I decided to kick off the long weekend with a ride on the Rockingham rail trail. The unpaved path runs from Manchester to Newfields NH. I have either run or biked on all of the trail but never all in one ride. My goal was to complete the 51 miles from Auburn (Lake Massebessic) to Ash Swamp Road in Newfields (end of the line) and back in less than 4 hours. Depending on how it went I figured I'd add on the extra distance from Auburn to Manchester and back...and maybe even a little more if I was close to 100 km (62.2 miles).
It was a bit chilly and dark when I hit the trail at 5 am.
I rolled along pretty easily with no issues except being careful to dismount on a couple of the steep tunnel entrances. I did have a calf bothering me a bit and my hands were freezing for the first 1 hour.
I hit the end of the trail 1:53 and 25.5 miles after I started. So I was a little ahead of schedule, although truth told this was the easier part as it drops 400' from the highest point to the turn. I was warming up as the temps rose through the 50's and 60's and would eventually hit the low 70's by 10am. I was back through 51 miles in 3:44 which meant I came back a bit quicker despite the steady uphill. I had time so I continued on adding on the short out/back to Manchester and then did 3 miles on the roads to get the "metric century".
I finished the day with a nice visit to Dunkins...