Sunday, June 21—Laconia, NH to Newport, VT
It rained hard last night. In spite of what that meant for today’s ride, the sound of rain pounding on the cottage roof encouraged a good night’s sleep. I was ready for the first truly rainy day of the trip.
I rode northeasterly to Conway, NH to position myself to ride on the Kancamagus Highway that parallels the Swift River through the White Mountain National Forest. The route climbs in elevation and winds like a snake. It’s perfect for a motorcycle, even as the rain fell hard. My rain gear worked really well.
The sun came out as I rode onto I89, and I suddenly started to bake. After about 10 minutes I noticed that my butt was getting really hot, so the warmth wasn’t just weather-related. I tried switching the seat warmer on and off, to no avail. I was fairly certain the heater switch shorted in the heavy rain, but started running other scenarios through my head. I exited the interstate onto highway 100 near Waterbury, VT. As I was considering what was wrong with my bike, I noticed a familiar logo to my left. The thought of a cool, refreshing snack was too tempting, so I pulled a U-turn and returned to the Ben & Jerry’s factory. The parking lot was compacted gravel, soaking wet from the rain. I navigated into a parking slot carefully, then dismounted and quickly stripped off my rain gear. The two scoops of ice cream were complimentary in honor of Father’s Day!
As I rode on it felt as though my ass was on fire—to use a phrase our daughter, Jessica, coined. I couldn’t sit in the seat continuously, so stood partially up resting my coccyx on the backrest. To pass the time away, I started thinking up alternative possible causes of the hot seat, i.e., overheating engine, cracked exhaust, low oil, even the 10% ethanol content of my last gas fill up. I naively hoped it was just a fluke and all would be well in the morning.
Route: 3N, 25E, 16N, 112W, 302W, I89W, 100N
Miles Today: 240
Time Today: 6:55
Total Trip Miles: 7,009
Weather: Rainy in low 60s transitioning to sunny and high 80s
Lunch: Ben & Jerry’s
Lodging: Newport City Inn & Suites
Dinner: Eastside Restaurant