In a departure from my usual rants or wry observations, I thought I'd publish a ride report today. My buddy called me up on Friday to run an errand for him. The errand required a trip over to Lake Nubanusit in Nelson, NH, and the forecast for the weekend was beautiful, so of course I said "yes". I left Sunday morning early on DBZ (my BMW motorcycle). While the sun had been up for a while, it was probably 45 degrees or less at my house when I departed. Several layers under my riding suit (the 'stitch) kept me warm, along with the grip heaters on the bike and my winter gloves. I decided to pound the highways on the way over, taking 101 west until I reached Dublin and then turning north to the lake. For most of the ride, the sun warmed by back and made the early temperatures bearable. The air was still and I didn't get involved with any road crazies, which is rare when you're riding.
In Harrisville (north of Dublin), I pulled into the local general store for a coffee and a bite. This little general store has been under several owners in the 25 plus years that I have been venturing over to the lake. The current ownership incarnation has the emphasis on sandwiches and other deli products, but they also had coffee and various rolls and breads. I chose a wonderful blueberry scone to go with the so-so coffee, and sat outside at a table on the porch while I sipped the coffee. The one downside to riding a motorcycle for those of us who are used to driving around with a beverage is that you can't do that on a bike, especially when you wear a full-face helmet. You could also look at it as an upside, because you get a chance to stop and relax when you want something to eat or drink.
Leaving Harrisville, the road to the lake soon turns to dirt. In that area of the state, the dirt roads are even smoother than the heaved-up paved roads. My back, just a couple weeks from the visit to the emergency room (see Today's sky report for August 29), appreciated things smoothing out.
The lake was serene and clear. I wish that my errand required a trip on the water and I wished that I had more time to spend there, but before long, I was back on the bike headed east. I resolved to return without touching Route 101. So, here are the towns you hit in avoidance: Nelson, Harrisville, Hancock, Greenfield, Francestown, New Boston, Goffstown, Manchester, Hooksett, Candia, Raymond, Epping, Brentwood, Exeter. Some of the roads were awful - heaved and bumpy. Some of the roads were wonderful, recently paved and beautifully curved. For most of the duration of this route, you get an appreciation of just how beautiful this state can be. Fields, mountains, swamps, horse farms, forests, rivers, lakes, small towns, city views, people in churches, a road race, a drag race, all there for your viewing. All of it on a 75 mile trip. Hope my buddy has another errand when the leaves get more colored.