The always stunning view from Mt Cardigan - pictured are Mts. Moose, Holt's Ledge, Winslow Ledge, and Smarts
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Rear view of Dartmouth Triathlon Team members biking as a pack.

As the term grows old and exams are ramping up, I took the opportunity to take a break from Dartmouth academics and bike to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. The trip was organized by the one and only Dartmouth Triathlon Team (read all about it), and the plan was to arrive at the lodge in time for dinner (where other team members who drove would be meeting us!). 

Our group of brave riders set off on a Saturday afternoon with an expected travel time of around 3 hours. We had 45 miles to cover and 3,000 feet of elevation gain to climb, but there were only smiles and excitement for what was to come. 

Starting in front of Robinson Hall (home of the Dartmouth Outing Club), we crossed campus and traveled up Lyme road. After a few rolling hills, we crossed the road and turned onto River Road—a path offering stunning vistas of the Connecticut River. There was an intense feeling of "spring has sprung" as the views flew by. Between weeks of rain, snow, and wildly alternating temperatures, it felt euphoric to speed along swaths of green and feel the sunshine! 

At around mile 20, one of us got a flat, but with a spare inner tube, we were back on the road in no time. One of the Triathlon coaches, coach Jim, was SO kind and met us farther up the road to change the tire. 

Dartmouth Triathlon Team cyclists waiting on the side of the road as their coach replaces a tire.
Coach Jim to the rescue.

It was around this point that we'd turned off River Road and began a series of long climbs on the final stretch. I had underestimated the amount of water needed for the whole trip, and also ran out of my maple syrup gels l (fueling lesson learned), so this is where things got a bit harder.  Each incline tested my legs and our collective fortitude, but the group held strong and we continued making steady progress! 

At mile 40, on the final push, misfortune struck: I snapped my rear derailleur. The repair would be impossible, and I was forced to be picked up by teammates who were 15 min behind by car. I was sad to be knocked out of commission by a simple mechanical failure so close to the finish, but was grateful that I'd already made it 40 miles. 

Back at Moosilauke, we gathered at long wooden tables and feasted on a meal prepared by the lodge crew. A good meal tastes different after a long ride!

Dartmouth Triathlon Team members at a happy group dinner at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.
Moosilauke: 10/10. I will definitely repeat this ride at some point, but it won't be the same without this awesome team!

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