PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. -- There are so many ways to make the trek up Mount Washington. Runners and bicyclists have their race days, while vans, cars, and pickup trucks can motor up the Auto Road almost any day .
But on Thursday, you better make way for motorcycles.
It's motorbikes only -- 3,000 are expected -- during the fifth annual ``Ride to the Sky." Call it Harley heaven, especially if the weather cooperates. Blue skies mean views over the handlebars north to Canada and east to the Atlantic Ocean.
The nearly 8-mile road is a combination of dirt and pavement, straightaways and brake-pumping curves. Vendors set up at the base for a cookout and souvenir sales on a day of camaraderie and chrome, which coincides with Bike Week in Laconia.
Can't wait for Thursday? No problem. New this year is another motorcycle-only day tomorrow. Though choppers will dominate the traffic, they will be joined by Auto Road tour vans.
Other special dates for motorheads include a Hybrid Car Day on June 19 and the Climb to the Clouds Vintage Car Weekend July 22- 23.
Sure is easier than hiking.
Ride to the Sky, Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham, N.H. 603-466-3988 . www.mountwashingtonautoroad.com . Motorcycle and operator $12; each additional adult $7. June 15, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. The auto road is about three hours from Boston. Take Interstate 95 north into New Hampshire, then the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover north to Route 16 north toward Glen. Follow Route 16 through Pinkham Notch; the auto road is approximately 2 miles north of Wildcat Mountain Ski Area. MARTY BASCH