Day Tripping for Wings at Elm City Brewery in Keene, NH

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by zeeede, May 14, 2012.

  1. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    My buddy and I both bought brand new 2012 Vstrom 1000's a few weeks ago. We've done a few shorter all-pavement rides around Boston, and I went up for a weekend trip around the White Mountains two weeks ago and got down a few dirt roads (ride report here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=786016&highlight=bethel) but Saturday we decided to get out for our first real adventure ride.

    I posted a thread in the Northeast regional forum looking for route suggestions (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789745). I had been up to the Keene, New Hampshire area a couple of times on my Ducati, and figured there'd be good riding up that way. Inmate HenryMartin came through with an excellent .gpx track (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18663793#post18663793).

    Unfortunately, neither of us have gps on our Vees yet. Instead, I used a website to overlay the track on google maps, and then zoomed in on it and made my own turn-by-turn directions with paper and a sharpie. An hour and a half and 8 pages later I had instructions to stick in the map pocket of my tank bag. :deal I used GPS visualizer (http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/). I was going to create a jpg of the route and post it, but for some reason the website isn't working for me now. Oh well.

    We booked out of Boston and up Route 2 to Concord, MA where we picked up 119 West. 119 was kind of a crummy drive. Way too much slow traffic and commercial stuff along the sides of the road. After a quick stop for fuel though, we got to some dirt.

    A headless rider:
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    I was really impressed with the quality of the dirt roads in New Hampshire. Nice and smooth and graded. We had a good time blasting down them. I was also surprised by the number of people who lived on the dirt roads who had dogs that would run out in front of motorcycles :rofl

    When I was previewing the route on google maps, there were a couple of places where the road on the map ended bu the gpx track kept going. We got to the first of those in short order. It was a rocky class IV road. Nothing too terrible. My buddy's Vee got tired in some mud and decided to take a nap. He had it upright before I got the camera out though. A little mud on the crash bars and hand guard and a small scrape on the fairing.

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    Then we got to the wet part:

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    A jeep went through this puddle while we were standing and looking at it. It was close to the top of his tires, so probably around 30 inches deep or so. Fortunately, we could just squeeze the bikes through the gap between the tree and the stump on the side where my buddy is.

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    There was a little ditch draining off the puddle there that complicated matters further by taking away any chance of getting your feet down.

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    Both bikes made it safely through.

    A little further down the road, we came across a stretch of loose golfball-sized stone:

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    Good spot to pose for a picture:
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    My buddy went first, and with his feet down, made it look easy:

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    I decided to try riding through it a little quicker. Unfortunately, my Vee got tired and lost momentum and decided to take a nap:

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    My buddy approves:

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    Back upright with zero damage (thanks Givi crash bars!) and onward. We passed our first set of hikers, who were shocked that we were on the trail. "I don't know who directed you down here... this isn't even a road!".

    We made it through to real road in short order. Stopped in some scenic areas for more pics.

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    Yeah, I'm casual.

    Found a little bridge next to a small waterfall:

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    After a couple of hours of riding, we decided to take a break. There's a little asphalt pull off at the intersection of 101 and Ches...something road (Cheswick? Cheshire? Chesnut?). Apple pie and vitamin water is the perfect road side snack:

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    Continuing on, we hit another class IV road. As always, the rocks were bigger and the grade was steeper than what it appears on camera. You can hear my buddy talking to me (Sena bluetooth headsets are the bomb). I left the dorky audio in because you can also hear my skid plate take a whack at the 26 second mark. No damage (thanks, Enduro Guardian!).

    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZR9eFY96Ki8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZR9eFY96Ki8?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


    We kept it going and found some more scenery:
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    It got to be around 1 and we came out onto route 101 again and decided to break off the route and head to Keene for lunch so my buddy could be back in Boston by 3 (okay, well, 4).

    If you haven't had the honey mustard wings at Elm City Brewery, you haven't lived:
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    Also had a burger:
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    They house-brew their own rootbeer too!

    Then we headed back to Boston following route 12 down to route 2 and blasting back in.

    In total around 220 miles covered. Good times had by both! :freaky
    #1
  2. Beez

    Beez Given to fly

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    Location:
    Framingham, MA
    Beautiful day, challenging roads and good food, doesn't get much better than that.

    One question though, do you ever accidentally get on the wrong bike? :lol3
    #2
  3. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

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    From a distance, it's tough. But he's got a different tank bang and different crash bars (and now, a scrape on his left fairing :lol3).

    We did pose for pictures a couple of times with the same bike, rather than switching the bikes around. We just stood in front of the tank bags so no one would know! :rofl

    It's nice having a buddy with the same bike though.. I've called a few different places and gotten discounts for ordering two of something!
    #3
  4. JakeS

    JakeS Yup

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    Location:
    Sturbridge MA
    Looks like a fun ride..
    But you went the wrong way around that puddle. The middle is the easiest :D
    #4
  5. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

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    I took the middle line through a few other smaller puddles, but that sucker was deep! It was also early in the ride and I didn't want to have wet boots all day!
    #5
  6. JakeS

    JakeS Yup

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    Sturbridge MA
    sounds like you need a pair of alpinestar scout waterproof boots hahahaha
    I just so happen to have a pair in 12's only wore one time on a road bike no offroad for sale
    #6
  7. fd1122

    fd1122 Adventurer

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    Great report. Next time you guys go through that puddle stay to the left. I was through there recently with a smaller bike and it wasn't that bad. I know the area well.
    #7
  8. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

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    We stayed to the left... just waaay to the left :wink:

    I think it was the fact that we were just getting into the ride and weren't as comfortable with our new bikes off pavement, so there was the fear of dropping our bikes in water as much as the depth of the water itself that concerned us...
    #8
  9. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    Fear can be a good thing, as some of the puddles around here are deep enough to swallow a jeep. (most of it, anyway). Last year during a wet ride I must have crossed over 100 puddles that were not too deep. Of course, I was cautious at first, slowing down, going in first gear....Eventually, I started going in second, then third. Then I came across a puddle that was pretty long and wide. I slipped in the first gear, rode close up to it, and seeing it did not look deep at all, I circled back, throttled it, slipped in second and went in. About ten feet into it I sunk all the way to the muffler/seat line, unable to move back or forth. Motor choked, died, and that was the end of it. A buddy with an atv had to pulled me out on his winch as there was no way to get the bike out.
    #9