Trip: White Mountain Loop
Ride Distance: 82 Miles (day total: 107 miles)
I crossed the state line back into Maine. Hmmmm….. I think I took a wrong turn in Albuquerque. I was supposed to take a right at the second bridge to cross back over the Androscoggin River. Unfortunately, I had not crossed the river the first time so there was no way I could cross BACK OVER it at the second bridge.
There was no cue sheet…
But I did remember the words: “You will counter-intuitively go West on 2 until the turn to Evans Notch.” Well, I figure if I just stay on 2 heading East I’ll run into that same turn off.
Ahhh…. 113 South/Evans Notch. And there was a group of cyclists coming from the other direction turning onto it. They were obviously on the ride too! Whew!
This was the 9th Annual Memorial Day White Mountain Classic put on by the Community Cycling Club of Portland. The ride runs out of Fryeburg, Maine and takes the riders through the White Mountains National Forest (shocking based on its name – I know).
Despite my preparations the night before, I still had to run around a little crazy.
NEW CYCLING RULE:
- When at a bachelor party, DO NOT leave your helmet in the common areas.
I couldn’t find my damn helmet to save my life. I began to sneak in and out of rooms with people sleeping off the previous night. I accidentally woke up Andrew in his room.
“What are you looking for?”
“My bike helmet”
“It’s on Grant.”
After retrieving my helmet from Grant’s room I hopped onto my bike and headed west the 15 miles into Fryeburg (which Felix pointed out is misspelled…). There were a total 72 people embarking on the ride.
En masse, we headed West toward the New Hampshire border. The first turn was:
Left – toward the tough climb up Hurricane Mountain;
Right – away from the tough climb up Hurricane Mountain.
I went Left toward the climb – to find out that I had it switched and I WASN’T climbing hurricane… Well, worse things have happened.
After a quick rest stop in North Conway to join the over Hurricane and Not over Hurricane groups back together we went up 16A and 16 toward Pinkham Notch. From North Conway to Pinkham it’s 15 miles and about 1500 feet of climbing. While it is definitely no Baške Oštarije - nevermind its distinct lack of minefields to worry about, it’s still a tough grinding climb. My bike, Ajax Telemon, has had some problems for a while where he can’t get off the large chain ring without a little assistance. I managed to make it about 13 miles before I had to pull off and manually put it into the lower front chain ring. Because of this, the last two miles – which are largely the steepest – turned out to be the easiest of the whole climb.
Pinkham Notch is the biggest in the Whites. (For non-New Englanders, a “notch” is what most of the English speaking world calls a “pass”). It is the jumping off point for most trails up to Mt. Washington and the site of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s lodge and canteen. This was our lunch stop. I got the Jefferson Sandwich at the Black Moose Deli.
After my Jefferson sandwich, I made my way out of the Pinkham Lot area and down toward Gorham. The downhill is great: 10 miles, 1200 feet to the Androscoggin Valley. In Gorham is where you take the right onto US-2 and head back to Maine.
Once I had found 113 and met up with the four people on the ride, I found out they weren’t actually on our ride – but they were headed in the direction I wanted to go.
113 from the Androscoggin to Evans Notch is the jewel of this ride. It is easier than Pinkham (and Hurricane Mountain). However 113 is a lonely mountain road with no one living on it. It is just pure White Mountain National Forest. The 8 miles and 700 foot of altitude gain is almost unnoticed as you enjoy the cool shade of a mountain backcountry road in full summer verdancy (yep, I finally got to use “verdancy”…).
Atop Evans was the last rest stop and I was one of the last to it. I hopped onto my bike and headed the last 20 miles South into Fryeburg to finish the trip.
Many thanks to CCCP who put on such a great ride. I put this in my top trips!
CCCP Links -
Map my Ride Page
CCCP Links -
Map my Ride Page
I caught a ride with Chad back to Portland; had dinner at Novare Res and made my way back to Boston via Amtrak.
A fantastic weekend!