Fall Foliage Classic Day 5 - Salem to Manchester NH
Distance: 48 miles
Weather: Low 40s and sunny to start. Low 70s and sunny to end.
Highlights of the day:
It was a very crisp start to the day. Temperatures in the low 40s were a little nippy and we left bundled up against the cold. By the SAG stop the sun was doing its thing and we left most of the layers at the van. By the end of the ride, most everyone was in short sleeves. This is New Hampshire and it is October. I just needed to see that in writing to remind myself.
The colors are starting to peak out from around the corner. It isn’t everywhere but we are now starting to see occasional (but stunning) red maple leaves. Others are staying in yellow to orange range. It's beautiful. It is amazing what a lack of chlorophyll will do! (Apologies to the botanists out there if I got that wrong...)
The hills today allowed us to slow down and enjoy the scenery all the more. We have headed inland and into New Hampshire hills. Some steep with lots of repeats. Over all there was no more vertical climb than what we experienced over the past couple of days but most of that up was contained in two early in the day and one substantial 2-mile climb just 10 miles from the end of the route. If I am to believe my Garmin, we touched some double digits along the way. The riders are commenting that they are tired. I think I know why!
Our SAG stop was the Veterans Memorial Park on Naticook Lake. Foliage color + Water = Photo Ops. We rode into Manchester this afternoon. Visited a bike shop. Ate barbecue for dinner. Thanked Mother Nature for another beautiful day. And then called it night.