(Sponsored by the Granite State Wheelmen)

Riders: Doug and Pete

On Sept. 21st at 6:45 A.M. Doug and I were registering at Hampton Beach N.H. getting ready for the metric century. The sun was rising over the ocean and it was a balmy 50 degrees.


(Sunrise at registration)

The perfect start for a ride that follows the coastline, from Newburyport Mass to the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. We left the starting area and headed north on scenic 1A passing by beachcombers, surfers and fishermen. As 1A snakes along the coastline, the scenery slowly changes from public beaches to residential homes and marinas, harboring sailboats and powerboats that the glimmering morning sun makes even more picturesque. The ride then meanders through even more rural areas with many salt ponds and marshes.

(one of the many marinas)

During the ride there are some small bridges with steel grate tops that the GSW suggest you dismount and walk across. Then you come to the Mac-Daddy steel grate draw bridge in Portsmouth, N.H. that you have to walk (Police at both ends to ensure walking). This area can get pretty congested I’ve seen a couple of hundred cyclist crossing at the same time


You then cross over into Maine and for a short time the scenery changes to a more rural inland setting, then back to coastline. This is where we ran into the all-women half marathon. Doug, with his usual commentary, proclaimed the scenery just kept getting better and better. Unfortunately, this is also where he almost got hit by a Peter Pan tour bus. Doug’s story he” ran out of asphalt and couldn’t get unclipped, stupid Speedplays”, my version – someone was too busy checking out the new found scenery and totally spaced the tour bus pulling over in front of him.

The metric turned around here and we got to follow and pass the marathoners (they took up the whole lane), which meant passing a group pulling into an open spot chatting with some runners then passing some more, but the century goes on to the Nubble Lighthouse and returns.

(The Nubble Lighthouse)

This is a great ride if you want to take your time and view some truly beautiful scenery. We average 16.5 mph for the first half of the ride, then picked up the pace on the return and averaged 18.9 overall. The ride is generally flat with only a few small climbs.

(All smiles at the finish)

A few words of advice for those who are thinking about riding it in the future. There are only two rest stops on both the metric and century, while well stocked with food and drink, it’s a long way between them so if its hot(our day started of at 50 ended at 70 degrees) or you drink a lot of fluids while riding either bring a camelbak or cash to buy water. Also pre-registration is a must, with a max limit of 1700 riders its sold out every year, there is no on site registration. With your reg. fee you have the option to ride either Saturday or Sunday or both. I prefer to leave early as reg. can get crazy with a couple of hundred riders in line and the route can get pretty congested later in the day with cycling and auto traffic.

I would recommend this ride, it is one of my favorites, if you want to slow down and appreciate how beautiful the New England coastline is and get back to the basics of riding with no goals, expectations and no hurry. -Pete

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s