It was a cold ride today. 45F mid-afternoon but what made it particularly cold was a strong westerly wind. It wasn’t too bad in the woods, but somewhere open it felt cold.
There were no other guests at my motel last night. I dropped off the key and made my way to the nearby rail trail. My GPS told me 56.8 miles to the other end of the trail and then half a dozen miles to motels in White River Junction.
The trail was a nice alternative from yesterday’s busy road and had gentle grades going over the hills. However, it would also be slower riding than smooth pavement. Riding the full distance would make for a long slow day. I figured on two alternatives (a) there was a B&B listed in Canaan about 42 miles away and (b) I could camp if needed.
Problems with both alternatives: I had called the B&B and left a phone message (no answer), I left a text message as well starting out. Camping overnight could work though there was a freeze warning and forecasts of 27F. Not sure my bag was quite warm enough.
In any case, it was nice starting out. The trail stayed in the woods and mostly avoided the road. The first 10 miles were almost flat and after that began a 1-2% climb.
Falls in the background and signs for a grist mill. A few miles after this it became more level and I came through Andover.
Covered bridge on the road. The trail passed close by.
A lot of the route continued this way. Nice peaceful (but cool) riding.
Potter Place, one of the trail heads.
Busy working on the depot at Potters Place. A little before this I saw a mama bear and the same cub twice (or two cubs).
This was getting close to the halfway point at Danbury. I stopped in at the general store and had lunch. From this point forward, the trail was described as being rougher with more loose sandy areas. My original plan had been to switch to the road for the second half. Two challenges with that were the headwind was strong on the road and it was still cold. I looked around for some alternatives and found an Airbnb in Grafton another eight miles down the road. Seemed like a nice warm choice.
I took the trail and yes it was softer and slower to ride. On the right you can see the WRJ 27 sign marking distance to White River Junction.
This brought me to the cabin. A slightly earlier finish than it would have been but also a nice warm place to finish for today.
Strava tells me: 37.46 miles in 4:54:18 for an average speed of 7.6 miles/hour. 1230 feet climbed and 2500 calories burned.