Generally this time of year I like to get out and explore areas that have caught my eye in the past, but for whatever reason(s) I just have not gone and checked them out. Riding Rob Brook and the Nan last week is a perfect example. This weekend though, I decided to keep it a lot closer to home…..
Saturday was absolutely gorgeous out for this late in October. So Mia and I got out for one of the “Mia Loops”. Temps topped out around the mid 70’s and the sun was out. PERFECT!
Sunday was a bit different, started out in the low 50’s with clouds and sun, but the wind was blowing pretty good at times too. I decided to head out and do some local exploring.
Over near where route 103 and interstate 89 meet in Davisville is Pleasant Pond Road. Looking at the Gazetteer there appeared to be some class VI roads out between Henniker/Warner/Davisville. Mia and I bike down route 103 on one of our more common loops and I always wondered what was “back there”.
Turns out there are some ATV trails maintained by the Bound Tree ATV Club (really poor website) and this links up with the Kearsage Trail Snails trails. Basic gist of the loop that I did brought me out to Bear Pond, which apparently is the water supply for Contoocook (Tooky). The trails were pretty decent, some of the climbs where a tad too rocky for the Fargo, but I can see how they would be easily ridden on an ATV.
I noted last week after flatting in the Rob Brook trails that I really needed to go tubeless. I took that opportunity and picked up a pair of Kenda Slant Six SCT 29×2.0 tires for the Salsa Fargo. I was riding WTB Nano for the past two years, and those were wire bead tires that were difficult to setup tubeless and were okay on the pavement, and not so hot off road, except for your most basic packed dirt trails.
Setting the slant six up tubeless was ridiculously easy. I think I was all done from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. That is my type of tire, No Fuss!
They are not the lightest tires in the world. Close to the Nano and a tube in overall weight, but today’s ride was done with 25 PSI in the rear and maybe 22-23 PSI in the front. That is a good 6-7 PSI less than I ran the Nano tires, and without tubes, I had no worries on flatting.
They hooked up really well on the stuff I rode today, mostly packed dirt with some mud and quite a few rocky climbs and descents.
Now, back to the ride. As I headed up Pleasant Pond Road, I saw two women taking their donkey out for a stroll….no lie…two women just walking down the road with a donkey. Pretty humorous looking.
The pavement quickly turns to a dirt road that is very typical for this neck of the woods.
Towards the end of this it turned into a class VI road that was pretty wide and obviously well traveled.
After this gate it was more or less ATV type trails, no real singletrack to speak of, but it was still fun to ride. I worked my way down to Bear Pond, which until today I had never heard of it, nor did I know it was the water supply for Tooky.
I could hear dogs barking on the far side of the pond, and figured there was a house over there, but as I worked my way over there and back towards civilization, I ran into a truck parked in the woods. I assume the box in the back was one of those dog boxes that mushing teams use. not sure if they were hunting out there or just playing around.
I eventually ended back down on route 103 and headed back towards Concord. On my way home I decided to hit up part of the Jim Hill Riverwalk trail. This is where I could really tell the difference with the slant six tires. I have ridden these many times with the nano tires and holy cow was there a definite difference. The bike just rode better. Setup tubeless it really soaked up the roots much better than before. Why the heck did I wait so long to go tubeless?
Finally on my last bit of trail along Bog Road I went to bunny hop a log and heard a loud snap. This was followed by my handlebars tilting way up. Turns out that I snapped the lower bolt on my Thomson stem. bummer.
Thank god I could ride the remainder home and that this wasn’t a catastrophic wipeout or anything.
After removing the bolt, looks like I stripped out the lower threads, so that stem is shot unless I can tap it out. Probably won’t bother though. Lucky for me, I had a backup stem at home that is the same length.
So, I got to ride some new stuff, I will for sure be out there again to explore some more. I got to ride with Mia, which is always fun. This really was a good weekend.
Thanks for reading.