Thursday, October 9, 2014

DAY 63--Let's just call it challenging

Another foggy start to the day--must be because we are near the river--but it did clear up to a gorgeous riding day. We knew this would be a challenging day, with two major climbs. The first part of the day we followed the scenic byway along the Connecticut River. Eventually we got into our first climb, through wooded areas on small roads, with a false summit in the middle of it. Again, the grades were fairly steep. The falls colors are beyond spectacular, especially when you are completely surrounded by them!
When we stopped for a snack after descending off this climb, I happened to notice some significant damage to my rear tire. We thought it would be unwise for me to continue riding on this tire, knowing we still had a major climb and descent coming up. We were very lucky to be in a place where we had cell service, so we called Steve to bring us a spare tire. (We carry spare tubes, but not tires.) After changing the tire at a place that we were told is the most photographed spot in NH, we set off again.
We stopped at a bakery to re-energize, then headed up the second climb. This one was on the Kancamagus Highway, along NH's Rt.112, that is known as one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the country. Because it is a major road so the grades weren't nearly as bad. We stopped near the top at a great overlook. The last two miles of the climb (15 total) seemed to drag on, and we seemed to be going slower and slower. When we finally reached the top at Kankamagus Pass, we saw a sign indicating that it had been a 9% grade. Well no wonder we were slowing down. The 7 mile descent down the other side was great fun!
We camped in the White Mountain National Forest at Blackberry Crossing campground, near Conway.

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