Saturday, November 3, 2012

Whites Mini (loop)

I headed back up to the White Mountains on a whim Saturday morning, this time with the cyclocross bike. I hadn't ridden Sandwich Notch/Algonquin Rd yet this fall. They form one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path segments, falling somewhere in between road cycling and mountain biking.  Sandwich Notch is a seasonal forest service road that is generally too gnarly for a regular road bike. It is a steep 1000+ foot climb on a chunky, and at times muddy, gravel road. Grade exceeds 20% in a couple places.  Algonquin Rd follows the Beebe River downstream (when ridden east to west). It is a gated forest service road and in spots almost too chunky even for a cross bike. Having a downhill bias too it, I bet a full suspension mountain bike would be the fastest mode of travel on it. A cross bike is perfect for the rest of the loop, which optimizes the overall ride.

The mini-loop swung by Perch Pond, then took a hodge-podge of dirt roads back to Campton, where I parked. It seems you climb the same 100 feet a million times during this section of the ride. It is roller purgatory for sure.

Normally I would add in another monster climb, like Stinson Lake or Tripoli Rd, but the legs didn't feel up to it. I hit most of the endless rollers pretty hard to make up for a shortened loop. I'll leave you with a few photos that capture the essence of the ride.

Looking down the now paved Taylor Rd. This means about 95%
of the Campton Mtn climb is paved. Boo. At least half of the descent
is still dirt.

Sandwich Mountain from Sandwich Notch Rd. Hint of snow
around 3000ft.

Sandwich Notch Rd, heading down south side. Either there was
minimal hurricane Sandy damage, or it had already been cleaned up.

Algonquin Rd near the west end. This portion was recently improved
for a logging operation you can faintly see looking down the river.

Tenney Mountain from Pulcifer Rd. The wind farm is almost complete.

Zoom of wind farm. 24 turbines in all. I think this is wicked cool.
Read more about it here.

1 comment:

Luke S said...

Great day for a ride up here yesterday! We saw some snowflakes in Plymouth last night, so no surprise there is residual snow down to 3000 ft - there's been snow above 4000 for nearly a month now.

Sandy damage up this far north was minimal - a few communities lost power due to high winds but there was not much in the way of really intense weather.