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Old 05-12-14, 02:20 PM
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Distinguished
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Rate my Route:

Who: me & road bike with fenders, rack, panniers, camping equipment, bike gear, & food.
What: traveling from Amherst College, MA to Camp Wilmot, NH. Total mi: 103.
When: from June 1 to June 3 (official arrival date is June 8, so I have lots of time to kill)
Why: start my Climate Summer biking/sustainability internship.

http://goo.gl/maps/iGYWa

--------------------------------------------

Touring veterans, what do you think of my route? I tried to avoid highways as much as possible and made sure I passed by plenty of towns and nature reserves for entertainment and food/supplies.

Also, I need a map of some sort so I know where I'm going. I have an iPhone without internet service; perhaps there's a map app that works without internet? (Google Maps doesn't from what I've read).

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Old 05-12-14, 03:27 PM
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bikenh
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Can't speak for the southern leg of the ride other than MA roads suck. As of the past couple of years once you hit 63/10, the bridge going across the CT River, on up you have a good route. I live within a couple miles of the route and I think you may hit it lucky and a good chunk of Sunapee will be new pavement. I know two of the three repaving projects around here are suppose to be done later this week and I'm guessing they will probably do Route 11 from 103 to Trow Hill Rd sometime next week...time shall tell.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:13 PM
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Do you have an elevation profile? I'm not familiar with details of your route - but remember enough from my cycling in that area (and particularly a bit further north of there) is going with or against the grain of the land as far as hills are concerned, makes a huge difference.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:38 PM
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Try your local tourist information centres, bookstores, or sporting good stores for maps.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:04 PM
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I have not travelled those specific roads but looking at MA and NH state maps I think you have made excellent choices. Google street view shows intermittent shoulders on NH 10 to Keene. I'm not sure about that stretch, but looks good on the map. North of there it's a winding country road all the way to Newport. I can't comment on hill difficulty.

MA 63 looks nice also on Google. I've ridden River Road on the other side of CT River from Hatfield to Turner's Falls. That's a good route too. Just mail order the paper state maps of NH and MA. They show your entire proposed route except for "Old Route 11". It should be signed.

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Old 05-12-14, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Just mail order the paper state maps of NH and MA. They show your entire proposed route except for "Old Wilmot Road". It should be signed.
How can I mail order up-to-date state maps? Is there a link I can follow, phone number I can call, etc.?

Thank you (:

Last edited by Distinguished; 05-12-14 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:29 PM
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NH road map-
email- travel@dred.state.nh.us

NH bike maps-
Maps | NH Bike/Ped | NH Department of Transportation

MA-
Official Massachusetts Transportation Map - Traffic & Travel Resources - Highway Division

The NH bike map (Monadnock) suggests the Ashuelot Rail Trail that roughly parallels Rt 10 between Winchester and Keene, then Rt 10 north of Keene. Sounds pretty rough though. You may want to stick to the road.

http://www.traillink.com/trail/ashuelot-rail-trail.aspx

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Old 05-12-14, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
How can I mail order up-to-date state maps? Is there a link I can follow, phone number I can call, etc.?

Thank you (:
Go to your local tourist information centre, sporting goods shop, bookstore ... or automobile association outlet. They should all have up-to-date maps. Service stations should have up-to-date maps too.

If you really don't have those options anywhere around you, google "massachusetts state map" or whatever state you're in, and have a look over the map options available.


You're about to start a "Climate Summer biking/sustainability internship" ... no time like the present to take the initiative to investigate where you might be able to find the information you seek. Get on your bicycle and cycle around to all the places in your neighbourhood which might sell or give away maps. Look at it like a learning and discovery experience.

Last edited by Machka; 05-13-14 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 05-13-14, 08:48 AM
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Have you looked into places to stay?
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Old 05-13-14, 10:14 AM
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. . . and things to do? 100 miles in 3 days leaves lots of spare time.
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Old 05-13-14, 01:38 PM
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There are allies of Climate Summer in Keene, Newport, and New London. The Better Future Project Director of Programs is currently contacting them; hopefully these allies can house me for a day or two each. I might camp out in some nature reserves/parks too, if needed. I haven't done research on camping in these areas though (whether it's legal, whether I'll do it anyway, precautions to take when setting up camp, etc.).

For entertainment, I will probably use up luxurious space to take 3 small books, my laptop for a movie or two (I have to take the laptop for the internship, I will charge it in shops during the day), and if I end up doing the park camping, I can find lakes to swim in, places to hike, etc. I'll try to plot these activities & locations on the map soon.

Also, what do you guys think of camping near the road?

Last edited by Distinguished; 05-13-14 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:40 AM
  #12  
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I don't think that camping is permitted at either Honey Brook or Dodge Brook State Forests on NH 10. If you need any State Park facilities along that stretch you may need to modify your route to hit Pillsbury or Mt. Sunapee State Parks more easterly. But it's only 35 miles from Keene to Newport though, where you already may have lodging.
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Old 05-14-14, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
There are allies of Climate Summer in Keene, Newport, and New London. The Better Future Project Director of Programs is currently contacting them; hopefully these allies can house me for a day or two each. I might camp out in some nature reserves/parks too, if needed. I haven't done research on camping in these areas though (whether it's legal, whether I'll do it anyway, precautions to take when setting up camp, etc.).

For entertainment, I will probably use up luxurious space to take 3 small books, my laptop for a movie or two (I have to take the laptop for the internship, I will charge it in shops during the day), and if I end up doing the park camping, I can find lakes to swim in, places to hike, etc. I'll try to plot these activities & locations on the map soon.

Also, what do you guys think of camping near the road?
Long and well detailed...

I can't speak of anything south of MA10/63 as I haven't been down that way.

From MA10/63 northward it starts off, as I remember fairly flat going north out of the nearby town, I don't remember the name right now. As you get to the split where 63 turns to the left you start the climb up to the state line. It's a decent climb, mostly will depend on what kind of shape you are in/how much of a load you are carrying as to how difficult you find it. As I remember it's at least a mile long climb. I believe it pretty much tops out right around the state line.

As you continue northward you descend down to NH119 and then have pretty much flat terrain, maybe a small hill here or there but nothing significant like the stateline climb in either grade or length, all the way up to Keene.

As you head north out of Keene, even before you hop onto NH9 you will be climbing all the way until you make the left hand turn onto NH10. It's around 1.5 miles or so of climbing, not quite as bad of a climb as the stateline climb, but I do believe it is a bit longer. It has been a couple of years since I have been south of Keene but only a month or so since I was last in Keene.

As you head north on NH10 it will be pretty much flat for the first 2-3 miles. When you see a guy selling snowplow blades on the right hand side of the road you will know you are about to hit the next significant climb. It's roughly 1 mile long. I think, if I remember the count correct there is only two curves to the top. You will know you are at the top both by the downhill ahead sign and also you will have a nice rock slab/wall/whatever you want to call it on the right hand side of the road that sticks out as well. Immediately hitting the top of the climbing you will start the descent into Gilsum Gorge and the Upper Ashuelot(Ash for short) River. As you almost hit the bottom of the drop there is a road on the left, quite noticeable T intersection. If you were to turn left there and go across the bridge there is a nice parking lot there and I'm not sure...it's been a while since I've went across the bridge and was never looking while there at any possible campsites, there might be a campsite option there...don't count on it though.

The one fair warning that I will give you though is don't expect to find much water in the stretch between Keene and Goshen/Newport. It's quite rural and you don't have much in the way of any services. Their is a general store in Lempster and a general store/gas station in Goshen where you might get lucky enough to be able to fill up water bottles otherwise you are on your own.

Heading north from Gilsum Gorge you start a stair step fashion climb until just before NH123 turns to the right just south of Marlow. None of the climbs are all that bad compared to what you have already seen.

About a mile before NH123 it turns fairly flat until you are up to NH123A. I believe there is a small climb or two but nothing that is much more than 40-50 foot vertical.

Shortly after NH123A you will have a drop into followed by climb back up away from Jolly Rogers Motocross Track. This leads into a rather gentle uphill on into Lempster. Like I said you might be able to get water at the general store on the right hand side just north of the gravel pit. Just look for the only place that has cars sitting around it.

From there on up for the next 1-2 miles its pretty much flat. Toward the north end of the stretch check out the guy on the left hand side of the road. He has a big Obama head drawing and he always has something to say. He's definitely not an Obama fan. It's always funny to see what he is saying.

About the time you get up to the turn to head to the Goshen/Lemspter School you will start to enter a series of short rolling hills that will lead you up to NH31 intersection. There is a bit of flat stretch throughout this stretch as well. Generally when I'm riding from Keene to my place/Newport this is one of the faster parts of the trip...I've never really figured out why.

One possible swimming hole option takes you off course for a mile or so right at NH31. Hang a right onto NH31 and climb up the hill. Pass center Road on the left and roughly...it's been a while, .5-1 mile down the road there will be a gravel road on the left with a gate right by the road. That is the entrance to Gunnison Lake, err Goshen Ocean. Head on in the gravel road and when you get back to the parking area head left down between the row of the trees. When you get to the end of the trees you will see the small beach right there. It has a gorgeous view of Mount Sunapee which is the feed for Goshen Ocean, which was created as a flood control project.

As you continue north from NH31 you are only .5 mile from the blinker light/general store in Goshen. It's flat to downhill through the stretch and then remains flat as you head north out of towns for 1-1.5 miles. You'll start a nice .75 mile, roughly, climb that tops out when you have a house on the left hand side.

From that point you have the downhill that brings you to the campground and another roller or two, mostly downhill though as you head on into Newport.

After you get through the stoplight you have two options, you can cross the bridge and take the first right hand turn or you can go on up through town and take the next right hand turn. Both bring you out at the same place. The first one is a bit steeper than the second one but either way you have to climb to get away from downtown Newport.

After you are up on top you will have another small gentle climb that brings you to Cross Rd/St and than it's a slight downhill that brings you back out to the river and you follow along the river for a little ways. For the next 1.5 miles or so is pretty much flat. One small hill right before you hit the Ruger *** factory but it's nothing to speak of.

After going past the electric substation you enter a stretch of houses on the left and than see what was a former wool mill site, now an empty lot on the right hand side of the road. Right after the wool mill is what I have always said and still continue to say is one of the best climbs around this area. It isn't but I think its placement for me where I live(about 3 miles away) always makes it harder than what it should be. Roughly a .3-.4 mile climb and then descent down into the flats that lead into Sunapee.

There are a couple of small hills between NH103 and Sunapee but the best is being saved for you after you get out of the north end of Sunapee. Once you pass the new library being built on the left hand side just north of the blinker light you will start the first of 3 or 4 climbs. The first one is the worst/longest one. After getting up top you drop back down part of the way to make the second climb with another short drop and than climb at least one more time before you the big drop into Georges Mills. I've hit 48.5 mph on the drop into Georges Mills, it's one of the fastest drops around this area...I only know of two others in the area that are as fast or faster.

Once you get into Georges Mills you stay flat while riding along Otter Pond. Sandy beach is on the east end of the pond and is easily accessible from the side road. It doesn't have the view that Goshen ocean has though.

Right after you get past the side road that takes you to the beach you start up a nice climb that 'tops' out just before I-89. Go under I-89 and the climb tapers off but continues on into New London. Through New London its mostly flat up until...I believe you are turning on Pleasant Street(I didn't look that closely at you plans but that's about your only option I believe). When you turn onto Pleasant Street within roughly a .25 mile it will turn into a nice descent down to Pleasant Lake. Around the lake is pretty much flat as I remember. It's been a while since I have been around Pleasant Lake. After you turn away from Pleasant Lake I can't speak of any of that even though I might have been that way once I'm not sure...definitely hadn't been there bike only by car and I haven't owned a car now for 4 years.

The main climbs would be:
1) Stateline
2) North out of Keene
3) Just before Gilsum Gorge
4) Climb out of downtown Newport(short climb either way but still noticeable)
5) Climb by the former wool mill
6) Going north out of Sunapee
7) Just after Otter Pond

All the rest of the climbs aren't much to speak of but they are there.

In case you run into trouble, right on the route you have a bike shop. In Keene, just before the college are two bike shops, one man's, one woman's...I always look strangely as I pass by them as to why the woman's bike shop...I forget if it's called (She's Bikes) or what, the name definitely tells you that it's woman's bikes and not men's bikes. Both shops are on the left hand side of the road just past the motorcycle shop. Otherwise there are no other bike shops on your route.

Like I said above getting water between Keene and Newport can be problematic. Camping along the road in this area, other than MAYBE Gilsum Gorge would be difficult at best. It is heavily wooded but mostly new growth wooded that is tightly pack so finding a place to setup camp could be rather interesting...again since I live in the area I haven't really scouted out possible campsites along NH10. Thinking about it you might, midweek be able to stealth at Jolly Rogers if they have a gate left open. The area around it is fairly rural with one house just south of the track and another on the opposite side of the road as the track between the north and south gates. If you was able to sneak in you might be able to stealth there. Admittedly, I do think, I'm not sure though, that it is posted No Trespassing.

Between Newport and NH103 is mostly business district so don't plan on much around there. Between NH103 and downtown Sunapee is wetlands on the left side of the road but if you could sneak in there is a spot by the dam where you might get away with camping there. After you cross NH103 you'll go along flat road and then start a climb that tops out at a left hand turn onto Treatment Plant Road. Beyond that the road does a short term level off and then continues to climb further. Once you are at the top you will have gone past a left hand bend in the road and on the left you will notice some gravel and a guardrail, like a parking area. There is a house on the right hand side before you get to the drive going down to the dam. Like with any stealth camp, it's all about being stealthy and I wouldn't try to go in before sunset. Worse case scenario the library in Sunapee, 1-2 miles further down the road is open until 6PM Wednesday-Friday, 8PM on Mondays, closed all day on Tuesday. You could go surf the web to kill a little time...I'm there right now sending this message out.

From there on up to Pleasant Street in New London I would say you chances of finding road side camping are probably fairly slim, unless you want to sleep underneath the overpass on I-89

It's been a couple of years since I was last south of Keene but as I remember the shoulders are plenty wide and once you get north of Keene the traffic is minimal all the way up to Goshen/Newport. NH11 between Newport and New London has quite a bit more traffic but you have plenty wide enough shoulders(8-10 foot wide) in the area as well. The only exception is as you leave Newport the shoulders are rather narrow until you get out by the river on the east side of town. Drivers around Newport anymore are pretty decent about giving you space since Dan O'Neil, former town manager and cyclist as well had the NH Pass signs put up that you will see as you enter Newport on NH10. You won't miss then, they stand out like a sore thumb.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
; perhaps there's a map app that works without internet? (Google Maps doesn't from what I've read).
This response is just for the records since I like this app, and you might find it useful.

I Don't know about iPhone but "OsmAnd" for android has worked great for me. Here is the quote from Welcome To OsmAnd

"Global Mobile Map Viewing & Navigation for Offline and Online OSM Maps - OsmAnd (OSM Automated Navigation Directions) is a map and navigation application with access to the free, worldwide, and high-quality OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. All map data can be stored on your device's memory card for offline use. Via your device's GPS, OsmAnd offers routing, with optical and voice guidance, for car, bike, and pedestrian. All the main functionalities work both online and offline (no internet needed)."



You need to be a bit tech savvy too, you'd need to find your map, a GPX file, from some internet site, save it and then upload it to a specified directory on your phone, I have used it and explored few great bike routes in my area to campgrounds and to parks which I did not know how to get to on bicycle but by car. It conmsumes a lot of battery power too. So a you need to be constantly recharging your phone while on the bicycle. Anyways here more info on this thread;


http://www.bikeforums.net/electronic...ned-route.html
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