I don't think I can remember a summer with such incredible weather. So good in fact that I don't need to clean my bike anymore because it seems as if there isn't a drop of water on any trails in the area. No mud, no muck, no mosquitos even. It doesn't get much better.
Last night we found ourselves at Bear Brook for our weekly ride and as I said above, conditions couldn't get much better. Parking at the Catamount toll and paying my $4 for the 3rd time in the past week(reminder to buy season pass next year), I managed to get in a quick 5 mile spin before the rest of the group arrived. Once everyone was there we rode the usual suspects out for a 13 mile clockwise loop around the park. One Mile Trail to Catamount to Bear Brook out to Hiker Biker lot. From there we picked up Salt Lick extension to Hemlock and kept left until we came out on the fireroad that parallels the campground road. Hemlock is one of those perfect trails that I hope will never change. There is the perfect mix of climbing, screaming downhills, and sweet buttery goodness that is hard to match. Nothing really technical, but the trail pretty much defines buff singletrack.
Next up we took the fireroad back up to Pitch Pine and up Broken Boulder. Broken Boulder is one of those trails that has been there forever (I started riding there way back in '91) and I don't think I have ever seen it as dry as it is this year. Not one of the 3 or 4 stream crossings had a drop of water and the usual spots that are perennially muddy were bone dry.
By the time we got up to the end of Broken Boulder (Podunk Rd. side), the light was starting to fade so we opted to skip I-Trail and do Chipmunk. At the end of Chipmunk we went up Spruce Pond Road and then over to Bear Hill trail (the lower section that parallels Podunk Rd.).
We finished up by heading down Little Bear and back over Bear Brook trail with little light left. Pretty much a storybook ride. No mechanicals other than a dropped chain, no medivac, and most importantly, I didn't lose Scott (I'm pretty sure he tried to escape a few times but he wasn't wily enough). My only regret is that this is the time of year that New Hampshire starts its steady march into darkness. I think I might have to start leaving work at noon so I can get more rides like this in before the season hits the fan.
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