Franconia Ridge Loop: 2:49

Meh.  I'm gettin' slower all the time.  Sigh.

Saturday's weather was gorgeous (a little hot) but trail conditions were ideal and coming in just 19 minutes short of my PR was okay, I guess.

Route:  Falling Waters up, OBP down.

Motivation:  sore hamstrings and swollen knee from The Pain In The NEK.  Wanted to test durability and stability.

Food/Drink:  One Gu gel and 28oz water.

A lot of hikers on the trail - typical for a Saturday.  I try to maintain a strict rule of courtesy since I'm generally coming up behind people pretty suddenly.  The one crazy thing I can't figure out is why some folks stop to eat/drink/chat right on the trail so nobody can fit by.  Weird.  Almost completely crushed a poor Japanese girl's fingers, almost destroyed a sandwich and nearly obliterated a kid who didn't know how to react to my shouting 'Excuse me, passing on your left!".

I always yield to ascending hikers and assert my right-of-way while ascending.  Gotta be sensitive to surprises though.  Saturday's crowd was looking for any reason to stop on their climb and catch their breath so it wasn't really an issue.

Best object found on the trail:  An 8-shot, red, cap-ring for a toy cap-gun.
Best utterance heard on the trail (said to dawdling son asking questions by type-A mom):  "Ask me on the summit - we're here to hike."
Most obvious object to jump over:  a pile of wet toilet paper right in the middle of the trail.


Swapping a Speed Pemi for the Bad Boy?

I've got a speed Pemi on the calendar for Saturday, 8/20 (PR for a counter-clockwise loop of the Pemigewasset Wilderness w/out tagging West Bond, North Twin or Galehead is 10:55).  Various aches and pains and the upcoming D2R2 and RTTTOV are suggesting the plans change.  If so, the other option is to hit Mt. Washington which I need in August, Oct & Nov to cross of the grid list.  Either way, unless we're dumped on with rain, it'll be one or the other.... or Adams Slide ... or something else....


Burke Mtn Run, East Burke, VT

Click To Embiggen
Today's run was a test of my legs after The Pain in the NEK and in anticipation of the 8/20 speed Pemi.

I took Jake, Spanky The Wonder Dog, Marley and Rascal with me.  You can see the three water stops as little steps in the profile at right.

Route:  from the Main Lodge up Lower/Upper Willoughby ski trails to the parking lot, then the service road to the summit proper.

Based on Google Maps it looks like 1.71 miles, so the official stats are:

Distance:  1.71 miles
Time:  43 min
Elevation Gain:  2011' (my altimeter clocked it at 1990, but the Suunto altimeter has an error of 10 or more feet so I'll go with the official mountain stats).

Terrain:  To a large degree, we were ascending steeply through low brush and weeds.  We hit some service vehicle tracks and some mtb trails but the trails were being actively used by bikes so we tried to avoid them entirely.


The Pain in the NEK

Rode the Pain In The NEK on 8/6/2011 w/ g-$$$, tMail, Dogman, Maddog & B.

tMail's Trip Report:
Couple of things from the first Pain in the NEK.

B's sandwich at DogMan's did anyone weigh it? It was the size of B's hooked on Red Bulls.

MadDog's bike is assembled but his clothes aren't. While discarding his XL shorts I saw a little sewn in tag, "Love Peggy O'Brien, now I know why he wouldn't part with them.  

DogMan has obliterated currency. Goods are to change hands instead of currency, goat milk for pizza, chain lube for an apple, women can take my sperm for diamonds, should be interesting.

I loved falling in the hidden sand boxes of the Pain in the NEK, so cool. The caked dirt on the body, water bottles is cool. Anyone blow their nose that night!?!?

That ride brought back memories of VT 100 dirt roads, ups and downs, no flats, friends offering moral support.

My Tracer Brook moment, DogMan dropped me on Mack Mountain Road, I left it all on Mack. He executed with precision  like a Gladiator. 

The one thing MadDog loves I discovered if you have a bummed knee, foot, broken bone he likes it better if you glue it, zip tie it, velcro it or knee brace it and carry on.

G$$$ it was great to give the flick of the elbow and you come up and take a pull. It was a great couple minutes of hammering it, AWESOME!!! I miss the paceline!

The side trip up Lawrence Hill Road (?) was excellent, what's a set of hill repeats thrown in the middle of the Pain in the NEK before Keiser Hill.

Mutha loved the route, Water Andric and Little Scotland Road magnificent. Great Road is great I love that road it can be a suffer fest.

Handler station at DogMan's was great, always a treat to see Trudy she doesn't give a $hit who are just throw the ball. She may take a lick of the watermelon bowl, your cut knee, nibble of bread but that's ok, she deserves it.

Words of Cheeto Commanche - the Oak Tree will snap but the willow just bends.

Dogmans' Trip Report:


Thank you all for the experience. Great day. I am crushed.


MD for being the clown, literally if not just in costume. And for an incredible first ride of the year. WTF? Could have done the full 100.
Mutha for the Thistle Hill serenade, and for the marvel of running in reverse, gaining energy as the day wears on not losing it. Also could have done the full 100.
B for saving it all up to lay down the attacks on Cabot Plains and W Shore Road. Nice riding.
TMail for hammering up Macks, letting out audible winces, but jamming it regardless.
G$$ for being ever present wingman. In reality the turkey sandwich, at least what I ate, probably saved me from complete meltdown.

Excited for the 2nd annual attempt at completing the full route.

In honor of Ernie Banks...

Who shall choose to delve
Into the delights of Pain In The NEK
Of 2012....
g-$$$'s Trip Report:
My Pain in the NEK memories:

.....Pull into East HQ at 7:50 and the first wave is still in the station (it's gonna be a looong day)
.....Tmail's final decision was that he is not going to ride (well, I guess maybe he will)
.....Maddog obviously stole the shorts off a clown (Craft clothing gods are angered by the though of being paired to such shoddy stitchery that they conspire to throw him down Hooper Hill)
.....Riding Water Andric...corollary to attempting to riding Chamberlain
.....Lawrence Hill Rd leads to St Johnsbury (ask me why I know this)
.....Slow speed crashes galore
.....Stone Walls, Scenic Vistas, Cheeto loving locals counting traffic...no unleashed dogs
.....Maddog is up to 76 miles on the annual mileage log!
.....muthaz' karaoke hour riding up Thistle
.....figuring out DM's kryptonite is Smoked Turkey Wrap from the Cabot Store deli.
.....post-ride food, drink, and awesome stories.

very well done boys.  no passengers on this ride.  excellent routing and set up.  good lessons learned and can't wait to see all of the west course...especially since B said that's the hardest ride he ever did.....yikes!

 too wired from the 3 cups of coffee to go to bed....but it was so worth it!
MadDog's Trip Report:
The Pain in NEK inaugral delivers. Special thanks to DogMan and Mutha for all the scouting, planning, mapping and logistics. We owe you guys.

1. It was great to see and be out with ALL the boyz (B, MZ, g-$, DM, and Cheeto). It was extra special to have Cheeto Commanche join the fray and frolic. In PM's honor, I consumed ample amounts of SPAM.

2. As expected the rocket brigade (g-$, Dogman, Tmail) pulled point and us - most of the day. It's a joy to watch them power up and sail down. Amazing!

3. Pain in the NEK is much easier to accomplish if you keep the bike upright. And, consume ample amounts of NASIDs.

4. The West Barnett PD showed up after getting a call from a neighbor about a man ripping the pants off another man in the parking lot. Cheeto snapped, that's my guess. He'll have to splain the rest.

5. In keeping with Tip #3, do not stow bananas.

6. All the stage were just delights to be on.

7. The stone masons were treated to some delightful work...but there was one in particular that caught the eye - the house with the big pond that was at the edge of the property...the retaining walls around the house were 1 ton+ pieces of granite with average jointing width of 1-3 inches. that is art and craftsmanship at its best.

8. My Tracer Brook was Mac Mountain Road

9. Watermelon is now standard equipment.

10. Who do I owe for pizza?

11. B and Cheeto, thanks for the gear augmentation, I will get it back to WASHED after D2R2.

12. g-$ special rec for doing the big drive - we want you home safe.....

Looking forward to tapering, D2R2 and other fall adventures :-)