Day 8: Conway, ME to North Woodstock, NH

By Michael Riscica / June 24, 2007

Sunday June 24, 2007, 46 miles (74 km) – Total so far: 367 miles (590 km) 45.76 miles
4 hours 11 minutes
34 max Mike
10.4 avg Mike

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We all slept till 6:45 and somehow chuck magically had an eggs breakfast made 5 minutes after we woke up. Our room in the hostel was a disaster, however with the 3 of us working, it was quickly put back into order as we packed and loaded our bikes.

Riding outta Conway was a mess. The ACA maps had an error on them and even though we were aware of the error we still got lost. The good news is we got to ride over this really cool covered bridge while we were lost.

The plan for today was to ride 22 miles uphill over that 2300′ climb called the Kancamagus Pass (or as the locals call it ‘The Kanc’) the elevation profile of this climb is extremely scary and I know from the trans am sometimes those elevation profiles are deceiving.

The rocky Merrimack River Valley, 2007 Coast2CoastBike rideThe rocky Merrimack River Valley, 2007 Coast2CoastBike ride

The climb started with this really nice road called Passaconway. The hill is very gentle and it rides alongside a beautiful river. Chuck got in the river and took some great pictures. As we climbed Passaconway Jamie started to complain about the pain in his left knee coming back. It only bothered him while he was pedaling. At the top of the first part of the hill we took a long break and chatted with some of the local cyclists.

Vintage Red Car sighting, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike Ride The rocky Merrimack River Valley, 2007 Coast2CoastBike rideAfter the break we rode another 2 or 3 more miles. The pain in Jamie’s knee was just getting worse. There wasn’t much around and we didn’t really have many options. We stopped a guy in a pickup truck and had him take Jamie over the pass to the next town. The guy was real cool. I could tell Jamie was really bummed out because he was looking forward to riding over this hill. The rocky Merrimack River Valley, 2007 Coast2CoastBike ride

After Jamie left, chuck and I rode like the Devil over that hill. The first 12 miles of the climb weren’t that bad. We were both riding really strong. We stopped at one of the picnic areas, I asked the guy cleaning the bathroom where we could get some drinking water and he went on to give me lengthy directions where to find water at the bottom of the hill. I got annoyed and yelled to chuck across the parking lot, there’s no water until after the pass.

A lady heard me and she asked chuck and I if we would like some Gatorade.  I told her we were riding cross country and her and her husband chatted with us while we took a break. They’re names were Kathy and Jeff. They are from Front Royal, Virginia and drove up to the White Mountains for some vacation.

The Mountain and the Blue Sky, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideThe Mountain and the Blue Sky, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike Ride

I thought about Jamie the whole way up the mountain. The views of the mountain were spectacular. The last 3 miles of the climb was really tough and the wind was in our faces. Chuck and I had to stop several times to catch our breaths. When we got to the top of the hill, we went to the scenic overlook and there were 2 people there. I got off my bike and laid spread eagle from exhaustion on the sidewalk in the sun (it was a little chilly). When I opened my eyes there were a million bratty little kids running around. We quickly got the hell outta there.

Kancamus Pass, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideKancamus Pass, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideThe Roads we passed by on our long distance bike tour

The 11 mile downhill was much deserved. We rode downhill into the headwind but it wasn’t that bad. The grade was really steep and it just meant we didn’t have to use our brakes that much.

We found Jamie in Lincoln he got there about 2.5 hours ago. He took a nap and walked around a little. We were all starving so we found some pizza place and we all got giant chicken parm sandwiches. After lunch we stopped at rite aid and Jamie bought one of those knee braces and put on some of the muscle cream Erika’s mom gave me.

The Bridge on top of a River, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideDinner, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideCamping and Bicycle touring

We rode 2 miles into the next town North Woodstock and found the campsite. When we rode up to our site, the teenage girl camping next to us with her boyfriend gave us a dirty look. Little did she know that she became the butt of all our jokes and we made fun of her for the rest of the night.

At the end of the night we all went out for beers. We’re all really worried about Jamie’s knee. He thinks he damaged something the night we rode into the farm.  His knee is going to need some time to heal and we have a crap load of hills in front of us.

Majestic Lake view, 2007 Cross Country Bike tour Road pictures on our coast to coast bicycle tourRoad trip, Coast to Coast BicyclingRoad trip, Coast to Coast Bicyclingtwo beautiful horses seen during our long distance bike tour A Wooden Bridge on our Bicycle Tour Road trip, Coast to Coast Bicycling Wooden Bridge, Coast to Coast Bicycling Road pictures taken during the 3rd day of our coast to coast bicycle tourRoad Trip, 2007 Coast2Coast Bike RideRoad trip, Coast to Coast Bicycling

Click Here to Visit The Table of Contents
Click Here to Visit Previous Page: Day 7: Conway, NH to Conway, NH

Click Here to Visit The Next Page: Day 9: North Woodstock, NH to North Woodstock, NH 

About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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