Sunday, August 8, 2010

AAN Day 49 - Brattleboro, VT to Manchester, NH

Daily Statistics:
Mileage: 79.4 miles Average Speed: 14.4 mph
Vertical: 5114 feet Depart: 7:03 AM Arrive: 12:59 PM
Calories: 5808

Link to Garmin ROUTE DATA

Today was a beautiful day on the road, but it wasn't real easy. As you can see from the stats, we had a lot of climbing again today, and my legs hadn't really recovered from yesterdays work. We did have ideal conditions, as it was a beautiful clear day, with temps about mid 50s at departure, and high 70s at completion.
About a mile out of the motel, we came to the New Hampshire border, where I took the obligatory welcome to picture. This is the 10th state (11 if you count Ontario) we cross in our trek across the country, and for me, it will be the final. Last time I crossed, I made the short ride across the border into Maine, but I don't feel the need to do so this time, as that square has already been checked.
We were in Keene about 15 miles into the ride. I thought this United Church of Christ was a lovely picture on the center square of town. New England is full of these picturesque old churches.
While we spent much of the day on NH 9 and 31, we did get on a number of back roads as well. Here is a picture I took on Old Concord Road out of Keene. You can see it is nicely wooded and very green. It is also a tough little climb. You can also notice there is little to no traffic.

Here is another example of a New England church, taken I believe in Bennington (NH this time, yesterday it was Bennington, VT). I could have shot a bunch more of these, as I find them very interesting. I just realized this one was actually across from the second SAG in Francestown.
From the second SAG, we continued on Rt 136 to Rt 13. At 65 miles into the ride, we turned on Meadow Road to make our way to the infamous Joe English road. This is a very steep road, with grades in excess of 20% in spots. Three years ago I rode straight up it, but this time I had to do a little serpentine action. I must be getting old.

I joined up with Mark Weisbarth about this time, and we rode the rest of the way in together. He was a little nervous in spots, because neither Meadow Road or McCurdy Road had street signs, and he wanted to be sure we were on the route. I pressed on fearlessly, and it all worked out. We made our way into town to the Comfort Inn, and I immediately proceeded across the street to Subway for lunch. We have our farewell banquet this evening. It should be fun, but can be a little long, as everyone will say a little something, the staff will make presentations, etc.
I tell people tomorrow will be like the ride into Paris on the Tour de France. A lot of celebrating the end of a long journey. The finish at the beach is great, however.

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