Published Date Written by Marty BaschFirst, let me apologize. I'm one of those people, those pale-legged riders in far-too tight lycra wearing obnoxious colors so to be seen along the road. I know the sight can be a bit nauseous. Frankly, I've felt the same way while driving around the valley, seeing cyclists in shorts in spring with those ghastly white legs. But that's what happens when it's warm and the snow's melted. We ride.
The cycling season started early this season, for many back in March. I was on my bike before I hung up my skis and many have been hitting not only the roads, but also the mountain biking trails.
It's been a true joy to watch Mount Washington lose, gain and lose snow over spring while pedaling area roads like the North South Road and West Side Road. Of course, I also had to try the East Conway Road on my road bike. That was a mistake. Should have used my mountain bike instead with all those potholes and crumbling sections. That's too bad. That road is a vital link to some of the finest and most bucolic roads around the valley.
The Kanc's got some bumps on the Conway side and Passaconaway Road is always a joy, gated or not.
Also enjoyed heading up through the notch and riding the wonderful North Road along the Androscoggin with its million dollar Presidential views. Hardly any traffic but a bit too much sand for my liking. Rode with a buddy and his affable friend up to the height of land in Evan's Notch and marveled at both the destruction caused by Irene, and the work that's been done to get the notch back on track.
The Mount Washington Valley Velo Club has undergone a name change. It's now the Mount Washington Valley Bicycling Club. Seems velo's a word that's both hard to say and difficult to explain. Nonetheless, the dedicated band of bicycle riders are hard at work behind the scenes in terms of advocacy, events and group rides. The group rides are out in force and I urge you to try one this year. Or attend one of their events. Or just join and support them.
Once again, they'll be out in force to volunteer for Kids Bike Safety Day at Storyland May 12.
The White Mountain chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association is an incredible boost to building and maintaining trails around the valley. Get down and dirty with them this season and maybe volunteer to do some trail work. Over the coming season look for NEMBA members out on the Red Tail Trail doing some rerouting and tweaking. The Moat Network is getting some love again this season. Look for some rerouting on the upper Stony Ridge and another by a rather steep incline by the old Carroll Reed cabin site. Plus, there could be signs going up. That's a huge plus.
The group also plans to do some maintenance on the Conway Rec Path bridge.
They've got group rides Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for various abilities.
Expect some chapter members to make the always amazing journey to Kingdom Trails in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom for the debut of NEMBAFest, a mountain bike festival with demos, an industry expo, camping, music, lift service riding at Burke Mountain and tons of group rides. It's June 22-24. An adult ticket is $129 and that includes camping, trails passes and lift tickets. Kids 8-15 are $69 and children under 7 are free. Mountain bike legend Gary Fisher is scheduled to be there.
Through Pinkham Notch and into Gorham, look for a new bicycle shop, Porky Gulch, on Main Street. It's in the same parking lot with the White Mountain Cafe. Could be a good stop if you're doing some northern Presidential riding or mountain biking the Moose Brook State Park trails.
The May 19 Crank the Kanc and Aug. 18 Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb are sold out. The field is still open for the July 7 Newton's Revenge. The practice ride is June 3.
Attitash expects to open for summer operations Sat. May 26 with activities including downhill and cross-country mountain biking. They'll be open weekends until through June 10.
Great Glen Trails plans to open late May. The Tuesday eight-week Dakine Summer Mountain Bike Series starts July 3 and goes from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
So get out this season and get some color in those legs.