This has really snuck up on me. Part of that is because I was supposed to have Friday off, then was asked to work a half day, which stretched into a full day, preventing me from getting a lot of things done that I’d planned to do yesterday. So I’m working on that now.
I’ve picked up some batteries for my Flip to record the trip up the mountain, and cleared the memory to up to have a full hour of video. I’ve brought my hardbags inside and am repacking them specifically for the trip. Much to my dismay, my textile jacket takes up one of them all by itself. The bags are so small and the jacket is so bulky. Fortunately, this is only an overnight, so I have the space to spare. My other layers for the cooler temperatures on the mountain fit in my other bag, and my backpack – packed to far less than full capacity so it’ll squish a bit – will hold a couple of changes of clothes and whatever else I’ll want to bring inside the hostel with me. That’ll go in the trunk, which is still being secured with my cargo net. It doesn’t lock, but it’ll be empty overnight, and my bags do lock, so security won’t be an issue. I’ll finish packing my last minute items in my backpack tomorrow, and I should be set to go.
I gave the bike a once over, and it’s in fine shape, despite being 30 years old. I finally got around to checking my air filter – not that I’m going to replace it before the trip at this point, but just to check it. Much to my surprise, there’s a K&N filter in there! It’s in good shape – not the cleanest I’ve ever seen but far from the dirtiest. I put a K&N drop-in air filter in my car, so at some point I’ll pick up a cleaner/recharger kit that I can use for both of them. Finally, I took my registration out of my jacket pocket – the one I haven’t been wearing lately (oops) – stuck it in a Ziploc bag, and stuck it in the lockable pocket on the fairing. Now that I’m going to be switching between two different jackets, it’s better to keep the registration with the bike than in a jacket pocket.
I’ve plotted a route that’ll give me lots of twisties and a full day of riding.
I should explain my philosophy of route planning. I can guarantee you that this is NOT the exact route I’ll be taking. I know where I want to finish the ride. I know I want to ride the Kankamagus Highway, which, seeing as how my destination is right at the east end of it, makes sense to enter from the west end. I know I want to avoid major cities (Concord, Manchester, Nashua, etc.), so it makes sense to head a bit west to then go east to my destination. With some fooling around on Google Maps, this is what I came up with for a good general guideline. And that’s how I’m looking at it – a guideline. Yes, there are many zigs and zags across 25, 25A, and 25C before picking up 112 and the Kank. If I’m running late or just feel like cutting off some distance, I can skip any or all of these zig-zags and just head to the Kank. I can straighten out some of the other twists and turns I’ve planned if I feel like it. Or if I find some road that looks fun, I can explore that, then use my GPS to get back on my general path.
I realize that I’m making a wide swing around the Lakes Region, and it’s the beginning of Bike Week in Laconia. That’s actually part of the reason I’m avoiding it. I want to take a long ride, not sit in traffic, even if it is with a bunch of other cool bikes. Besides, I have no doubt that I’ll see plenty of people from Bike Week zipping around the Kank and Mt. Washington.
I’ve left Monday’s route home up in the air, mainly because I don’t know how much time I’ll spend on the mountain. I work Tuesday, so I have to get home at a reasonable time. If I’m short on time, I can take the interstate like everyone else. If I’m not in a hurry, I can take any combination of other roads. I might head closer to the Lakes Region on my way back. I’ve spent plenty of time at the Boston Chapter BMW CCA Ice Races on Newfound Lake during the winter, but I’ve never seen it during the summer, so it would be fun to pass through there on my way south. Cutting the corner through the Lakes Region would shorten my trip home a little. Or maybe I’ll like the Kank so much I’ll want to ride it west, then meander through a different set of back roads toward home. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out after I’m done on Mt. Washington and know how I feel.
There isn’t much left to do. Just pack a few final items in the morning, load up the bike, and get outta here.