Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wolfeboro rail trail

Wolfeboro Rail Trail (Cotton Valley Trail)
After the 100k ride in the morning I felt the need for some more riding, I didn’t want to miss a day of biking so I headed south to Wolfeboro and the Cotton Valley trail:  http://www.concordmonitor.com/news/4705088-95/trail-wolfeboro-cotton-lake
This trail is kind of unique since it still has the rails, they packed down dirt and in some spots you ride between the rails.  It makes for a very narrow ride!  I really enjoyed this although being tired and a bit sore at first I loosened up as I got going.  The trail was mostly shaded and not particularly busy on a Saturday afternoon.
The Wolfeboro end of the trail was spectacular with great views of the lake as you passed through it on the trail.  I took a few pictures as I went along.  The only drawback of this trail was there was only about 15 miles of riding (out/back).  I’m hoping to ride some more trails as I’m working my way through the book “New Hampshire Rail Trails”.





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

100k on the ElliptiGo

Kancamagus double traverse 100k
I got up at 3am on Saturday and hit the road for the 2 hour drive to Conway.  A large regular from Dunkin’s and satellite radio helped pass the time.  I arrived at the Eastern end of the Kancamagus Highway (route 112) just before sunrise.  http://www.kancamagushighway.com/
 
I had planned on parking at the Saco River Ranger station but was surprised to find that parking was limited to 30 minutes.  I ended up driving up 112 for .7 miles to the Albany town forest parking area.  It took me a few minutes to get my gear together and get the ElliptiGo prepared for the ride.  My goal was a double-travers of the highway, up over the pass then down to the Lincoln Woods parking lot then returning.  The 100 kilometers (62.1 miles) would double my longest ride and this was no flat ride with over 4,000’ of climb/descent.  I’d done part of the Kanc on bike (last year) but never a traverse.  There is a bike race that does the first 21 miles of my ride and riding the Kanc is considered New England gem.  
 
I got my gear together (2 liters of water, 4 gels, 2 energy bars, emergency cell phone) and was off just after sunrise.  I started out wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, it was almost a bit chilly with the breeze on the ElliptiGo.  Earlier I had written up some splits along the way to help break up the ride and give me some milestones.  The going was a bit slower than I expected as the road climbed at a gentle grade (less than 100’ per mile) for the first 10 miles.  I chugged along at about 13 mph trying to keep an even effort but not over-exert this early on.  Ten to fifteen miles were a mostly flat section that included a ½ mile that was under construction and slowed me way down on the rocks and dirt (not good for the Go).  The real climbing started at 15 with a tough stretch up to the Sugar hill scenic overlook at about 17 miles.

Sugar hill seemed like a good place to take a quick break.  I jumped off, got a couple of pictures, got out of my long sleeve, and was back on the Go in four minutes.  That would be my longest break of the day.  The remaining climb to the pass was slow but steady I was cranking out 7-8 MPH as the grade increased from 5-6% with a couple of 8-9% stretches.  Having driven it many times was helpful and knowing that there would be an 8 mile downhill to Lincoln Woods kept it from being too tough.  I hit the top (21 miles) in a bit under 2 hours and took a 2 minute break to get pictures at the pass.
 
Zoom!  What a blast coming down the road.  There were very few cars as it was still only 7:30am, so I zipped along down the 5-7% grades.  I thought I’d be going faster based on some of the mountain rides I’d done but I guess the grade wasn’t quite steep enough to really get rolling.  I hit 31 mph a few times but mostly just cruised about 25 mph.  I was still working and very rarely coasted. 
I hit the Lincoln Wood turnaround in 2:12 (2:18 total time) and grabbed a gel and some water before getting going.  A couple of bikers had gone by right before I stopped and I was kind of hoping to follow them.  The climb back up to the pass was shorter going in this direction (8 miles instead of 21) and there wasn’t quite as much climb.  But at this point I was now on my longest ride ever, so I was a bit nervous about going too hard.  I did keep pushing anyway, figuring the last 21 miles would be downhill.  About ½ mile before the pass I saw the bikers who had ascended and were heading past me back down to Lincoln.  It was great to see the pass come into sight again.  I reached it at 3:13 into the ride and 37.6 total miles.
I thought the next part would be “easy” but I was wrong.  The first few miles weren’t’ bad with some fun descents.  After 45 miles I started to get tired and I was worrying about the 17 miles that were left, part of it may have been just not fueling enough.  One gel and 1 liter of water probably is a little less than need for 4+ hours of riding.  I took a quick 1 minute break with 10 miles to go, just enough time to take another gel and drink some water.  Next time I’ll have to set up the gels so they are more accessible and I won’t have to stop (I had a camelback for the water so I was able to drink any time I wanted).  After the break the miles breezed by, I guess I really did need that gel, and before I knew it I was back at the Albany town forest.  I was pleased with the time 4:13 (moving time) or just one hour from the top and 2:01 from Lincoln.  The final add-on 3.3 miles was not the greatest most scenic part (out/back on Route 16) but I wanted to bring it in at exactly 100 kilometers, finishing in a total time of 4:35 and a moving time of 4:26.  I was happy with how it went, no major issues (thank you Paul Bazanchuk for being on standby in the event I needed roadside assistance) and at the fast end of what I thought I could do this in. 
Here is the data on the ride: http://www.strava.com/activities/167976510
I’m not sure what adventure is next but maybe a 100 mile ride is in my future.
Personal bests set:
Longest ride – 62.1
Mile – 2:03
5k – 6:45
10k – 15:25
½ marathon – 40:13
Marathon – 1:23:25
 
Splits:
Location
O'all dist
Section dist
Climb
Climb per mile
Grade
Splits
Rolling time
MPH
Albany town forest
Passaconaway Rd
5.7
5.7
420
73.7
1.40%
26:34
0:26:34
12.9
Bear Notch
11.4
5.7
-20
-3.5
-0.07%
26:27
0:53:01
12.9
Downes Brook
13.7
2.3
20
8.7
0.16%
09:17
1:02:18
14.9
Sugar Hill lot
16.5
2.8
420
150.0
2.84%
13:55
1:16:13
12.1
Break
04:00
1:20:13
Sawyer River Tr
17.7
1.2
320
266.7
5.05%
08:17
1:28:30
8.7
Kanc Pass lot
21
3.3
1010
306.1
5.80%
26:26
1:54:56
7.5
Break
01:55
1:56:51
Hancock lot
23.2
2.2
-610
-277.3
-5.25%
05:40
2:02:31
23.3
Big Rock camp
27.1
3.9
-700
-179.5
-3.40%
09:29
2:12:00
24.7
Lincoln Woods
29.3
2.2
-450
-204.5
-3.87%
06:00
2:18:00
22.0
Break
01:54
2:19:54
Big Rock camp
31.5
2.2
450
204.5
3.87%
13:26
2:33:20
9.8
Hancock lot
35.4
3.9
700
179.5
3.40%
22:13
2:55:33
10.5
Kanc Pass lot
37.6
2.2
610
277.3
5.25%
18:21
3:13:54
7.2
Sawyer River Tr
40.8
3.2
-1010
-315.6
-5.98%
08:07
3:22:01
23.7
Sugar Hill lot
42.1
1.3
-320
-246.2
-4.66%
02:41
3:24:42
29.1
Bear Notch
47.2
5.1
-400
-78.4
-1.49%
18:13
3:42:55
16.8
Passaconaway Rd
53.1
5.9
-355
-60.2
-1.14%
20:05
4:03:00
17.6
Break
01:13
4:04:13
Albany town forest
58.8
5.7
-420
-73.7
-1.40%
18:26
4:22:39
18.5
Out/back
62.1
3.3
50
15.2
0.29%
12:37
4:35:16
15.7
 
 
 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Great bay for 50 kay

I took last Friday as a prep day for the weekend as I hadn’t been on the ElliptiGo as much as I wanted to this week (due to rain).  I wanted to do a longish ride but not too long with the 100k ride to follow the next day.  I chose a loop around the Great Bay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Bay_(New_Hampshire)
Pre-sunrise drive with 80s on 8
 
I mapped out a loop that would be about 50k (31 miles) which would tie the longest distance I’d yet to ride on the Go.  It looked to be a nice loop with a mix of major roads with bike lanes and very small roads hugging the bay.  There would be a lot of rolling hills but nothing killer.
I got up at 3am and hit the indoor bike (1 hour) and rowing machine (15 minutes) then headed to Stratham.  I timed it so I’d arrive at Stratham hill just before sunrise.  There is a tall observation tower on the hill and I hiked the quarter mile (115’) to the top and arrived just as the sun was breaking through some low level clouds.  There was a nice view of some of the closer mountains in Maine and NH.  http://www.strava.com/activities/167562993


 
I quickly got my Go together and headed out.  I didn’t want to start too late as I wanted to avoid any serious traffic.  For the most part it was very quiet on the loop.  I enjoyed crossing the Piscataqua River on the old bridge that used to be the main bridge (route 16) but is now just a pedestrian/bike bridge.  I also liked the section on the west side of the bay that is used for the Great Bay Half Marathon, it brought back some fond memories (I’ve got to go back to that race!).  The temperature was perfect (low 60s) and there was very little wind which made for a comfortable ride.  I tried not to push too hard knowing I had some tough riding in the near future.

 
I ended up covering the 31 miles (with 1,034’ of climb) in 1:57:39 or just under 16 miles per hour:  http://www.strava.com/activities/167563007
 
I headed home and got back on the indoor bike for another hour and finished up with another 15 minute row.  Then I tried to REST and get mentally prepared for the long ride.
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Week ending 07-20-14

I guess I should have put in another 7 minutes...23:53 total workouts for the week.  Some "fun" stuff thrown in like the Kancamagus 100k double-traverse.  One more week and I can start back running.

M - 3am Row 15, Bike 60
       Lunch bike 12.4 46:11
       PM row 15, bike 60

T - 3am Row 15, Bike 60
      lunch bike 12.4 45:23
      PM row 15, bike 60

W - Lunch bike 46:25
       PM row 15, bike 60

Th - 3am row 15 bike 30
        Lunch Go 12.4 in 46:58
        PM row 15, bike 60

F - 3am row 15, bike 60
     5am Stratham hill Great bay 50k on the Go 1:57;59
     11am row 15, bike 60

Sat - 5am 100km double traverse of the Kanc 4:26
        Noon 12.7 mountain bike on the Wolfeboro rail trail 58:15

Sun - 7am West side loop 15.1 on the Go in 59:32
         830am Cranmore hike 1:41


Totals
Row - 2:15
Hike - 1:41
Bike - 11:45
Go - 8:12
Total - 23:53

Friday, July 18, 2014

Medal count

U.S. Championships
Last weekend at Loon Mountain (Lincoln, NH) I ran in a National Championship for the 42nd time.  This may not have been the wisest move since I was on borrowed time with an injured ankle.  I was very happy to pick up a first place finish in the 50-54.  In all I’ve now gotten 22 individual medals (top three finish) at a National Championship.
 
The breakdown by type of race is pretty even:
8 Cross-Country races
7 Road races
8 Snowshoe races
8 Trail races
8 Mountain races
3 Outdoor track races
 
The medal breakdown:
Gold - 7
Silver - 9
Bronze - 6
 
Next up?  World Masters Mountain running hopefully and next Nationals probably XC...
 
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bear Island - Meredith NH

Bear Island Fire Tower

I’m working on the list of all fire towers in New Hampshire. This includes not only all the standing towers but also the site of former towers. For the most part former sites have very little to show the history of the location. If you are lucky you might find the concrete footings from the tower. This weekend I headed (with Dan) to the Bear Island tower site which is now an active church.


Bear Island is a mostly privately owned island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith NH. The island has a large section of forest that is owned by the NH society of forest preservation and more importantly the church site is active in the summer months and visitors are allowed to use the church dock. The church was built around the fire tower which now makes up the steeple of this very scenic island. I got information from the church website that showed which weekends we could legally visit and this weekend worked into the schedule. The questions of the day were, could we find parking in Meredith and how long would it take us to paddle to the island?

Dan picked me up at 7am and we got the boats in the water by 9am. That gave us 30 minutes to cross the mile of water to the church dock and then make our way up to the top of the hill. The crossing was uneventful, despite this being only about the third time I’d ever been in a kayak. It was still pretty early in the day so we only had a few yahoos going 100 mph and giving us a good wake to ride. The view was pretty incredible with the Belknap range in the distance and the island and some very fancy homes up close.


The 5 minute walk to the church was over a very clearly designated trail. We got to the top as a couple of other groups also reached the church. I met a friendly dog and his owner happened to be the person opening up the church. We chatted a bit as she showed us around. I asked about visiting the tower (which was marked as closed) and she was concerned about "liability". An old timer from the island took up the conversation mentioning how he’d been in the tower as a kid and would really like to go up. She relented and we all got to climb up to the top. There wasn’t a view as the trees were too high now but it was a great bonus to get to climb up anyway. We were both surprised that lightning had not struck while we were in church!



We made a short side trip over to the entrance to the forest which was right next to the church and then headed back down for the paddle back. On the way back to the Cattle road landing we detoured a bit and went around Dolly Island and Penny Island on the western side of Bear Island. There were some beautiful houses and a few interesting rocks to navigate around. In all the round trip took us less than 1.5 hours which was nearly half the time it took us to drive there and back. I for one thought it was well worth it for this unusual adventure.


Info on the chapel:
http://stjohnsonthelake.org/



Our GPS track:

http://www.strava.com/activities/165412692



The Fire tower list:

http://www.48x12.com/nhfiretowers/nhfiretowers.html






 

 

 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week Ending 07-13-14

First week of non-running.  Foot is still killing me.  Hoped to get close to 21 hours of work in for the week and hit 20:37.  Hoping for more next week.

Totals:
Bike - 11:55
ElliptiGo - 6:42
Row - :30
Paddle - :30
Water run - 1:00

M - Lunch bike 45
       PM bike 30

T - Lunch Go 27.4 miles 1:45
      Bike 45
      Later bike 30

W - 330am bike 60
        Lunch Go 47
        Pm bike 60

Th - 330am bike 60
        Lunch Go 47
        PM bike 45

F - 330am bike 60
      Lunch Go 46
      PM bike 60

Sat - 5am Go 1:37
         Water run 60
         Bike 40
         Row 15
         Bike 60

Sun - 4am bike 60
          530am Go 60
          9am paddle 30
         PM row 15
         Bike 60