While at Bikeway, I thought I might as well go for a dirt rail trail run, as multiple railtrails popular with cyclists converge at Bikeway, thus the name. I felt great on foot for once and maintained a brisk pace for 8+ miles. It was so nice out that later in the day I hopped on my mountain bike and did a 14+ mile hilly loop from my house.
Saturday morning I planned to join the Southern NH NEMBA guys for some trail building in Merrimack. NEMBA has permission to build additional trails in the Horse Hill area. I swung a rogue hoe and ax for about 3hrs, using muscles that have rarely been used for 25yrs. Plus we hefted some big rocks to sculpt an interesting rock feature in the trail.
Trail work day. Photo by Matt Caron.
I couldn't let the week pass without a second rollerski workout. So after turning my core into pulp, I dropped down to Whittier Rd to ski 13 laps of free-skating and double-poling. The last double pole lap was pretty ugly going over the hill.
The running, mountain biking, chopping and rollerskiing were leading up to a crescendo of a mountain bike ride in Vermont on Sunday. DaveP and I headed up to Norwich, where I explored some interesting terrain about two months ago. I had a 45 mile route mapped with upwards of 7000ft of climbing.
I knew leaf drop would be a challenge. I made some tweaks to my previous loop in hopes of cleaning it up a bit. The route proved more challenging than I expected. Much of the climbing occurred at 2.5mph on soft, rarely travel logging routes, deep into the realm of anaerobia. Staying on the barely there singletrack in some places proved difficult. We ended up cutting out a second pass over Thetford Hill, and even then, finished the ride as the sun was setting. We saw no hunters on the trail, but no doubt they saw us. Many trucks were parked along the roads.
Despite a slightly diminished fun-factor due to leaf drop and some wet doubletracks, it was a fabulous late fall day to ride in the woods. How often can you ride central Vermont in November in short sleeves? Needless to say, the varied weekend ensured no muscle group in my body escaped unscathed. I was pretty much catatonic Monday at work. I'll leave you with a few photos from Sunday's ride.
Climbing near Mitchell Brook. Some old growth here.
On ridge line adjacent to Gile Mountain. Is trail obvious? It was in
September when I last rode this.
Riding along the Ompompanoosuc River near Thetford.
Covered bridge on the Ompompanoosuc.
Descending towards the Ompompanoosuc.
Some open meadows and bluebird sky too.