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Covered Bridges of Southern NH 2011


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#1 Fred W

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:26 AM

Edited on 9/29/11 to postpone the event one week!



NERDS was great fun. And so successful... So, now it's time to start planning our next group ride...

Therefore, and without further ado, I shall duly proclaim:

This year's date for the Covered Bridges of NH Foliage Tour will be Saturday October 1st 8th!! :clapping:


This will be primarily a one day, organized ride, but there are all sorts of other cool things to do in the area at this time of year. Why not make a weekend of it? Many riders will have their photo-happy pillions aboard for the day. The pace will be very easy (speed limit, flower sniffing, easy), so as to enhance your every photographic opportunity. And we'll have several rest stops along the way to stretch the gams and flap the gums. Your friends on bikes other than FJRs are also welcome to join along, as long as they do not have noisy open exhaust pipes :nono: and are willing to ride along with a bunch of photo-shooting old fogies on their FJRs.
IOW, sporty riders will probably definitely be bored to tears!! :P


We will try to adhere to the full traditional ride route (need to pre-ride to make sure roads are all open after Irene), starting out with kickstands up! at 9AM from the Fiddleheads Cafe in Hancock, NH. Plan on arriving as early as you can manage, as Fiddleheads makes a killer breakfast sandwich on their home-made, toasted bread. :thumbsup:

From there, we'll meander around the countryside in the southwestern corner of NH. We'll be "bagging" at least a dozen covered bridges along the route, most of which we will actually be able to ride through! (only a couple of them are drive-by "decorator" bridges, closed due to weight restrictions).

As usual, we'll stop for lunch at Diamond Pizza in Walpole. They have good (and cheap) pizza and grinders (subs to you non-natives). After lunch we'll wend our way back to the south and east, around Lake Sunapee, bagging more covered bridges all along the way, and eventually wind things up near the Hopkinton Dam in Contoocook.


For those coming from "outta town", there is a B&B directly across the street from Fiddleheads called the Hancock Inn, which is quite lovely. However, I think they are also quite spendy (~$200 / night), and they do book up early in the foliage season. In the past, folks coming from out of town have stayed at chain motels in down in Keene, NH to the southwest. There is also the Jack Daniels Motor Inn, just down the road in Peterborough, or the Inn at Crotched Mountain in Francistown, which is where The Axeman stayed last year and liked it. I would just be careful about cancellation policies in the event of rain.


Assuming the weather allows the ride to go off on Saturday as planned, we can regroup (anyone staying in the area) at Fiddleheads on Sunday AM and I'll take you on over to (and up) Mt Kearsarge. There is a nice little goat trail of an auto road that runs most of the way up the mountain, and then a short 1/2 mile hike up to the bald summit with some spectacular views. Geezer, thingfish and I did this last year after the Bridges and it was worth a repeat , IMO.


Ride Route

The route has now been fully tested and it looks like this (click the picture for full window interactive version)

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You can also download route file for your GPS here (Both versions were created with 2009 maps)
2011_Covered_Bridges_Tour.gdb - Gamin proprietary DataBase format
2011_Covered_Bridges_Tour.gpx - Generic gPs eXchange format


The optional Sunday ride route to Mount Kearsarge is here also (click the pic for full interactive map in a new window).

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GPS files for Sunday ride to Mt Kearsarge, lunch at the Flying Goose, and a few fun roads here and there.
Planned to start and ends at Fiddlehead's Cafe in Hancock.


2011_Sunday_after_CB_ride.gdb

2011_Sunday_after_CB_ride.gpx





Teasers:

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Do look back through some prior years ride report threads for more pictures of what you can expect to see.


Disclaimers (aka the fine print):

Because riding on New England back roads in the rain at that time of year can be an iffy deal (cold and raw, wet leaves, wet wooden bridge decks, etc.), and because this is primarily a FOLIAGE sightseeing tour, (which doesn't really look all that special in the gray drizzle) we will reserve rain dates: Sunday the 2nd as the 1st option, and the following weekend of the 8th or 9th if necessary.

To get through some of these covered bridges requires traveling down a few short sections of dirt road (and as is generally the case on any Fred W ride routes). These dirt roads are some of the more scenic ones we will traverse (in more ways that one :P). They are all very smooth and well packed, though there are some elevation changes (some folks report that being a bit skeery). Nobody should have any problems getting down them, just use your rear brake and copious engine braking and it's all a piece of cake. But I wanted to let you all know about them in the interest of full disclosure.
If it has rained a lot the night before we will make detours to avoid them.

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#2 RossKean

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:49 AM

Hi Fred

Do you have a Google Maps, S&T or Garmin file of the route available? Don't know whether I can make it but would like to have a look at the main route as well as the optional Sunday excursion.

Any decent State campgrounds in the area?

Thanks

Ross

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#3 wheatonFJR

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:56 AM

Question in the back...I heard that a number of covered bridges and roads were taken out by the recent flooding, is this true? And if so, will this affect the ride route?

Even though I'm in the midwest I still like to follow along and pretend I'm socializing with Alan and Helen and Chris and ...



#4 Fred W

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:04 AM

Hi Fred

Do you have a Google Maps, S&T or Garmin file of the route available? Don't know whether I can make it but would like to have a look at the main route as well as the optional Sunday excursion.

Any decent State campgrounds in the area?

Thanks

Ross


The routes will be made available (in all formats) after I get a chance to test them and finalize the route for this year.

Greenfield state park is very close to Hancock and the both the start and end of the routes. Also, Geezer and Paul stayed at some other campground nearby and said it was nice. Best to PM one of them for details.


Question in the back...I heard that a number of covered bridges and roads were taken out by the recent flooding, is this true? And if so, will this affect the ride route?


Good question. Initial reports indicate that only two covered bridges in NH were damaged (Bath-Haverhill and Blair bridges) , neither of which are on this route. I will have to test the route to see how things actually are this year. I'll do that in the next few weeks.

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#5 dcarver

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:06 AM

Oh sure, 2x country trips in 2 months? You're killing me Fred.. :P
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#6 Fred W

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:33 AM

Yabbut, what a great way to go!! :P

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#7 ionbeam

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:56 AM

Oh sure, 2x country trips in 2 months? You're killing me Fred.. :P

Yabbut, what a great way to go!! :P

When do we tell him about the Chowda ride along the coast of NH and ME? The coastal route shows an entirely different topography and beauty of New England. Four days where both the food and the ride share the starring role.
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#8 Fred W

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:10 AM

We have to be careful about metering out the propaganda in small doses, otherwise he'll want to move out here!! :o

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#9 wheatonFJR

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:13 AM

We have to be careful about metering out the propaganda in small doses, otherwise he'll want to move out here!! :o



What? ...and move away from his palace out west?
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#10 MEM

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:23 AM

What? ...and move away from his palace out west?



At least he can ride year-round :blink:
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#11 Fred W

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:45 AM

Oh, we can ride year round too. Just have to ride one of these for 4 months of the white stuff...


Posted Image

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#12 MEM

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:04 AM

Oh, we can ride year round too. Just have to ride one of these for 4 months of the white stuff...



Cool! (cold ? :( )

I have the snowsuit and helmet. Do you have the sled ? :D
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#13 Willie

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:11 AM

We, that is Me (Willie) and MeAsWe (Crystal) are gonna do our darnedest (sp?) to meet up with you folks on this one.


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#14 bbdig

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:08 PM

Oh, we can ride year round too. Just have to ride one of these for 4 months of the white stuff...


Posted Image

In Rangeley they say we have 9 months of winter and 3 months of tough sledding.

By the way they have overlaid most of the real bad sections of 17 and 4. Not 100% completed yet, but should be in a week or two before the first flurries show up.



#15 Geezer

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 03:59 PM

Assuming the weather allows the ride to go off on Saturday as planned, we can regroup (anyone staying in the area) at Fiddleheads on Sunday AM and I'll take you on over to (and up) Mt Kearsarge. There is a nice little goat trail of an auto road that runs most of the way up the mountain, and then a short 1/2 mile hike up to the bald summit with some spectacular views. Geezer, thingfish and I did this last year after the Bridges and it was worth a repeat , IMO.


The Sunday ride and hike are absolutely worth a repeat. The only issue, as I remember it, was that previous hikers on that trail had breathed up all of the oxygen and didn't leave enough for me.

And for the campers, there is a nice friendly campground about a mile from Fiddlesticks. It's called Seven Maples.
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#16 bmattimiro

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:23 PM

Looking forward to the ride over the NH bridges (if they are still standing) Will bring my swimmies just in case.
Mr. Bill (sorry I missing the gathering in Stowe -new member)

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#17 zip

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:57 PM

It's been terrible seeing the news and some of these wonderful old bridges washed away. Hope all of you are safe and well, and that your ride will still happen if roads safely permit.
Barry
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#18 madmike2

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:38 AM

It's been terrible seeing the news and some of these wonderful old bridges washed away. Hope all of you are safe and well, and that your ride will still happen if roads safely permit.

Yep, my thoughts, too!
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#19 cota95

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:29 AM


Oh, we can ride year round too. Just have to ride one of these for 4 months of the white stuff...



Cool! (cold ? :( )

I have the snowsuit and helmet. Do you have the sled ? :D

Yup, and they're Yamahas also. Come down to NH and ride with us anytime.

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#20 VanHarlan

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:17 PM

So far I have a hockey-free weekend October 1st . . . . the following week I'm off to Toronto with my son . . . I've got to finally make the covered bridge ride this year . . .
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