Took a long ride through NH and VT this weekend, my first long touring ride on a bike. Let me state now I don't have much for pictures, my apologies, but we just did so much RIDING we never stopped for pictures. I'm attempting to paste a google maps link to our approximate route. My riding buddy took the few pictures I've posted.
I suppose it's hard not to find good roads in this part of the country, but it just seemed almost everywhere we rode was terrific. There were a lot of bikes up there this weekend, mostly cruisers in NH, but many more sport/sport tourers in VT. We put almost 700 miles on the bikes door to door, and I definetely need to address the Versys seat before I do another one of these rides! A brief run down:
We left from the Shrewsbury, MA area Friday about 5:30, took 140 north and picked up 31, which was fine enough, but really nice north of MA/NH line. We then caught 101 E into Manchester, then took Rt3 north to 106 into Loudon, where we stayed at the Red Roof Inn. Lots of sport bikes on trailers for a track day on Saturday. Ate the Long Horn steakhouse and crashed for the night.
Saturday morning we continued North on 106 from Loudon, and picked up Rt 3. A quick cruise through Weirs beach and the breakfast at a nice spot in Meredith (Sunshine & Pa's). We stayed on Rt 3 to Squam lake, then took 113 E. This was a nice ride, and we took the 113A option for additional fun. Good stuff through here. Eventually picked up 113 again, then 16 North into Conway Village. Typical traffic here, but we hopped off at West Side rd and took that to River Rd back to 16, north to Hurricane Mtn Rd.
If you haven't done Hurricane Mtn Rd, you should. Not much traffic, did meet 2 cars on the road, and there were a few folks at the top. I got air on the way up, and I wasn't trying... 'nuff said. After the roller coaster ride down, we went north on 113 in ME. This was also a really nice ride through Evan's Notch, not a single car, and lots of sweepers. Picked up Rt 2 West back into NH, and south on Rt 16 to the Mt Washington Auto Road.
There was a 24 Mtn bike race going on, so there were people everywhere, including the on the road. LOTS of traffic, kind of annoying to be behind cars on the road that keep stopping. Lots of bikes too, big groups, it was a little crazy. Beautiful day though, could see for miles. Lunch at the top chatting with some hikers. Coming down was equally annoying, some guy riding his breaks not going over 10 mph... uggg.
Continue south on 16 to 302 West, to Bear Notch Rd. Awesome fresh pavement, no traffic, 50-55 through all the sweepers, just fun. Kanc wasn't too busy, but we rolled up a motorcycle crash at the hairpin, guy just went wide (west bound) and got into the sand. He went over the guardrail and his bike kept on down the road a bit. It had just happened, so we stopped to try and help out. He was hurting pretty good, helmet (open face) had popped off in the crash. FYI, it took over 40 mins for an ambulance to show, no cell service so someone drove to loon to call 911. Even Medevac was an hour out. Makes you realize how much you're on your own up north... so don't crash.
We continued W on 112, which is really nice once you get out past Woodstock. Picked up 302 again all the way into Montpelier. Stayed at the Econo-Lodge just south on 12. Had dinner at Sarducci's which was great. Long day of great riding, tired.
Sunday morning we went South on 12 to 12A, all really nice, starting to pass the sport tourers now, many wearing day-glo like me
We picked up 107 to 100, all just great roads. Stopped in Ludlow to ride up the Okemo mountain rd, which I highly recommend. Continued on 100 S. We're starting to get pretty tired now, my ass is killing, I'm thinking about an air hawk, and we still had a long way to go. We had planned on riding 100 almost to MA, but we decided try and head home faster. We took 11 E to 112, to some named Rd through Windham VT, which was a really nice ride. That put us on 30, and we took that to I-91 in Brattleboro.
Hopped on the interstate, and instantly regretted it. Stop and go traffic, and once we do get going all the buffeting, etc. We hopped off in MA on Rt 10, and set the GPS set to fastest, and avoid tolls (wanted to stay off the pike). That took us to Gulf Rd through some state forest to Rt 2 (which was kind of an awesome ride). We ate right there at the intersection of 2 at some cool little antique shop/diner. Kinda mostly Veggie stuff, but I had a good tuna melt.
Now we were just following the GPS blindly (Tom Tom on my iPhone) which took us down Rt 2 to 122S, to 31A. This road was a pleasant surprise. Lots of bikes through here too, really nice road. We weren't going slow by any means, and some CBR 600 blew by us from behind like were standing still, death wish I guess. A little rain in this area, but it ended quickly.
Eventually we got on 9E and then 49 south, picked up 31S around Sturbridge into CT and made our way back to RI on local roads.
I really enjoyed touring on the bike. We had a lot of ground to cover, so we didn't stop much (sorry again for lack of pictures). The Versys ran perfectly, the bike was built for this type of riding. I generally had a grin from ear to ear the whole time. I hope to do this annually because I loved it, though I'd probably want to make it a full 3 days to allow some time for sight-seeing next time (and get a better saddle).