To put a little variety into my parent’s visit, we went bicycling the next sunny day after our hike. Tyson couldn’t come because he was too busy at work, but we took his suggestion to try the rail trail that heads north from Peterborough along the Contoocook River.
The first part is a paved trail, called the “Common Pathway”. The parking is a gravel lot off Summer Street. Pretty easy to find. This part of the trail has some nice views of the river, but it also wanders among houses. And in two places it puts you on the road.
Next, after crossing Rt 202, the trail changes name to the “Old Railroad Trail” and the pavement ends. At first it is a really nice hard packed dirt trail, but it got rougher farther from town. From the signage, the trail passes through private property. It seemed like the quality of the trail bed changed from one property to the next. In exchange for the bumpy and at times muddy ride, we got views of farm fields and vibrant oxbows.
I spotted a duck. Isaac found some fish. One the way back I stopped to photograph skunk cabbage in bloom. That last one was Isaac’s undoing. He was so busy looking for skunk cabbage that he rode off the trail, into a ditch, and flipped over his handle bars. A little ways farther down the trail, his rear derailleur caught in his rear tire spokes and sent him skidding. It’s unclear whether it was latent damage from the ditch, or if he also caught a stick. His bike limped back the last mile to the car in 4th gear.