Bailey Hazen and Puppy Dog Route v2013
Five dirty adventurers meet up at Fiddleheads Cafe in Hancock NH for a ride to the start of the Bailey Hazen Military Road in Wells River VT.
Three Massholes were to meet up with riders from VT and NH. The MA riders met up in Rutland MA and road into the Ware River flood control project only to find Prison Camp Road gated. Hey we could fit through that hole if we wanted to. We couldn't fit through the next though.
We had to turn around and I headed the group to a blocked off bridge I cross all the time. Without saddle bags. The bike wouldn't fit. Oh and did I tell you a tree fell across this road and was a few feet above the road way? Chet said grab hold of it boys and we'll move it. We moved it...and found it was too long to move that way. Picked it up again and moved it the other way. Did I tell ya Chet's doctor said no riding because of his back? Chet say's riding is the only time he doesn't notice the pain!
I rode around a corner and saw a big black hairy animal move into the bush on the side of the road. I think it was a black bear standing to listen to what was coming at it. I just saw a seven foot tall black hairy thing woosh into the woods. At first I thought it was a moose, but they wouldn't dye their fur black. Maybe it was Sasquatch!
Any how we backed out, in the steady rain, to a gate I new we could get around without backtracking all the way. No more adventures in the dirt on the way to Hancock. I was way too scared of animals in the woods, I mean we needed to make up time so we hot topped it the rest of the way to Fiddleheads.
Not too wet yet Leon on his blury KLR
Did I ride this by myself? Come on guys help me out here!
Hancock to Wells River VT
There is a really fun road into Hancock that was in process of being improved with fresh pavement of crappy old cold patch. It was wet, puddling wet, and marbles everywhere. Oh the joy!:puke1
I left my garage 0630 to meet up at Four Corners for 0700 and then second breakfast at Fiddleheads 0900 with KSU for the real start of the trip at 1000.
The other two wet riders showed up on their Manstroms looking High and Dry.
Ed and Fred
Both these guys say their bikes are "Strong like ox!" No bull, that's what they both say!
My KTM has balls! Balls to the Walls! :rofl
Here is Ed. I don't know why he is smiling. Doesn't he know it's pouring rain and freezing out?
Leon with his well put together KLR
The whole gang, oh wait. There are only five of us. My Harley fucking Davidson friends say a gang is SIX or more. Oh well. We did have stickers for the ride though! And pictures. We really did ride in the cold, mud, rain and fog :lol3
We stopped to see Warren NH's defense system. They have their very own ICBM right in the center of town!
I pulled out my waterproof matches from an MRE and tried to light the thing, but my matches kept going out.
We finally made it to the start of the Bailey Hazen and our first stop for the night except it was still raining. We skipped out of camping and stayed at the Nootka Lodge. The owner ran out to the parking lot and saw our sorry ass mud covered bikes and gear and said "Do I have a good place for you!" No it was not the log cabin suite with a fireplace and big comfy couches. She gave us a stinky little suite that big guys like us had to suck in our gut to pass each other in the rooms.
We showered our bikes and drained the water out of our boots and made the best of the evening at the hotel game room.
Looking forward to the next soggy installment! :deal
I will admit to being one of several riders who "whimped out" on this little foray. Shamefully so, but in retrospect, was probably a wise decision. What was lacking was a rain date and also work requirements that would've made it difficult, if not impossible, to reschedule (for me anyway).
My little 250 is in need of some new sneakers and while fine at slower speeds and still "OK" for light offroading, it would not have been too sure-footed at the speeds that this ride would require to make progress.
I rode the Puppy-dog from the south but headed home from Silver Lake SP on Sun. Looking forward to seeing what I missed. :clap
Who needs stinking mud tires!
Hey we went the speeeeeed limit like I always do! Average moving speed was 36.5 mph and the speed limit in VT is 35. How close is that? When the mud was deep and so slick you would fall on your ass if you got off the bike we went around 20 mph. Ok there were some track, not on any roads of VT-honest, conditions that may have been ridden at 55, er ok 75, but no more than 80!
Even 20mph was too much for one adventurer. His bike had had enough of the mud and the rear spun around to head back home. The rider very quickly caught on that his bike trying to go home so he had to lay her down.
Nobody saw what happened and I was at the next turn waiting. And waiting. I waited so long I became worried that everyone was abducted by aliens or Sasquatch ate them. I headed back into the mud only to find the crew happily tooling along after rebuilding a side case mount on the homesick bike.
Next year I'll put knobbies back on the 690. These MT90AT's are great on hard pack but suck in the mud.
Hey it's raining again so lets go camping!
Was the park busy or empty?
Day two the BH and start of PDR in Troy
We packed up and had breakfast at P&H Truckstop. P&H may smell like diesel fuel outside, but walk into the smell of fresh baked bread. They are open 24/7
Notice the ground is drying and the sky is gray rather than black. Good start to the day!
Riding the BH is more scenic due to the military road sticking to high ground and tending to follow straight lines. I would not call it boring though and no one wanted to do the hero sections. We did find a couple of hero sections with the wild weather we were having anyway.
Leon is the only one in our squad with knobbies and a love of the slow going stuff. The first day's hero section had come up and I stopped and asked Leon if he was up to it. He asked me what it would be like. I said on a good day you have to climb a section against a water fall and after that the path turns into a bog. I thought on a day like this with rain the week before and the current downpour that it would be really damp. Leon is a smart guy and passed on the hero section.
On the first tough spot of the trail we came up to a farm with party tents and spot lights set up. The road went right, but our path went straight into the woods. After we passed the trees a wonderful bog opened up and a climb out of it with boulders planted in the road.
At the top of the hill I climbed off my steamy KTM and Leon and I could not hear any bikes. Oh no. Down the hill we walked to see who we would have to push out of the mud. It seems those Manstroms weigh as much as an ox too. You need a bunch of people to pick the things up.
So the two newbies have dropped their bikes. I'm not naming names here so you'll have to guess. We didn't have any tip overs last year as I recall. These young guys have a lot to learn! :lol3
We made it to the end of the BH and Chet decided that he was heading home, but not just yet. He really looked to be in pain when he walked. After a little bit of the PDR he was going to head home. Well he missed his cue to go and went almost to the end of the day with us.
After Chet left us we rolled into the second nights stop. Ed's place in Stowe. He lives right on the PDR! What a lucky guy! In Stowe we added a ride through the haunted Emily's bridge. Emily had hung her self from this bridge and if you are sensitive you can feel her feet dangling when you ride through. I felt her move my bike after I parked to take pictures. I think she was trying to push me into the river.
We slept inside at Ed's due to the weather and had a campfire that night on Ed's mountain top.
Thank you ED! :clap
Good work on the RR so far Mr Bill!!
I'll add a little storyline for Day 3:
Yes, as Bill mentioned, the first two days were just a bit... well maybe a whole lot soggy. Our intentions were to camp out on the first two nights and "camp in" (in the barn at BB's) the third night. I'll be the spoiler and tell you right now that our tents and sleeping bags never came out of their cozy packs. With the on and off drizzle my camera never even came out from the tank bag until Day 4. Good thing Mr Bill keeps his tucked in the front of his 'stich front pocket and properly photo-documented those days or else we'd have no proof it ever happened. :wink:
BB had warned us (prior to our even starting out) that those Vermont dirt roads are loaded with clay, and when they are wet they are pretty hard to go very fast on. Last year we only had one morning that they were wet after a rainy overnight in Stowe. This year we had far more of opportunity to perfect our slimy road slithering technique.
Day 3 was supposed to be the longest day of riding, so we headed out early and had a quick nosh at KC's Bagel Cafe, a great little Bagel Shop in Waterbury. By the time we got out on the route, the roads were already starting to dry up a little, and continued to get better throughout the day.
As they did it was easier to control slides on corners without worrying about the front washing out. There is a section of the PDR between Bethel and Bridgewater that is just made for strafing. That was the section that I led the ride on last year, and this year Mr Bill did not disappoint either.
We pulled into the Ramuntos Pizza in Bridgewater at around 2PM and everyone had big smiles on their faces except for Mr Bill. He has an XM antenna on his old school GPS with the HiRes weather display. It seems our dry weather had run out already and that we would be proceeding into some pretty heavy rain if we continued on as planned.
After stuffing our faces on some great pizza slices, we talked it over and decided we'd made a big enough dent in that days route (only 2 more hours left) to forgo more sogginess. Called around and found a motel to hole up in just down the road in Woodstock called the Shire Riverside Inn. Yes they had vacancy, and with splitting 2 of them 2 ways (there were only 4 of us at this point) it wasn't too cost prohibitive (considering it was Woodstock).
When we materialized at the hotel the owner/manager saw we were riders and said, no-no those smaller rooms he had quoted us on the phone would not do. So he upgraded us to some bigger, newer rooms upstairs for the same lower price. And he also told us to pull the bikes in under the overhang, on the boardwalk/porch area in front of some of the first floor rooms he had not yet filled. The rooms were way better than I expected, practically luxurious. Pretty cool to get such nice treatment instead of the more usual opposite.
After a drizzly stroll around town in cutesy Woodstock (the place oozes New Englandy tourist appeal) to stretch our legs a bit, we stocked up on food and adult beverage supplies at the only supermarket in town, Mac's, which is conveniently located directly across from the Shire Inn. Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening munching on goodies, watching the rain come down, and working on a good hangover for the next morning.
Someone else needs to supply some Day 3 pics as all I have are from the last day.
Just to get back to the first "WET AND MUDDY" day. I think I laid my KLR down just in time... It had already done a 180 degree turnaround, pointing its nose in the opposite direction and wanted to head home with me. I was not going to accept that so I laid her down. PS. Notice the big tree and downhill ditch I missed...:muutt
Stealing some of Ed's photos since taking photos was the last thing on my mind at that point in time.
After picking up my Pelican case from a few yards into the woods Ed, Fred and Chet helped me to get it temporarily secured to the bike. Nothing a few ROK Straps and baling wire can't fix:thumb
Mr. Bill showed up just as we were finishing up with the side case. Mr. Bill was the winner of riding the same stretch of newly filled and graded slippery road 3 times...:ricky
Later at the Nootka Lodge we were able to fix the Pelican mount to look much better. Probably much stronger than the original
Yabbut... we did a much better job with that repair when we got to the Nootka that night. :lol3
Some more photos while on the Bayley Hazen
We stopped for gas and lunch at the Westfield General Store - Fred, Mr Bill and Chet enjoying their sandwiches
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