Late Fall Mtn Biking

We’ve had some crazy weather the past two weekends.  It all started on October 30th with an 18″ snowfall in Concord.  This was by far the largest recorded snowfall ever for October.  It pretty my sucked if you ask me.  It was too early for that much snow.

October snow!

By the first weekend in November Concord was already headed back into the 50’s and higher though.  I raced the Jack London 10K on 11/05/2011 and watched Mia run the All Women’s and One Lucky Guy 1/2 Marathon in Newburyport, Ma. on 11/06/2011.

As the second week of November moved in, temps were low to mid 60’s during the day.  I got in a few good cylcocross bike rides the past week.  Friday the 11th was wicked windy, but I had to get out for a short ride before Mia and I headed to Walpole, NH and Burdick’s Chocolate.  Mia and I make an annual Fall pilgrimage out to Walpole for some really good pastry and coffee.  We ran into the whole gambit of weather too.  Sun, clouds, snow, rain, and back to sunshine on the way out.  Again…..really crazy weather this fall so far.

Saturday I decided to ride the mountain bike for the first time in a few weeks.  I started off with the intention of doing the quarries and “hospital trails”, but the ride evolved into connecting a series of Concord trails.

You see, Concord, currently has 24 mapped/marked trails within the city limits.  Almost all of them are mountain bikeable.  You can do almost 100 miles of trail riding within the city limits if you pieced it all together (something I have contemplated).
The trails up to the Swenson Quarry area are not on the list of 24 trails, and neither are most of the Hospital Trails.  But from the hospital trails you can hit Winant Park (Map 21), then drop down to the XC ski trails behind Memorial Field (Map 17) and from there I cut through the city over to the NHTI bike path and through Merril Park (Map 13) and then up to Broken Ground school and the Curtisville trails (Map 15).  I was hoping to hit Oak Hill (Map 12) but had to skip that to get home so Mia and I could head to Nashua for the evening.
I did about 20 miles of riding with maybe 5 miles of it being on pavement.  You could easily skip some of the pavement I did for more dirt too.

The Rush, taking a quick break at Memorial Field
One of Concord's trails

It just goes to show you that right from your doorstep you can find adventure.  Who needs to drive to hit good trails?   Not me!

Driving is exactly what Paul and I did do on Sunday though.  We headed to Franklin Falls (first map below the google map) for some fast and flowing singletrack.   This place is becoming the hot mountain biking area for the area.  Only a 25 minute drive from my door, it offers everything from fast and flowing trails to a couple more interesting trails like Chicken Run or Salmon Falls, none of which are outrageously difficult.  If you want super technical, this is not the place to go, if you want a series of trails that offer a variety of flowing trails with enough to keep you on your toes and enough climbing to work the legs, then this is the place to go.

Riding the lower part of the dam.

We went out to ride for about 1.5 hours and then did a not so fast “transition” to running gear and did another 30 minutes of running on the singletrack.
It was a gorgeous day and there were lots of people out walking dogs, mtn biking, etc.  We only ran into 2 groups while riding, that was surprising given the amount of cars in the parking lot.
Thanks for reading.

-Pete

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