Well at least it’s warm outside as I drove into work this AM with windows open. Temps in the mid to high 70’s. Perfect chance to take the new ride for some additional break in. It’s cross season, and this year I was planning on doing 3 or 4 races. The thing about Cross is that it is an all out effort for 40+ minutes. Barriers, grass, dirt, sand, rocks, and pavement. Not to mention the short course (great for spectators) and 50 to 100 others that show up to rub elbows.
Todays ride was supposed to hit Pack Monadnock. Like so many rides the destination is always up for debate. In Southern NH we are lucky to have some of the best terrain around, for Mountain and Road. Many of the roads out this way look like this.
This is Purgatory Rd, for years I’ve wanted to explore this route as it seems like I could connect it over to another dirt road that would take me to Lyndenboro, where there are even more dirt roads and class V type stuff. I’ve taken my road bike on this type of stuff as well, but you’ve got to be pretty careful and you end up dodging stuff more than riding.
So up we go, 40 psi in the non tubeless Racing Ralphs are smoothing stuff out just fine. At the first intersection there is a trail network to the left. What the heck, could be decent. This however would be mostly hike a bike type stuff as it was mostly eroded, root infested, exposed rock type stuff. This was at the low point of a bony descent, better suited for a true mountain bike.
This next section is like something that would be included in the NH 100. Long downhill double track, washed out with exposed rock everywhere. This would be best suited if you have one of those built up Jeep rock crawler type vehicles. At the bottom I could find nothing but a swampy stream. Perhaps the falls were to the right that I didn’t take. More hike a bike would follow up to Sailsbury Rd.
By this time in the ride the drizzle had begun to turn to droplets. I knew that as the afternoon went on that the weatherman was calling for a higher chance of rain. I was however back on track and on my “planned route”. Next up was Mountain road from the North approach. Again, I’ve never done it this way and I usually come from the South, turn around at the top, and head back. This is due to the less than desirable conditions for true road bike usage on what would be a screaming fast descent.
Rain was falling hard now. I was now soaked to the bone, but it’s a warm rain and i’m not uncomfortable at all. At the top of what would be the largest climb of the day there was a small trail to the right. Roses Trail. What is this? Looks rideable too. More vertical is gained and there is a small sign at an intersection that reads Rose Mountain Summit. It was here I would call it a day. There would be no views and the legs were feeling a bit mangled. Still had a good 20 miles to get home.
The Downhill would be pins and needles from the rain smacking me hard. It rained the whole way back to the house. There would be no Pack attack today, as the light would have easy run out on me. Will see that Rose Mountain climb later this year I’m sure.
Some of the best rides i’ve always said have come in the rain or in adverse conditions, and yesterdays ride was one of those rides. It’s a break from the same old routes, and just like when you were a kid, exploring is always fun.
Next up SUCKER BROOK CX RACE.