No less than four laps around this classic ride on our yearly schedule…
Sandwich notch is a cross ride, mostly dirt, over a historic road that cuts across the sandwich notch range in Holderness NH. The loop is around 45 miles from RDC around and back. I think somewhere around 15 miles of it is on pavement.
This past July was the second time we included this activity on our annual trip to Rocky Wald Deep Haven – It has quickly become a highlight. We did it twice during the ’08 trip and doubled that for a four lap effort in ’09.
The profile speaks for itself. There are many sections over ten percent, and a few nearly 20. It is an effort. It is a bigger effort to do it in a no-touch style – that is to say, no foot touches on the crux hills. There are four of them.
Each one harder than the one before – The challenge is keeping real wheel traction vs. front wheel coming up off the ground. WIth six laps around under out belt, it was fun to watch the spontaneous not= touch competition show up, and more fun to cheer each other on. It was a hoot to watch Sally crush kids less than half her age. She did it turning over the cranks on a classic steel Surly Cross Check that I built up for her last year. Old school rules this time.
For me, one of the interesting things about this run, is it is actually quite painful in places. To run over the sharp stuff, without a foot touch – sucks. Yet, we went back four times this year, knowing full well that it was going to hurt, that it was going to suck, and each time we tried to do it better, faster and with more style. It was great.
Another aspect of the ride, is after all the hard stuff, cranking over nearly impossible hills and some killer descent, great stuff winding down along a beautiful river valley, you hit a dirt road back out to civilization. A long dirt road in and out of five to ten percent – It tends to run on just when you are running out. It is a challenge. It’s perch pond road.
So, when you are finally done with that, you dump out on some not so quit streets with little shoulder for a ten mile run back to camp. This would be my least favorite part of the trip – and would down and out suck for sure if it were not for the effervescent afterglow of another great run with the one I love.