Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Hampshire Vacation ride

After a short family canoe ride on Conway Lake, which was lovely, I had a brief window to get out and ride.  Staying off of West Side Road made the Bear Notch Loop the obvious choice.  The loop is over 35 miles and with the ride to West Side Road and back, my ride was close to 40 miles.  The link (gmap-pedometer) includes an elevation profile.  That profile doesn't do justice to the rollers on West Side Road, which do slow you down. It does show you that the steep approach to the notch is from the north.  The advantage to this is that you have a long, fast downhill run down Passaconaway Road along the Swift River and the southern end of West Side Road is flat.  The disadvantage is that you face the 5 miles of climbing on Bear Notch Road.  However, it isn't all that bad a climb.  I believe I averaged 8.5mph on the climb mostly on a 34/25 chain ring combination.  It was both a minor challenge and great fun.

I made it to the covered bridge over the Swift River by 4:40 and had to be back at 5, which wasn't possible.  I called the house then to let my wife know I wouldn't be home.  There was a fellow cyclist who wanted to talk hills and rides but I was in a great hurry, both to get back to help take care of the boys and to beat the rain.  It was sprinkling by the time I rolled into the neighborhood and the skies let loose shortly after I brought my bike inside.  In short, I was very lucky to get the ride in and very, very lucky to miss the rain.

I did the ride in under 2 hours and 40 minutes, door to door and averaged 15.0mph.  The fast decent on Bear Notch Road and Passaconaway Road helped my average speed quite a bit.

I saw a woman riding a nice orange Circle A Cycles single speed at the covered bridge.

Looking out towards Bartlett at the first overlook:

Looking towards the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the second overlook:

There isn't much to mark the summit of the notch, except warnings to drivers and cyclists:

Looking down the Swift River from the covered bridge.  There were several people in the water and it looked appealing, although I had no time to check out the water.

No comments:

Post a Comment