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Brake for Moose.......it could save your life!!


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On Saturday 5/4/02 jgran (James), Quiet Man (Mike) and I (Dinne) were the only ones to show up for ride through New Hampshire and Maine and we definitely picked the right thing to do on a crisp spring morning in New England.

Some of the highlights were:


·Great roads with light traffic

·Tremendous company

·Excellent food

·Views of snow capped peaks

·Beautiful cliffs and waterfalls

·Wildlife – up close and personal

·Did I mention GREAT ROADS and light traffic

·An unfortunate incident with a young, helmet less Harley rider landing in a ditch

·Oh yeah, the best damn motorcycle on planet Earth


We left Portsmouth NH and spent 35 uneventful miles on rt. 16 north before turning off onto rt. 153. This road runs due north along the NH/Maine border and ends in Conway NH. The surface was redone last year and the corners were great along the entire route. We passed through several small scenic towns and around countless lakes and ponds. Just when you start to think the scenery couldn’t get any better; we crested a hill to see a snow covered Mount Washington in all if its glory.


From Conway NH we picked up rt. 113 into Fryeburg Maine and continued on 113 towards Evan’s Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. This road, which is off the beaten track, starts in the Saco River valley traveling past potato farms before starting to gain elevation. The traffic we were following pulled off just before we entered the National Forest. The road gets narrow, windy and steep before reaching the highest point in Evan’s Notch were we pulled off into a parking area. Cliffs surrounded us with spring run-off cascading down. In the not to far distance were several snow-covered peaks. We must have spent 20 –30 minutes here just talking and taking pictures. After we got going again it was difficult to concentrate on the road. It looked like our heads were on swivels as we looked at the scenery.


Rt. 113 ends on rt. 2 in Gilead Maine. We took rt. 2 west through Gorham NH and then picked up rt. 16 through Berlin. North of Berlin rt. 16 curves along the bank of the Androscoggin River. This far north moose out number cars and you have to be careful but it is difficult to back-off on the RT when a road is this good. Let’s just say we were keeping a BRISK pace when I noticed some shadows lurking near the left shoulder up ahead. I slowed down, put on my flashers and stopped. Mike and James pulled up and we got the camera out in time to snap a shot of a cow and yearling moose. They didn’t seem bothered by us and it took them a while before they turned around and wandered back into the woods.


After that quick break we continued north to Errol NH (30 miles from the Canadian border) where we picked up rt. 26 towards Bethel Maine. Along the way we passed through North Grafton State Park and Grafton Notch. Again our heads were on swivels and we finally had to stop at a wayside for Mother Walker Falls. These falls have carved a gorge through the granite and were unbelievably beautiful under the pressure of spring run-off. From this stop we continued south to Bethel where we stopped for lunch at the Sunday River Brewing Company. No, there was no barley and hops consumption but everything else was quickly devoured.


It’s not that the balance of the ride was bad but the first 2/3 was extraordinary. After lunch we stopped for gas and talked bikes with three guys, one on a highly modified Ducati 996 (what a work of art), another on a real nice Monster and the third on CBR600 F4. From there we headed south on rt. 5 to rt. 35. We followed the shores of Long Lake and Sebago Lake through several nice Maine villages.


We were approaching rt. 95 in Kennebunk Maine and it felt like the day was winding down when things go weird. First we passed a guy going the other way on a Harley. He was riding slow and looking over his shoulder. As we rounded the next corner the dust was still settling!


A young guy with a 2002 1200 Sportster, no helmet and only wearing jeans and t-shirts, was lying next to his bike in someone’s driveway. By the time I had stopped he was sitting up and seemed to be ok. I asked the usual questions but he didn’t want to call anyone and insisted he was all right. He made his way to his feet and only had abrasions on his arms. After the adrenaline subsided I looked at where he landed and his head was only 6” from a 24” diameter rock. To say this kid was lucky is an understatement. His bike wasn’t as lucky as the front end was completely twisted. The best I can tell is that he overcooked the corner and there were two skid marks so he probably locked up the rears and ended up in the gravel.


From this memorable event we continued down rt. 35 and said our goodbyes before heading our separate ways down rt. 95. The plan was to take the coastal roads through Ogunquit, York and Kittery Maine back to Portsmouth but unfortunately we fell under some time pressures.


The roundtrip, Portsmouth to Portsmouth, was around 350 miles and every conceivable type of terrain and scenery was covered. We went from the sea level to within sight of a 6200 ft. peak and along streams and lakes. To top it off, the roads are really good along the entire route.


All in all I think it was a great loop and I would do it again tomorrow. If anyone is interested in a map of the route just send me an email and I will forward a copy. Pictures will be posted as soon as possible.


Ride safe







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This was an excellent ride. Had I known we were so close to Canada I would have pursuaded us to ride on up to within eye-shot of the border. I definitely plan to ride this route again, only I will continue up to Canada. Anybody wanna come?


Ohhh, I need a custom seat! My butt still hurts from that 500 mile ride on the BMW Comfort Seat.


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Enjoyed reading your report. Sounds like a great day. (Is it spring up there already?) I agree that rt 113 is a real gem and I love the river track of rt 16. Next time hang a left at Errol and take in Dixville Notch. Well worth it. And the fact that its a detour gives you a good excuse to take in both directions.

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