This summer I'll be retracing the last 3 weeks of the Coast to Coast ride in 2002. I had a fantastic time in 2002 and expect the same this year as well. Below are daily collections of my experiences with photos. Hope you enjoy reading the blog. - Brian Cox

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week 3, Day 3 (Aug 16) Littleton, NH to Fryeburg, Maine

As I when to sleep last night, it started to rain again. On this trip we've had several nights where it rained, but by the morning the rain had stopped. That’s what also occurred this morning. When I woke up, the rain had moved on and only the morning overcast had remained.

Headed out from breakfast about 7:30. there wasn't much climbing today, but there was a nice climb into the town of Bethlehem. We pretty much reached the top and found a golf course on the top.

The next couple of mile or so was a really nice downhill coast. As I was on the shoulder of the road flying down the hill, about 30 MPH or so, I heard a large truck approaching me at about 55 MPH off my left hand side. He wasn't giving me much room, maybe only 2 feet away as he passed. The issue with that is the draft of the truck was drawing me in closer as he passed. Had the truck been much longer, I might have been run over by his rear wheels. Though many drivers and truckers normally give us a wide berth, some other folks seem to intentionally try to see how close they can get to us.

By 9AM we had reached Mt Washington Inn, a historic grand hotel from an earlier era. We just had to stop for coffee. The lobby was huge as we walk in and we made our way one floor down to the pastry shop where I ordered up a latte and a muffin. As you can see in the photos below, we sat out on the veranda on the mountain facing side of the hotel and had some moments to relax.

As we were heading out, other cross-country riders were coming in. We directed them to the pastry shop and headed to the notch.

Crawford Notch was to be the highest point of the ride today. The reach the notch, it’s a bit over 10 mile incline. You could feel that we were climbing, but overall it wasn't a significant effort. The backside of the notch was a blast to ride as it stretched downhill for miles.

The picnic stop was in the parking lot of the Attitash Ski Resort. I had the chance to catch up with some friends from the 2002 Coast to Coast ride, Tom and Marianne. Tom and Marianne had met on the coast to coast ride in 2002 and have now settled in New Hampshire, only a couple of miles off the tour route.

After the picnic stop, I took a optional climb to Cathedral Ledge. I don’t know the altitude gain to the top, but it must have about a 1000 feet. I don’t know if I have ever biked up a road as steep as this one. I have a bike computer that measures the grade of the road. At times the grade was 23% and spiking to 28% on occasion. Though I dropped it into my lowest set of gears, twice I had to get off my bike and push it up the road.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, though I got caught in a shower before the end in a the Fryeburg fair grounds. I waited out the shower at the most natural place possible, a Dunkin’ Donuts, where I found several other riders keeping dry as well. When the showers past, we all heading to the end where we rolled in at about 2:30 having covered 68 miles.

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