Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Somewhere south of Portland Maine, our ride took on elements of bicycle friendly roadways (shoulders the size of entire lanes), off-road trails, and substantially less intense hills. This area embraces bicyclists, and this is obvious by the dramatic increase in bicycle traffic.
Today’s ride was to begin at 6AM, and at 6:05 we realized that we had overslept. Camping under huge spruce tree cover, plus very dense fog had our bio-clock confused. Despite the late wake-up, we managed to shovel down handfuls of food, place our gear on our bikes, pump up the tires and break-down everything else that needed to be done in a 15 minute window. By 6:20AM, we were on the road, traveling. The only worry in our world was getting beyond heavily traveled Route 1 before the rush of humanity had the same idea. We biked fast, together, with front lights and tail lights blinking like a Christmas tree. And then we veered off Route 1, to begin a ride that would soon morph into a biker’s dream.
The fog was more dense than we’ve experienced in our prior travels. Just when you thought the sun might be trying to peek through the fog, a new wave of more dense fog rolled in. My sunglasses (worn purely for the hope of sun) eventually came off when I could no longer see.
Miles of dirt and gravel trails, eventually changed to paved asphalt. After we had out-ridden the trail portion of our ride, we found ourselves on roads that had the widest shoulders we have ever bicycled. And the local bicycling and running enthusiasts all took part of these amazing roads. We are closing in on southern Maine and the Maine border. I could easily spend more time in this bicycle friendly area, and hope we will continue to find friendly bicycle communities as we continue this journey.
Jill has managed to develop some knee pain – likely due to riding these heavy bikes on prior days steep hills. Today was a much needed break for her knee stress – but just to be safe she tied the problem leg up with a compression strap. That’s how we roll. Tie up the problem area, and ride on.
SAG driver and bicycle mechanic Paddy has fortunately not been called on for SAG pickups or bicycle fixes. Knock on wood. He has used today’s downtime to ride the final 12 miles with us. This is helpful in many ways – fresh legs, fresh conversation and a distraction from the constant thoughts about food!
Oh – and as you may have noticed….internet is back – thanks for reading!