This is our much anticipated and fun 4 day adventure to North Conway NewHampshire. See the descriptor below.
It’s that time of year again! Time for our 9th annual North Conway motorcycle road trip! This year it appears we have even more folk interested in participating in our adventure so to assist with your planning and preparations here are some details about the trip.
Here is the planned itinerary:
Departure Date: Friday, May 18, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM stands up.
Place: Tim Horton’s corner of Cyrville and Innes across from Costco.
Get off the 417 at Innes and head east. There is an Esso gas station immediately on your right. (FILL YOUR TANK PLEASE!). From Orleans you can take the Blair road exit and head south to Innes. There is a PetroCan etc at the corner of Innes. Turn right (west and go to the lights at PetSmart or Cyrville where you will see the Tim’s on the south side of the road. The Tim’s is on the corner at the lights, you can’t miss it.
Accommodation: Once again our host motel is Junges Motel in North Conway. This is a family owned motel that provides clean, no-frills accommodation. You make your own reservation by calling the motel directly (603)356-2886 and letting them know you are with the Bill Pope group. If they are full, the next closet motel is the Golden Gables, which is a little fancier. There are also other chain motels near by – such as Residence Inn by Mariott, Hampton Inn and Suites, or Holiday Inn Express. Booking accommodation is your own responsibility.
Return Date: Monday May 21 around 6 PM.
I need everyone who is going, to please post on the Facebook event that they are “in” so that I can make a list and know how many to expect on the Friday morning. We are not hanging around in case there are stragglers so please make sure you are on the list (i.e. expected) and at Tim’s in plenty of time to have breakfast/coffee and a bio break.
Some points to ponder. This trip is a great kickoff to the season and involves a lot of bike time. There are some 400 series highways or interstate riding so you should have at least a valid M2 licence. Highway speeds will be no greater than 10 over. That said, US interstates have speed limits of 65MPH. Motorcycle Speedometers are generally off by 10% or more at highway speeds so it might seem we are going faster than you expect. The RCs will (for the most part) be running off of their GPS which will be an accurate speed.
If you have an issue with highway speeds please talk to me or one of the RC’s before we depart so I can place you in the correct group. There will be slower and faster groups so please don’t be afraid to ask about your group.
Friday we leave and it takes pretty much the entire day to get there with a large group. We will have stops on average every 1 to 1½ hours, well within the range of our smallest tanks. The route is one that gives the rider a great perspective of the New England states, its great little towns and includes a ferry ride across Lake Champlain. It takes about 8 or 9 hours to make this trip when you include all of the stops. The pace will be well within everyone’s limits and the ride is designed to be leisurely and with some amazing sights. The distance is approximately 500 km.
Saturday we will have breakfast at our favourite restaurant. The Blueberry Muffin is within walking distance from the motel. After breakfast we have traditionally made a visit to WhiteHorse gear. As many of you may know, they have announced that they will be closing this spring. If they are still open some of us will want to stop by and say good-bye. Check out www.whitehorsegear.com to see what might be of interest.
Whether of not Whitehorse Gear is open, there are some amazing roads and places to explore. Saturday is filled with rides or self guided adventure. I will (if the Mount Washington Autoroad is open) be taking all of the adventurous types up the mountain for some great riding vistas and experience. This is followed by some great road riding and a route that brings us back to the motel through the covered bridge for around 4pm. (plenty of time to go and do some outlet wandering.) There will be several rides on Saturday that you can decide where and what you want to do and see. A photo op on the top of Cathedral Ledge will be in order one of the days.
We are planning dinner at the Sea Dog Brewery again Saturday as they are large enough to accommodate our entire group and it is within walking distance.
Sunday the plan is to head down to Old Orchard Beach, have lunch on the pier and throw a football around for a while on the beach. Then we head back to North Conway in time for dinner, which has traditionally been at the Flat Bread Pizza Company restaurant in the centre of town. Sunday is a relaxed evening so that we are in good shape for the ride back on
Monday. We follow the same route home, which looks entirely different from the other direction. I hope that we can make it back in time for Meet and Greet but it often does not work out that way… folks will be tired and may want to head home. In any event the ride ends as you come into Ottawa and each group will decide what is best. The route from the border is 138 to the 417 so folks can peel off as their exit approaches.
Things to bring.
Dress in Layers. It is easier to take things off than to not have enough. It gets cool/cold in the mountains as the sun sets early this time of year. Warm riding gloves.
Rain suit….rain happens and is a wonderful experience riding in the mountains. The low hanging clouds and the smells are simply amazing when it rains. Just sitting at the motel or wandering in the woods behind the motel in the rain can be an amazing experience. Waterproof boots or something to cover your feet. Also bring warm socks.
There are no Hair Dryers in the motel rooms at Junges (not a problem for me……..) but pack something if you need it.
A valid passport that does not expire soon or an enhanced drivers licence or a Nexus card in lieu of the passport if you choose.
Camera, Video and other devices to capture the all-important FaceBook images of course. The Motels all have WiFi.
Don’t load your bike down with things you will not need. Dress code is biker weekend. An extra pair of jeans, some t shirts, warm layers, rainwear, a tooth brush and you are done. (… a “guy’s” approach to travel). If you are not sure ask around to folks who have been with us or myself or Patti and we will give you some pointers on what to bring…or leave behind. We will try to chat about it at meet and greet as the weekend approaches.
Hydration is Key to any long distance ride. Bring Water bottles with you and something to munch on to keep you alert and hydrated.
Please, bring your best humour, some good practical jokes, a sense of family and a heaping helping of patience. Remember a group of 10 bikers doing a 5 min bathroom stop is actually 50 minutes. Be relaxed, we are on the road, having fun and finding reasons to laugh. Find one great learning experience over the course of the weekend to tell others about.
Lastly this ride is about riding experience and an adventure in how to do a trip safely and within each rider’s capabilities. This is our 8th season doing this ride. We have had many tip overs to laugh about but there has never been a facet of this trip that wasn’t planned with safety and group safety in mind. We ride to the level of our least experienced members and nothing else. You will not be tested nor will you be expected to participate in any ride if you wish to opt out. There have been many over the years who prefer to have a quiet day wandering around N Conway and its really cool shops…or just hanging around the motel doing absolutely nothing. It’s all good and no one is expected to participate in everything. We have planned this as a chance to gain some great experience in long distance riding and introduce everyone to a truly amazing place you will want to come back to.
A number of North Conway alumni have gone on to plan and execute some amazing trips after this ride. I have had people tell me that they now want more than one-day trips after the weekend. All who come with us look at their riding a lot differently after they get back.