Potholes? Frost heaves? Naw, New Hampshire doesn’t have potholes…
…instead we have man eating craters that rival the Grand Canyon that span the middle of the everyday thoroughfares.
My post-Paris-Roubaix/pre-Tour of California self titled Tour of New England is rapidly coming to a close, as I’m off to California tomorrow. It’s a blast for me to have family and friends all throughout the northeast because between weddings, baseball games, bachelor parties, and simply traveling for the sake of seeing close friends whom I would not otherwise see, I’ve been blessed to tackle some riding across the finest section of America – even if that means occasionally catching air at 70kph on a screaming downhill when I hit a frost heave and jet over it’s frightening crevasse.
One of my recent adventures took me into the White Mountains. I started the day in the basking sun of home down south, nearly two hours’ drive from my riding point. Down yonder it was warm and pleasant and I was definitely not expecting anything but a pristine day. So when I stepped out the car and saw my breath I was less than psyched. But I soldiered on and soon warmed up a bit, until I reached the top of the Kanc’ at which point it was snowing on me and I was reaaally unprepared and freezing, I therefore decided that a rapid descent into Lincoln was in order. A $0.99 coffee complete with a splattering of instant cappuccino warmed my soul while a $5 pair of gas station gloves warmed my fingers.
What’s topped even that is that I then began another, separate five-day journey that saw me in the Upper Valley of NH and VT for a pair of days, followed by a blustery day of riding in Burlington, and then off to the most northern and remote town in all of New Hampshire called Pittsburg (nope, no -h at the end). When you’re in Pittsburg, NH you may as well be on the moon except that we still Live, Free, or Die here in the great Granite State. Despite now being in the midst of New England’s well documented turbulent spring weather, I was still not anticipating snow… or maybe I was just not appreciating snow. So when it dumped snow in downright blizzard-like fashion for 18 straight hours, and I woke up Saturday morning to a blank white scene, I was extremely pleased that I still had those $5 gas station gloves safely stored in my car. I doubled up the riding gloves that day and my toasty warm and extremely stylish fingers were all the happier for it.
If you’re curious what the nether reaches of New Hampshire look like, when you haven’t seen a car in hours and there are far more “Brake For Moose” signs than there are moose, then you know you’re practically in Canada, eh, then let this photo above appease you. To one direction you look back south at New Hampshire and you see this wonderfully English and French signage. Bienevue!
And in the other direction you’ll see the fiercely impenetrable and vastly underused New Hampshire–Canadian border patrol.
Which, believe it or not, on the other side of these buildings looks curiously like northern New Hampshire.
Oh, I was concerned that I wasn’t going to see any moose on this adventure to the great white north. On my big ride in Pittsburg I saw one hedgehog or lemur or ferret or something sprint across the road. That was exciting, but I really wanted a moose – the forest’s most awkwardly tall and gangly animal. Then after feeling defeated upon leaving Pittsburg early Sunday morning, I was about an hour south on my way to show Tim a thing or two about how to ride a bike, I saw my elusive moose walking across the road.
No photo because it was too awesome.
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