You know you’re dedicated to making your bicycle touring dreams happen when you awake at 3:30AM, eat a breakfast of vegetables, egg and avocado by 4AM, drive 40 minutes to meet your bicycle training partner Jill by 5:15AM, and are on the road with your headlamp and other blinking lights by 5:20AM. Just as the sun is peeking though with enough light so that you don’t accidentally body slam into a pothole. And 30 minutes later you have found your first hill. It’s a big one, and you’re not fully sure that your breakfast has digested. The moment of truth has arrived.
The breakfast gods were with both of us and we made it up that hill with nutrients intact. A spectacular bicycling day is unfolding. Our goal for today was to hit 50 miles. It is 5 weeks before our 9 day bicycling journey from Bar Harbor Maine to Washington DC.
Being a novice at bicycle touring, and having just recently morphed from being a catamaran sailor – I viewed all East Coast terrain as primarily flat. Flat seas, flat coastline – why not just bicycle along the coast? Then I looked at the topography for Bar Harbor Maine. This coastal town should be bursting with flat terrain bicycle trails right? Wrong! 1500 feet of elevation. Since Bar Harbor rests on the Atlantic Ocean edge, to get from 0 sea level to 1500 feet means that these climbs must be steep. Suddenly, I am on board with hill training.
With over 20 miles in by 6:45, our next 30 miles would include a 3rd member — who opted to sleep in. Tamar rested for both of us, and Jill and I were happy to re-energize vicariously with fresh legs. By 7AM we are off for the remaining 30 miles – through parkland, quiet roads, wide shoulders and hills that made you work, but didn’t grind your quads to mush. 50 miles in total – a sweet ride!