June brings Laconia Bike Week to New Hampshire and now that I started to ride, have been paying attention to activity. Yeah, for those not familiar with it, it is probably 95% Harley owners gathering where thousands of people and clubs meet each spring .
Working from home (Boston) and read that Mt Washington Auto Road - is "motorcycle only" for 4 days each year Ride to the Sky - Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham NH
. Thursday was the last day. So, a nearly empty schedule, 75 degree's and sunny, a bike looking to ride, and a bike only ride up the mountain. I'm in. 6:30AM alarm and on the road by 7:00AM.
Mt Washington Auto Road is about 7 miles in length and takes you about 5,000 feet into the sky (starting at 1200 and get up to ~ 6200) on a road with awesome views.
So, breakfast at a local joint along the way, then onto the road. Got there at 11:00AM and already about 300 bikes waiting to pay the fee to ride the road
Passed through the toll gate ($17) and pulled over to prepare for the 48 degree's and wind at the top. Zippered in the liner for my jacket, changed to winter gloves and threw on an extra t-shirt. Time to ride north.
Joined a conga line of bikes and started up. First 1000 feet up and no real difference in weather. Getting to 2000 feet (really 3300 sinc the start is about 1200) and the weather started to change and many of the guys in t-shirts only were pulling over to add layers.
About another 1000 feet up and you are out of the tree's and riding on a road with no guard rails, but awesome views. As a rookie rider I realized the importance of looking where you plan to ride. My focus 95% of the time was on the road ahead and not on the views along the trail. People riding 2 up, it was fun noting most of the passengers were busy looking sideways and taking lots of pictures of the mountains.
Another 1000 miles up and the road turns to dirt. OK, not loose dirt, but packed well and to be honest, I wanted to push it with my bike, but the traffic slowed and I needed to keep pace.
The final 1000 and made it to the top. The temperature registered @ 47 degrees and 20 mph winds. When I left the start it was 78 degrees. Glad I brought layers.
There were 4 parking areas' and they were all packed (silver GS is me)
And to show my family I reached the top
So a bottle of chocolate milk and peanut butter crackers and I'm ready to head back down.
As I was leaving the top, saw a group of GS & RS riders from Quebec. Followed them down and was amazed that most of the rode down standing up, many had helmet cams, and all but 1 rode 1 up. Compared that to the bulk of the riders going 2.
So, a rookie adventure up a mountain and down. But had one conference call to do. So, headed to Wolfboro and grabbed a bench on the docks at lake winnipesaukee, dialed into my conference call and enjoyed the view -
. NH is a beautiful place anytime of the year.