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Old 07-15-2019, 09:34 AM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Southern OR
Posts: 4,692

****ing epic brother

Originally Posted by jdp211 View Post
I've been heading up to western Mass for the last few years to ride the JAM Fund Grand FUNdo because its a fantastic event, and I also get to see a bunch of friends of mine from back when I lived in Pittsburgh. I had/have a bunch of PTO this year and timing worked out that it made sense to take off the first two weeks of July, and was planning to spend July 4th at my parents' place on the coast of Maine, so I got it in my head that it would be a great idea to ride a tour starting on the coast and ending in Northampton.

Day 1: New Harbor, ME to Swan Island, ME. Gave myself a shorty to kick things off, just under 40 miles of lovely rolling roads away from the ocean. Swan Island is a state park situated in the Kennebec River that was once inhabited, but not since the '60s. There's limited camping and getting there involves a short ferry ride, so it stays pretty quiet. Not long after I pitched my tent, a short rain storm blew in, but passed within an hour or two. There's also a tiny firetower on the island used for "wildlife observation"

Day 2: Swan Island, ME to Sebago Lake, ME. Another day on similarly rolling terrain. Route choice in Maine is somewhat limited, because there just aren't a ton of roads. Did some mild trespassing somewhere and a few 4x4 tracks. The bug pressure was real hot anytime I stopped in the woods. Got to Sebago Lake pretty early, and manw as this place packed. The Lake is gigantic and a very popular camping spot.

Day 3: Sebago Lake, ME to White Lake, NH: I woke up and realized that my Di2 battery was going to die at some point during the day (it was already in 1x mode). It turned out that there were a few bike shops in Conway, NH, not too far from Sebago Lake and not terribly far out of the way from my destination for the evening. I rode entirely on two lane highway to get there, which was kind of a bummer, but the views were still spectacular. Found a shop in Conway that had a charger I could leave my bike on for a while while I went for very mediocre pizza and a beer. I'll never tour without the charger adapter again, I guess...

Day 4: White Lake, NH to Mt Sunappee, NH: Longest ride of the tour and holy **** did it deliver. So many good dirt roads. Good dirt roads as far as the wheels will ride. 2 long climbs, one mostly paved topping on dirt then a swoopy, but soft/loose dirt descent. Second was ~7 miles all on dirt, long dirt descent followed by a super fast, wide open and sweeping, very freshly paved descent. Secret bonus dirt climb got so steep I had to push for ~1/3mile One of the best routes I’ve ever done. I ate dinner in town, thinking the campgrounds was just a couple miles down the road. Well, that was only to the entrance to the park/ski resort, and the campgrounds itself was around a mile and a half straight up the side of the mountain on a dirt road. Got to the top and chatted with the ranger who made sure to tell me that he'd seen a couple bears the night before "right where you're standing, here let me show you some pics I took."

Day 5: Mt. Sunappee, NH to Mt Monadnock, NH: More dirt, more big ass climbs. Forest double track that eventually just stopped, no maps showing any sort of path, no gps, no blazes, so I turned back and had to detour around the forest, which involved a bigass dirt climb. I'd been mostly riding due west for the first four days, this day marked a turn directly south.

Day 6: Mt Monadnock, NH to DAR State Forest, MA: Lots more great dirt roads, got rained on a couple of times. Got turned away from a “bridge out” by a work crew, so had to take a short detour (I shortly thereafter found the exit point that I was supposed to have gone on and there was definitely a way for me to get through). Later in the day, I was turned away by another bridge out (this one was actually out and across a river). The last 15 miles of this day were preeeetty much entirely climbing, starting from the D2R2 field, headed up through the back of the state park and then dropping down to the campgrounds. This particular campground was also really nice. Spacious sites that were well spread apart. A pretty lake close by, and big bear boxes on every site.

Day 7: DAR State Forest, MA to Northampton, MA + spinning around the area unloaded with the Pittsburgh crew: Almost entirely downhill from the park to town, met up for coffee, rode to the top of Mt Tom and the bike paths. Started the day climbing back up the hill in DAR to bag the firetower I'd passed the night before. Climbed the stairs up, only to find that the box was locked! Bagged a second firetower for the day at the top of Mt Tom

Day 8: JAM Fund Grand FUNdo: Felt about as good as I've ever felt, strength-wise. Weather was perfect, the adventure route was amazing. Great roads, great company, great food, great day.

Day 9: Hadley, MA to Northampton, MA to Amherst, MA: Social coffee spin + headed to catch the bus back to NYC + a quick jaunt from Manhattan back home

Total mileage: 540.6 miles
Total climbing: 37,064 ft
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:18 AM
Jad Jad is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: NH
Posts: 745
Great voyage, and a good way to see New England. On day 4, you passed within a couple miles of me in central NH. And what a way to end it in the Pioneer Valley!
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:25 AM
jdp211 jdp211 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: nu yrk shty
Posts: 793
Thanks! It was a pretty special week
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:19 PM
polyhistoric polyhistoric is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Davis Sq. / Somerville, MA
Posts: 142
DANG! I was just simply admiring your bike as we rode the FUNDO... I should have been checking for a motor. Absolutely epic ride.
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Old Today, 11:13 AM
jambee jambee is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 652
I feel like we need updated pictures in this thread!
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