So our plan was to ride up the pass and back to the car, but we also had reports of riders trying to come over to the Kanc on Bear Notch road from Bartlett the day before. They turned back and headed down, not wanting to hike and bike through what ever snow they might encounter higher up. When we went by Bear Notch road junction on the Kanc, it was all pavement as far as we could see. So I suggested to Steph we see what kind of time we had left on our way back and ride up to check it out.
After much effort while making excellent time, we arrived at the top of the pass, 2855ft. I guess the good news is we both agreed that every year that climb gets easier. I absolutely love riding my bike up these roads. What an amazing ride we were having. We didn't stick around long and I forgot to check the temperature up there, but we both got little cold on the way down even with our light wind jackets, arm warmers, and light hats we packed in our pockets. We did as planned having plenty of time to ride up Bear Notch to have a look-see. We stormed the "road closed" gate and just kept riding. It was nice not having any cars coming up from behind, but I couldn't keep from wanting to look for cars back. There was no snow at all on the south side of Bear Notch and only a 75 yard long stretch of thin cover on the Bartlett side. Officially, I'd say it's ready to ride! We finished up riding route 302, to west side road, than west side all the way to Conway and back to our car at the Ranger station. Fifty Seven Freaking Fantastic Miles!
Other birthday weekend happenings included a post ride dinner at the Moat Mountain House followed by Beach Pea chocolate cake in our hotel room for dessert. Saturday we drove to Sunday River in Bethel for "some" skiing. We got in three runs on what snow they had, with a million other people. Not quite a million, but enough to wear out our welcome enough so that when we got the cost per run down to an acceptable $20 bucks each, we figured we were good to go. It was exactly how I now remember the river to be, long lift lines, with hordes of people plummeting down the trails. Considering the conditions and rapidly disappearing snow, it was a good decision to head out. We made stops in Portland on our way home for some Mexican food as well as picking up a few items at Trader Joe's.
The big birthday brought rain in the morning, so I postponed a bike ride until around noon. I was chasing a few PR's and KOM's (It's a Strava thing) and so I was red line pretty much the whole time in certain sections. Then I fell into a brook up to my bum, got cold pretty cold so I rode directly back to the car. That was a great ride too!
I really thought I had a PR on Dam to Dam trail. I hooked up the whole time. Then to get the KOM on Animal was weird. I was going pretty good, but I crashed and then fell in the brook, so I would have thought I had zero chance at anything there. Still had a great ride and it felt good to be pushing myself. So whatever, just another day in the life.
Steph said to me yesterday, "Fourty Kicks Ass, Live Big, Birthday Boy".
I think she's right, so I'll keep on doing just that.
Thanks for reading!