omg...you're so sweet
I'll fix y'all next year. I'll be there for a whole WEEK
You stay a week, I'm charging rent!!
And now, here are TMJ's piccies from Sunday's ride to Mt Kearsarge.
Meeting up at 8AM in September has a distinct "morning light" advantage...
The back roads between Hillsborough and Henniker don't suck.
Arriving at Rollins State Park there were only 2 cars ahead of us at the Toll gate. OTOH, when we came back down a couple hours later the line was about 15 -20 cars. Of course this was the Columbus Day long weekend in mid-foliage season, probably their busiest days of the year.
The steep and narrow
goat trail up the mountain was worth the $4 admission, even without the park at the top. It's only a bit wider than a single car width, so it was nice that we were early enough that nobody was coming down while we were scooting up. We wouldn't be quite so lucky on the way back down.
After we reached the gravel parking lot and the red flag waving attendant there was satisfied with our bike-to-parking-space density (that's how you know they were expecting a big crowd. There is normally nobody at the upper lot) we changed out of murdercycle PPE and into climbing togs and began our majorly assault on the summit. Luckily nobody brought along the lederhosen. That would have been kind of embarrassing.
Well unless it was one of the gals and they had beer like this...
Half way up to the top is the first open outcropping ledge of granite. Just a tease of what is to come up higher
Me posing in the foreground, Alex (Aldawg) to left of me, and Mike (BigOgre) on right.
Alan (ionbeam) far right, Tony the Tiger (MarFJR) to his left, and Sandy (Tony's wife unit) in foreground, arrive at the first ledge halfway point.
Dennis (Dennis in NH) taking it all in from the ledge and capturing it on his smartphone!
Dennis is saying: "OK, I got the shot!! We can all go back down now..."
What he "got":
Helen (Mrs ionbeam) facing away and blocking ionbeam. Sandy and Tony were (privately) discussing whether to call it quits here. Afterall, it was very pretty right there and Tony didn't heed my warnings about appropriate climbing footwear.
No, no!! I tell them. You can't leave without going to the top.
We're already half way there, and the trip down is easy peasy.
Onward and upward. To the top!!
There are no tall mountains anywhere nearby, which makes the view truly spectacular.
Being as unseasonably warm as it was, there was some summer time haze. Somewhere hidden in that haze is the presidential range and Mt Washington.
So damn beautiful. No words to describe it accurately. I'm sure these photos don't either...
Down off the mountain (following some auto traffic) and a fun little jaunt across Roby Road and around Pleasant Lake we rolled on into the Flying Goose Brew Pub in New London. Dennis, Mike, Alan and Tony (left to right)
It was a little busy, so we got to rest a little longer over lunch a bit longer than than anticipated. But nobody was complaining and the sammiches were berry good as usual (food porn assist required here).
After lunch we took a back roads ride (what else do we do?) cross country and along the east shore of Lake Sunapee and down a few neat roads over towards Unity and Lempster. Some of the same area we had been Saturday, but on some different roads and from a different direction.
Blaisdell road is a little dirt connector road that I like to get over to Rte 10.
At Rte 10 we bid farewell to BigOgre. He had a good number of miles to go before catching a ferry back to the "Isle of Long".
And then we went off exploring ...
Garmina was apparently trying to take us the most direct route into Lempster and said go up this road. OK, sure... why not? Looks great!!
But the road began to get a little narrower...
...and finally this guy said: "Hey you boneheads. Get the hell out of here!!"
So I made a 3-point turn and we back tracked to the last paved road for an alternate way to Lempster. When I got down to the pavement I looked back and there was only Alex's headlight way back at the top of the last hill waiting for the others. We waited... and waited and just when I turned around to go back and find out what had happened, down the road comes Tony and Sandy with big old sheepish grins on their faces and a new Code 30 (stored along with the prior ones) in Tony' ECU.
But everyone was OK, including Tony's '10. Just a little fresh mud on the slider is all...
Once we got over to Lempster (where the windmill farm is from yesterday's ride) we stayed on Rte 10 down to Rte 123 one of our regular E-W back roads through Marlow and Stoddard back to the starting point at Hancock.
Shadows are gaining on us
...as we roll back into Hancock village.
Another nice day of riding fun to complete the fall foliage weekend with the NERDS.
Covered bridges, scenic lakes, riding up and climbing to mountain tops, eating good grub, and exploring new roads. It's all just part of the "Stuff" we New England Riders Do.
At lunch we were talking about upcoming group rides and realized that they are all next year. Yeah, this Covered Bridges weekend pretty much marks the end of the group ride season in New England. Other than cota95's Ride to the Rock (or is that freeze your ass into a rock?) the Saturday after Turkey Day, this is the end of 2011 group ride season up here. Yeah, we will grab a ride or two, all last minute stuff when the weather cooperates. But this is the end of the big ones.
We New Englanders do have to pack a lot of rides into our short season. I think we did a pretty good job of that this year. There was the Chowder Run in May, a bunch of NERDS that went up to join with the CFR folks in New Brunswick and Nove Scotia in June (and they have all subsequently been adopted), the big NERDS event in August, Joann and MEM and Geezer and I represented the NERDS at EOM and then this finale of a weekend, all interspersed with a smattering of Breakfast Meetings and quick pulled together "Rides to Eat" throughout the summer months.
No regrets. No problems. Just a lot of nice rides, great times with good friends, both old and new.
Our thanks to everyone that participated throughout the whole year.
We'll see you out there!
PS - Almost forgot. Here's the link to the slideshow of all of our pictures from Sunday