock. Just as you are slowing down, after crossing the river, BEFORE approaching the traffic light in Woodstock at the Route 3 junction, there is an entrance to the public parking lot on your right. It is a big lot behind the storefronts on Route 3. If you miss this entrance, take a right into Woodstock onto Route 3 and drive about a block, looking for the parking lot entrance driveway on your right. It is BEFORE you reach the Woodstock Brewery.

Let's be ready to ride at 10:00 am. It will be chilly in the early morning, warming to the mid to high 50's with plenty of sunshine and very light breeze. Perfect.

Carpool from the Attitash parking lot (far end, away from the lifts) at 8:50 am. It is a one hour drive to Woodstock. I hope the foliage is as spectacular as it was on Tuesday! If you have a NPR or NHPR discount book, bring it for the 2-fer deal at the Brewery.

Here is a map:


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vermont Side of the Connecticut River to Pittsburg

Thursday, October 8th, 2015  Attitash at 8:00

The weather forecast looks great for Thursday, cool but sunny, so we need to do an absolutely fantastic ride to celebrate the fall foliage. I always wait for a perfect day to do this ride, and here it is!!! This ride is my favorite ride in NH! Ride alongside the Connecticut River, farm fields, cows, horses, 2 waterfalls, 2 covered bridges, panoramic views, cross the 45th parallel! History - "The Republic of Indian Stream" which declared itself an independent nation in 1832. We will ride over the 3 rivers involved in this border dispute between the US and Canada. (see links for history, below).

The ride starts on Route 102 in Bloomfield, VT at a parking area just south of DeBanville's General Store (which was closed and for sale last time we were there). The ride is lollipop shaped, gently going up the CT River to lunch in Pittsburg, NH. It then turns south climbing an interesting hill with a 20 mile mostly downhill reward back to the car. It has been labeled by a friend from the mid west as a "Disneyland E-Ticket". See the photo on the right?? Ride through Colebrook on the way back, stop at the French Bakery Cafe, and cross the CT river back into VT for a nice downstream cruise back to DeBanville's Store. Of course there will be a tailwind on the way back.

Distance: 58 miles, mostly flat, one climb. This is an easy 58, easier than many 40 milers we have done!! This is the ride to log your longest mileage of the season, or your longest ever! 

Shorter version? OK. Many options because you can do out and back on the VT side of the CT River on Route 102. To the shady town green in Canaan, VT and back is 43 gentle, scenic miles. To Colebrook and back is 27 miles. 

My suggestion for a shorter ride that has the E-Ticket return from Pittsburg: Start from Colebrook and do the loop along the CT River to Pittsburg, returning by the fun downhill.  This is a 40 miler that has all the major highlights, just cuts the miles down by avoiding the the flat cruising along the CT River to DeBanville's. There is a large public parking lot in Colebrook across form Howard's Diner (sadly, Diner closed last time I was there).

Ready to ride in Bloomfield at 9:45 am.

Carpool from the far end of the Attitash parking lot at 8:00 am. According to the map app, it should be a 1.5 hour drive.

Directions to the start: Route 302 to Twin Mountain, turn right at the light onto Route 3. Drive up Route 3 through Whitefield, Lancaster and Groveton. Turn left in North Stratford, NH to cross the CT river into Bloomfield, VT on Route 105. Take a left onto route 102 immediately after you cross the river, DeBanville's store is (was) on the corner. Drive under the railroad bridge and you will see the dirt parking area on the right with a kiosk describing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Park here tightly, as there is not a lot of space. Overflow can be on the NH side of the river in North Stratford. There is an attractive outhouse in the woods near the parking lot. 

The map: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/114661305

For info on The Republic of Indian Stream check these: