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Old 06-03-2013, 05:40 AM   #1
zeeede OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 1,192
Escaping Boston's Heat in Northern England

I took a bunch of pictures with my phone, which I uploaded to photobucket directly from the phone, and some on my helmet cam, which I don't have the cable for, so I'll put place holders where I have helmet cam pictures and get them up when I get a chance.

Thursday I was sitting at home in Boston watching the weather forcast for the weekend. HOT. HAZY. HUMID. Forcasted highs in the 90s. UGH. I really don't feel like dragging the window A/C up from the basement, but being in the apartment with nothing to do all weekend is going to be sweeaaattty. Wait... I have nothing to do this weekend? Let's make a thread for Day Trippin'!

My Vstrom is in the shop getting some repairs courtisy of a left turn driver (for details, see my thread in Face Plant:, BUT, my girlfriend, BostonRider is in Jamaica (where it's much less tropical ) which means her KLX250SF is available. Her family has a ski condo at Sunday River just outside of Bethel, ME, which, seeing as how it is 90+ dregrees this weekend, is also available. Hrm, a plan is starting to come together.

Normally when I do rides out of Bethel, if I want to ride dirt I head over to the Mount Washington Valley. Old Cherry Mountain Road, Jefferson Notch, etc. Just because that's what I happen to have discovered. Last week, though, I was researching routes for a trip we're planning for two weeks through Northern New England and the Atlantic provinces when I came across DockingPilot's ride report from last summer ( He had a map of the route on and awesome pictures of some great roads across northern New Hampshire and Maine. I wanted to try them out. So Friday morning, I packed up the KLX. After work Friday, I slabbed it up to Bethel.

Didn't get any pics of the ride, but it was tough in every way slab can be. HOT. I hit a ton of northbound traffic getting out of the city. Did my best to avoid the traffic jam on 128 (Google traffic showed it as black it was so bad ). Made it almost up to the 128/I93 interchange before I had to get on the highway... only about a mile of traffic after that before things started moving. After that it was buzzing along at 70 mph and 8,000 rpm for a couple of hours, before picking up a state highway to get over to Bethel. I was DE-hydrated, so I stopped at the Walmart in Oxford, ME and bought a gallon jug of water and a replacement hydration bladder for my CamelBak (I have a couple of CamelBaks, and wanted to bring the "Classic" model with me. I have a Mule I use regularly mountain biking with a 100 oz bladder. The 70 oz. bladder for the Classic hadn't been used in a couple of years and was... needing to be replaced. I digress). I drank half the gallon right there in the store and put the other half in the CamelBak. Got back on the road and got to Bethel by 8:30. Grabbed a burger for dinner at Black Diamond Steakhouse and got up to the condo, only to find it at 85+ degrees inside and no screens in the windows. UGH. Installed the screens, opened the windows, got the fan going, drank 3 or 4 glasses of water and hit the hay.

Packed up and headed north. I was kind of guess-navigating, and ended up at a gas station Andover, ME, where I gassed up and had a delicious sausage egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Pics on my helmet cam. DockingPilot's route runs right past this station. Unfortunately, I wanted to pick it up farther to the east and come back west, so I had to decide which direction I would head. I decided to go west.

What a great route... deserted northern new england pavement. Saw a moose, which I didn't get a picture of. Might have caught it on the helmet cam though... I'll have to see when I get a cable. Hit the dirt and headed west through the great north woods. Lots of this:

Some of this:

A bit more of that:

The noble steed:

The roads were fanstastic. Didn't have any trouble with the supermoto tires and I wouldn't hesitate to ride my Vstrom on any of them with Anakees. Mostly hard-packed gravel and dirt. Great big bike adventure riding. I had one major pucker moment... I was looking down at the GPS when I road into a rut that had dried and hardened... you can see the tire mark here:

I had a major slapper... went full lock to lock to lock to lock. I always remind BostonRider that if she gets in trouble in the dirt to give it a little throttle... If you grab brake you're definitely going to crash... if you give it throttle you're either going to striaghten out or you're going to crash... ast least you have a chance. As I was getting cranked side to side I thought to myself "shit... SHIT... okay, give it throttle" and straightened it out. You can kind of see the fish-tail marks here:

Freed my rear end from the seat, turned around and took pics of my marks and got wheeling along again.

Watch out for pot holes... they don't mess around up here:

The views were incredible:


I was going to say it makes me proud to be American, but I was so far north that could very well be Canada there in the distance, so I'll reserve my patriotism

Babbling brooks:

Sturdy bridges:

Soon to be sturdy bridges:

Occaisionally had to share the road:

Made it out of the woods and onto the slab. Even that is beautiful up there:

Decided to head down to the Conway New Hampshire area... wanted to swing by Whitehorse Gear and pick up a RAM handlebar mount for the bike... it only had one, so I could use either my phone or GPS but not both.

Passed Beaver Brook falls:

Got up close and personal:

Saw lots of signs like this:

Had no idea what Northern Pass was. A little GoogleFoo tells me it's a project to build high voltage transmisison lines between Quebec and New England. I can see why they would be upset:

More of that magesty. Pretty sure that's Vermont, so I can feel patriotic about that one. Green Mountain State?

Speaking of Vermont, I was running south through New Hampshire right along the Vermont border... figured I'd dash over a bridge so I could say I did 3 states that day:

Got that pic, turned around, and road back:

But hey... I was in Vermont!

From there the pics kind of went away as I got in the "zone"... down route 3 south (kind of boring on the little KLX, but if you ride a tourer or big sport cruiser, it would probably be awesome), across 302 through Crawford Notch, a little detour up the access road to the Mount Washington Cog Railway to hit the bottom of Jefferson Notch Road (the paved part, but I was pissed at myself for not going across Route 2 to pick up either Jefferson Notch or Old Cherry Mountain Road, so I did what I could), across 302 to Bear Notch Road to the Kanc and then over to Whitehorse Gear ( Forgot to take a picture, but they're great people.. if you're ever in the Conway area stop by and browse the warehouse.

By this point is was around 3 o'clock and the tummy was very rumbly. So I went to Moat Mountain for a bison burger:

When I sat down I warned the bartender she'd be refilling my water glass about 8 times... she really only had to refill it 7.... I did mention it was 90+ degrees, right?

From there I decided to make a run up and down Hurricane Mountain Road:

If you're ever in the area, run it both ways. After HCM, I gassed up again (I think the 3rd tank I put in the little Thumper that day?) and headed west on 302, intending to head north on dirt from there up to route 2. Out of nowhere the winds kicked up something wicked and skies darkened and I started to see rain drops. Rut roh... Called up the weather overlay on the app... Saw a random storm headed my way. At this point it was late in the day 4 or 4:30 ish, so I turned tail and headed West. The condo was northwest of there... I figured I'd get out in front of the storm and then turn north. Went back across Hurricane Mountain Road

Was navigating by looking at the map and trying to find roads west. Got out in front of it a bit:

And decided to turn north. Suddenly, the map updated

Somehow it passed over me without me knowing it.

Anyway, from there I headed north on wet roads, but under dry skies. Freestyled it by navigating looking at the map. Wet pavement:

The dirt wasn't bad though:

This road had been repaired with some nice loose stones:

Eventually it degraded a bit more...

Needs a repair here, but I made it over:

I figured it had to come out somewhere, since I was following ATV tracks. Then the ATV tracks turned....

Hrm... I kept going straight and came to this:

It was much worse than the pics. I hiked it and decided there was no way I'd make it on the street slicks. Turned around and back-tracked. Found a way around no problem. At this point the sun was setting so I booked it back to the Condo... no more picture stops. My plan was to take a shower and drink a few glasses of water then go out and find some dinner, but after the shower I was so beat I didn't feel like leaving. The kitchen had been emptied out for the summer, but I managed to find some stale trail mix and a bag of microwave popcorn that was 3 months past its "best by" date, but hey... it'll have to do. Scarfed that down and hit the hay.

Sunday my plan was to work my way back to Boston without riding the Superslab. I came pretty close to succeeding... haven't uploaded the pictures yet, so stay tuned and I'll tell you about it later...

zeeede screwed with this post 06-04-2013 at 12:31 PM
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:39 AM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: New England
Oddometer: 3,433
Nice shots...I did HCM and then ended up in Bethel a few years ago..I was expecting a bigger town with atleast some gas.
I ended up asking some guy cutting his grass..Great area sooo not a bad place for a condo...much better then a Hot Boston..
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #3
zeeede OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 1,192
Originally Posted by ct-ktm View Post
Nice shots...I did HCM and then ended up in Bethel a few years ago..I was expecting a bigger town with atleast some gas.
I ended up asking some guy cutting his grass..Great area sooo not a bad place for a condo...much better then a Hot Boston..
They do have gas... I can think of 4 gas stations. They're all on the north side of town though (closer to the ski hill). If you come into town from HCM, you're coming from the south, so you don't see them. It is a very "quaint" town. Not a lot going on up there when there isn't snow to ski on.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
zeeede OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 1,192
All right... got around to uploading my pictures last night... then got distracted by the Big Bad Bruins taking it to the sorry excuse for a hockey team called the Pittsburg Penguins

Anyway, Sunday got going around 9 am. Cleaned the condo, packed my bags, and schleped stuff down to the bike. I installed the RAM mount I had picked up Saturday and hit the road.

Ready to rock:

Ski resorts are pretty empty when it's 90 degrees in June:

Headed west and south.... along North Road from Bethel, then crossed the river:

Over some fishermen:

And headed south over 113 past Evan's Notch:

Down to Fryeburg, Maine, then headed west into New Hampshire. Started working my way South from there picking out roads on the GPS. Avoiding highways.

I liked it when this happened:

And I saw roads like this:

I was trying to avoid highways, but got stuck on this one:

Oh well:

Stopped for lunch in Ossipee. MMmmmm...chicken parm:

And started going South again. Ended up on a road that came to this warning:

But the GPS showed it going through. The beginning of it was pretty well maintained. Turns out it was access to someone's driveway. It continued like this after the driveway:

I got a dirty look from a woman in her front yard, and when I hestiated she started strolling toward me. I didn't feel like having a conversation so I just went for it. Lots of low-hanging branches. Had to ditch the helmet cam at this point.

Getting interesting:

Rut Roh:

Little kerfuffle:

Big kerfuffle:

But I made it through with some wheel spin and a little clutch work. I might have had more problems on this road on my big Vee though

A short time later I passed a dam:

And the pond behind it:

Started getting in the zone so pictures got few and far between again. At one point I saw a road on the GPS going due south that turned out to be an ATV trail:

A little muddy in spots, but easily passible:

It passed a swampy lake:

And spit me out in a random subdivision

Somewhere along the way I crossed into MA... didn't realize it until I saw all the cars in the driveways had Massachusetts license plates. Kept working my way south, but those little side roads that were completely deserted farther north had houses built up on them the closer I got to Boston... I felt bad ripping through people's neighborhoods, so I ended up jumping on I95 somewhere near Boxford.

Slabbed it south on 95 to route 1 and into the city, cut past Fenway Park (no Sox traffic, thank goodness) and made it home by 4.

Overall it was a good trip. I little north of 750 miles in 3 days on the little Thumper. I could get used to a bike that weighs half what my vstrom does!
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Oddometer: 733
Beat the heck out of sitting around all weekend. Well done.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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Joined: May 2011
Location: Northern Mass and NH Lakes Region
Oddometer: 159
nice trip Zeeede. Any chance you have GPS tracks to share? I ride around the Ossipee area and also did an overnight trip camp trip to Bethel last year. Wondering if we shared any dirt.
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