Catch Part 1 Here: Trans New England - Vermont USA
Following a couple brilliant days of riding in Vermont, we headed east to set up camp for the evening at Hub North in Gorham, NH. Yet again we ate well, congregated by the fire and shared the stoke of the past two days. Each evening tended to have a bit of a rhythm to it. Arrive at camp, grab a beer or maple water, swap stories over some delicious grub and have a quick meeting going over the next day's ride logistics, directions, and safety chat. This particular evening our medical team reset our tone a bit because we were heading into the unknown. The first two days were on established networks made for mountain biking. But as we transitioned away from Vermont and moved into Maine and New Hampshire we would see a mix of well-ridden trails, less established trails, and maybe some trails that aren't considered bike trails. We would be riding terrain that bites back harder when things go wrong and going farther away from quick access to help. Exploring the unknown is an exciting prospect and a key part of the plan for the week was to challenge the riders on new terrain in their home region. The excitement of new trails on the horizon refreshed the energy in the group once again. With the all-important safety chats out of the way, more fireside stories were swapped as people slowly headed to sleep as the clouds rolled in overnight.
In stark contrast to the perfect weather of day two, day three greeted us with the hardest rainfall of the year. We quickly packed up camp, boiled coffee under the pavilion, and mentally prepared for what we were getting ourselves into. Once the decision was made to give it a go, we started the procession towards Maine and the forgotten bike park at Sunday River. We rolled out of camp in a downpour and as we continued heading east towards the Maine border, Mother Nature turned the rain dial up to 11. Torrential downpour? Flash flood status rain? A deluge? It was the kind of rain that makes you drive 20mph down a 55mph speed limit road because the windshield wipers can't keep up. Most of that drive was spent wavering on whether we should be doing this and repeating self-affirmations that this was going to be awesome. Luckily, the skies eased our wavering minds by slowing the rain to a normal rate by the time we arrived and within 30 minutes into our pedal up the first climb of the day the sun had peaked and continued to shine for the rest of the day.
Our final day perfectly embodied what we were trying to accomplish with this week of bringing people together. The morning provided the steepest and scariest terrain of the week. It brought the group together to support each other's efforts, pushed everyone's comfort levels got the group as a whole to a new level of excitement. Afternoon shuttles proceeded on some of the best descents in North America with one final party train down the recently revised work of art that is Charlie’s trail finishing in the Cranmore Resort parking lot. The final round of post-ride beers waiting for us at the bottom was the cherry on top of this week-long sundae, all while in the rain.
Sunday River is one of the largest ski resorts in the Northeast and while their bike park may have closed years ago, the locals have kept the trails running. The years since the park shut down have given the dirt time to regenerate and soften up, leaving the trails void of the typical abusive bike park harshness. But don’t let that fool you into thinking these trails have lost their edge. They are still raw, technical, and sometimes downright nasty stretches of single-track. One particular trail, Double Vision, made even the best second guess their skills.
The White Mountains are an ancient, rugged, granite strewn range in the northern half of New Hampshire. North Conway is a town nestled in the heart of these mountains brimming with both outlet stores and artisan shops alike. Look beyond the outlets and main street and you will find out exactly why it's become known for the best gravity focused trail riding in the Northeast. With trails that rival those found in legendary places such as British Columbia, it's become known for the best gravity focused riding in the Northeast. Fast, rough, jank, tech, flow and big mountain adventure… it’s all here. A dedicated crew of local riders have formed Ride NoCo, a trail advocacy group for the region who have taken the reigns on managing many of the mountain bike specific trails and are constantly breaking ground on new terrain keeping everyone excited.
What started as a challenge to recreate the trans style races known for their challenging trails, physical days, blind racing and great camaraderie organically evolved into something authentically different. The relaxed atmosphere, party trains and optional low key timing system gave Trans New England its own unique flavor. There was flow and jank, there was good food and beer, there was campfires and stories, all shared amongst big days in the mountains exploring new terrain with new friends and old. It might not have 1000 year old French mountain trails, the anti grip of Chile, or the legendary terrain of BC, but when you boil down the essentials of a week-long enduro, Trans New England had all the important details, with a distinctly New England spirit that left everyone craving more. And who knows, maybe it will happen again... Thanks to our event sponsors and supports who helped make it all happen
Frontside Grind Coffee Roasters
If you enjoyed the videos and want some more, check out the longer version with more footage not seen above of the week of riding, camping, and good times...Full length event video below