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Ashland/New Hampton, NH: Dana Hill Loop (or How to Add 10 Miles to Your Ride)

riverc0il

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Somewheres along mile 13 or so... I felt a strange deja vu from an experience I once had on a road bike. You see, when I used to bike in my late teens, my mom would ask me where I was heading. And I would always reply back "I'll find out when I get there." Call it a life philosophy. More often than not, I developed good sense of direction and went in the general direction I wanted. Every once in a while though...

So I had planned a 10 mile ride with a big hill. I forgot to check elevation gain on google maps before leaving and had gotten more hill than I had bargained for with a low point to high point vertical gain of approximately 700 vertical feet with total ride vertical gain probably well over the 1000' mark.

The loop up and over Dana Hill was pretty intense. I thought I was doing really well but as things got progressively steeper over the course of the 2.3 mile 600 vertical foot climb. I could tell by the landscape features that I was about to crest the high point when the pitch got excessively steep and I totally bonked. Had to stop for a breather and to get my legs stretched out. Looking forward to getting back on that hill for a rematch. Had to head back downhill to clip in, crested the hill, and OMGWTFBBQ WOOOO downhill baby! :eek: I pussied out and ground my break pads.... but it was a turny road and I had no idea what I was going to turn the corner on going 30+.

Any ways, while I was enjoying that long down hill... I apparently missed my turn. Oops! It looked obvious on the map... but I would later find out on my way back that it was a dirt road which is why I didn't even consider it.

So I eventually get to the bottom of the hill and think I am linking back up with Route 132 very near Ashland for the easy remaining 3 mile ride home. Turns out I hit 104 and I still have 10 miles of peddling to do to get home... double my planned route. Oops! :lol:

Thankfully my legs were up to... especially since my cell phone died halfway through the ride :roll: Total trip time was an hour and twenty minutes and I confirmed my suspicion that the bike leg of the sprint triathlon that I am training for will be the easiest and my best part of the event. With hill training like that and a triathlon happening down in the flatlands... I think I can at least make up for my bad swimming LOL.

Any ways.... I FREAKING LOVE IT up here! So glad I went road and not mountain. Cresting the top of Dana Hill Road and looking out over the landscape from 1200' up from a quiet back country road with wide open vistas... just took me back to so much of the riding I did in northeastern MA. Only the views are way better and the hills are way bigger and it feels so much more "out there" considering I was never more than a few miles from a major highway. It felt like I was home. I knew I had finally found where home was.
 

Greg

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Ack! :blink: A roadie report! :roll: There goes the neighborhood. ;)

So glad I went road and not mountain.

You've never MTB'd. I still say it's got your name all over it. Of course I've never ridden on the road (other than connecting MTB routes) so I have no idea how your experience was. All I know is as I sit here with legs that are scraped and bruised to hell, I can't wait for tomorrow's ride! :)

Seriously, glad you had a good ride. Enjoy the summer, Steve!:beer:
 

riverc0il

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Ack! :blink: A roadie report! :roll: There goes the neighborhood. ;)
You were the one that put the "Road" into the forum name. ;) I doubt I'll be doing many reports, so no worries. This one had an interesting story to it. And some really awesome moments that I am sure won't fade from memory any time soon.

You're right in that I never gave MTB a try. But then again... if you took a few years off from skiing... how likely would you be to start up again on a snowboard? Not a completely fair comparison given there is more cross over in the cycling world. All I meant by my statement is I had to made a choice and I think I made the best one. I have a feeling riding up here is going to be so much cooler than the riding I used to do. It was like skiing the feeder hill all season and then getting a lifetime season pass to one of your favorite mountains.
 

riverc0il

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Route on veloroutes.org: http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=33012

Tried mapmyride.com but as Marc noted... the elevation doesn't work. VR.org will let you snap to the road but can not currently snap to the road AND do elevation. So I mapped it out by hand. Mileage is short on the route due to straight lining some curves. Total vertical gain for the ride was around 1500 feet. Steepest part of the ride according to MMR.com was 7% grade where I bonked.
 

Greg

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You were the one that put the "Road" into the forum name. ;) I doubt I'll be doing many reports, so no worries. This one had an interesting story to it. And some really awesome moments that I am sure won't fade from memory any time soon.

You're right in that I never gave MTB a try. But then again... if you took a few years off from skiing... how likely would you be to start up again on a snowboard? Not a completely fair comparison given there is more cross over in the cycling world. All I meant by my statement is I had to made a choice and I think I made the best one. I have a feeling riding up here is going to be so much cooler than the riding I used to do. It was like skiing the feeder hill all season and then getting a lifetime season pass to one of your favorite mountains.

I was teasing you. And definitely feel free to post reports here. We need to broaden our reach and road reports would definitely interest many here.
 

WoodCore

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Ack! :blink: A roadie report! :roll: There goes the neighborhood. ;)



You've never MTB'd. I still say it's got your name all over it. Of course I've never ridden on the road (other than connecting MTB routes) so I have no idea how your experience was. All I know is as I sit here with legs that are scraped and bruised to hell, I can't wait for tomorrow's ride! :)

Seriously, glad you had a good ride. Enjoy the summer, Steve!:beer:

I agree with that assessment 100% Greg. The guy that loves skiing in the trees decides to ride on the manicured boulevards! Makes no sense to me. LOL! :beer:

Regardless, glad to hear your having fun out on your new bike Steve! I'm having fun on my new bike too except I have some good scars and bruises to show for it! LOL!
 

bvibert

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Nice roadie report! Glad to have some diversification in here!

Sounds like an interesting ride Steve, glad you were able to handle the unexpected double mileage with no problem.
 

riverc0il

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So you're going to be ready for some nice long suffering tours next ski season?
Bonus check just came in so I am awaiting this year's Radiums. New AT boots with a liner that isn't ripped and better forward lean will surely give me more motivation to tour. Our central NH BC tour last year also provided ample motivation. While I was suffering up the long hill on that bike ride panting my eyes out, I was definitely thinking "maybe after this summer I'll be able to keep up with that young whipper snapper" :lol:
 
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