Saturday, July 18, 2015
When I awoke to sunlight and bright skies my first thoughts were “Oh no – I overslept on the first day of the adventure”. Fortunately, in Maine, dawn breaks around 4AM with sunrise at 5AM — so we had not overslept at all! It took a while to get our gear loaded, but by 5:30AM we had navigation gear connected, a quick breakfast of rice and corn consumed, food packed for the day, and a few spare dollars in case we come across a general store if our food stash runs out. Notice the preoccupation with food .
After a tire dip in the big ‘pond’, we began our ride across Mt. Desert Island and quickly found our way along the coast. From here, we truly biked the slowest 7 miles ever. Not because of traffic, not because of bike issues, not because of operator issues. We were stopped in our tracks by the views. The views were SO amazing, that we had to keep stopping for photo opportunities. At some point, we realized we were not making anywhere near the progress we needed to make, and perhaps we better get on with biking.
We were also amazed at the lack of traffic, both car and bicycle for most of the roads. The hills were more intense that we anticipated, but we quickly learned to be friends with our granny gears. My usual grind to get to the top of any hill as quickly as possible, gave way to the concept of pacing oneself. You get there when you get there. Miles of climbs were followed by miles of descents, and you can be certain that one of us was happy at all times depend
ing on which side of the hill we faced. We came upon a few very large deer, and wild turkey. No moose. No bears. And I’m fine with that.
Our tech’ed up navigation gear worked perfectly. My RideWithGPS.com software combined with my phone GPS (which BTW had zero cell connection) – was the perfect guide. The turn by turn directions were spot on. We did manage to find ourselves on one very busy stretch of road with no shoulder for about 2 miles, and had to work up an alternate plan. Once we sidestepped this stretch, we were back up to speed – with one eye on the road and another on the outstanding views along the Maine coast.
The latter half of the ride we were met with rains. Not the downpour type of rain, but enough rain to create a mess of your drive-train, turn your gears into greasy muck, and give you the giddy-up you need to complete the day’s travels. The grinds of the hills gradually took their toll, and consuming more nuts, power bars and easy-to-carry foods just weren’t enough. My thoughts now are mostly on food and finishing….and we made it to our campground in time to inhale a feast-worth of carbohydrates. There is nothing quite like a day of biking and grinding out hills – to kick your metabolism into overdrive! We finished the day with a taste of Maine (lobster) followed by an ice cream indulgence! Sweet!!