Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Lakes and a Bog

Greetings to one and all. Hope you got some riding in amidst the rain over the past weekend. To start us off in June, Frank Rosen has another great ride in store for us, starting in Readfield. Look forward to seeing you all!
Saturday, June 6th - READFIELD
"Three Lakes and a Bog" - a backroads tour through Readfield, Winthrop, Wayne, and Fayette.
START: 9 AM, at the parking lot behind Readfield Insurance Co., near the junction of Rt. 17 and Church Road at the blinking light in Readfield Center.
DISTANCE: 30 miles.
TERRAIN: Variable, from flat to rolling with a few hills thrown in.
HIGHLIGHTS: scenic back roads and lakeside rambles, with a bakery stop near the end.
LEADER: Frank Rosen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lilacs and Lakes

Memorial Day weekend started out cool and dry - splendid conditions for the KVBC ride around the Belgrade Lakes. The ride was a challenging one, although there were some long stretches of fairly flat terrain with little traffic, particularly through North Belgrade. Somewhere along the road is situated the local weather reporting station that relays data to this blog, but we couldn't discern where exactly it was. No matter - we didn't need to check out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside. We just had to decide on "how many layers" to start out with.

The route turned much more challenging as we turned west. One thing about the hills in the Kennebec Highlands though, they do present some spectacular vistas. Here: the Blueberry Hill Scenic Overlook.

All roads lead to Rome, so the odometers should all agree, shouldn't they?

The route seemed to be flanked everywhere with a striking abundance and variety of Lilacs and more Lilacs. The fragrance followed us everywhere.

Aside from natural wonders, there were more prosaic sights, such as the Rome Corner Trading Post.

And for culinary pleasures, there was Fast Fred's Franks, where belying its name (and the challenge of repeating it three times), the ambiance is decidedly relaxed.

Who knows what sights we'll see on the next KVBC ride?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Belgrade Lakes

We had another great ride in Litchfield last week - Litchfield really has an abundance of great back roads. Many thanks to George for leading and marking the route. This week Memorial Day weekend arrives earlier than usual, and we will revisit a popular ride around the Belgrade Lakes. If we don't see you then, have a safe and pleasant holiday weekend.

May 23rd, Saturday: BELGRADE LAKES
"Great Pond Go 'Round" - a tour around Great Pond through Belgrade, Rome, and Smithfield.
START: 9:30 A.M., at the Belgrade Community Center on Rt. 27, a half mile south of the Village of Belgrade Lakes, on the left (southbound) next to the Great Pond Marina. Park in the community center parking lot nearest the street (just as you turn in).
DISTANCE: 23 or 30 miles, with a short option of 15 miles.
TERRAIN: rolling to moderately hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: views of the Belgrade Lakes, some roller coaster hills, Castle Island, and Blueberry Hill.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Litchfield Ride Report

The "Tour de Litchfield" was very enjoyable and enlightening. It doesn't seem possible that one town could have so many scenic back roads. Our new ride leader, George, did a great job putting all the roads together and marking the many turns so that none of us got lost. The route kept to Litchfield for the most part with a brief sojourn into West Gardiner. The start location in Litchfield Corners was historic: we set off from in front of Litchfield Academy, a venerable 19th Century school of widespread fame where students would go to "fit" for college (what we would call a prep school today). The building is now a senior citizens facility - they were open so we made use of their restrooms so we could "fit" for the ride.

The weather once again was on our side. It started out overcast but dry, and eventually we were rewarded with sunny skies. Traffic was light, and we rolled by numerous working farms. We did see quite a few people out in their yards, and there were a couple of large outings in town - a kids' fishing derby and a school fair. We passed one fellow, known to George, who was working on a vintage Jaguar in his driveway - we did not see him driving it around, however.

Some of the route traveled roads we had rode on the week before, but often in reverse, so we got a different perspective (as well as going downhill where we went up before, and ascending where we once went down). We stopped in Purgatory for the second "cookie stop" at the Luckhursts in two weeks. We felt lucky to be in Purgatory (although we were able to find our way out).

It was a great ride and we will definitely have to go touring in Litchfield again. Next week's ride will be in Belgrade Lakes to kick off your Memorial Day weekend. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tour de Litchfield

We had another really nice ride last Saturday from Hallowell, including some great back roads in Litchfield. This Saturday we'll have more of the same on the Tour de Litchfield. Many thanks to John for leading last week's ride and to George for offering to lead the ride this week. Hope you can all join us!

Saturday, May 16th - LITCHFIELD
"Tour de Litchfield" - an exploration of the back roads of Litchfield.
START: 10:00 AM at the Libby-Tosier Elementary School parking lot, at the junction of Rt. 197 and Academy Road in Litchfield Corners.
DISTANCE: about 25 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate to rolling.
HIGHLIGHTS: quiet back roads and ponds in Litchfield.
LEADER: George Luckhurst.

Hallowell Ride Report

Last Saturday's KVBC ride in Hallowell saw us explore an entirely new route that began with a tour through the back streets of Hallowell itself. Most visitors to Hallowell (well, myself, anyway) don't often venture past the main drag along the river, so to ride past some of the hillside homes with their graceful architecture and landscaping was a welcome change. The town is hilly, though.

Leaving Hallowell the ride headed west, touching on Farmingdale, Litchfield, and Gardiner. The route took advantage of scenic back roads that were relatively traffic-free (other than a short stretch on Rt. 126). A particularly nice stretch passed along the shores of Sandy Pond and Woodbury Pond in Litchfield.

At one point we stopped to admire another example of local architecture - an impressive nest perched on a crossbar of some high-tension power lines. An ornithological discussion ensued as to whether this was an eagle's nest or an osprey's nest, with the edge going to the osprey. No resident made an appearance to clinch the matter. Apparently the occupants were unconcerned about electromagnetic radiation. We did marvel at their landing skills.

At that point the discussion turned to food, and since we were close to George's house we were graciously offered a "cookie stop" for a batch of fresh oatmeal-raisin cookies, which were spot-on perfect and much appreciated. It was moved that "cookie stops" be made mandatory for all KVBC rides in the future and promptly seconded. I'm not sure if we had a quorum, but the measure passed by acclaim. Many thanks to John for leading the ride, and to the Luckhursts for the impromptu "cookie stop." Next Saturday's ride is in Litchfield with George leading - more great riding and perhaps another "cookie stop" in store!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hallowell Fare-thee-well

Last week's ride from Wayne was well attended with a great group of 15 riders. Many thanks to the ride leader, Frank Rosen, for putting together such a nice route. This Saturday's ride will start in Hallowell, courtesy of John Schooley. See you then!

Saturday, May 9th - HALLOWELL
"Hallowell Fare-thee-well" - a scenic tour over hill and dale through Hallowell and Litchfield.
START: 10:00 AM, Hall-Dale Elementary School, 26 Garden Lane off of Winthrop Street in Hallowell.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderately hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: a new route on the back roads west of Hallowell.
LEADER: John Schooley.
Additional note from John: I have been exploring the West side of the Kennebec from my new home in Hallowell, and have found back roads, ponds and even an eagle's nest along the 25+/- mile ride this coming Saturday.
We will start with an easy glide down a few of the streets in Hallowell passing manses and peak landscape foliage. We will then take a steady climb along Middle Street passing Vaughn Woods and heading out past Rollins Furniture and coming back by Jamie Pond, Maple Hill Farms and the Cohen Center back to the Hall-Dale Elementary school off of Winthrop Street.
I hope you will consider a post-ride lunch or snack in downtown Hallowell, where we can probably sit outside by the river.
Looking forward to seeing you all. - John

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wayne Ride Report

We had a great turn-out and a great ride Saturday. The weather cooperated and the route took advantage of both level ground and exhilarating downhills - a combination not always easy to arrange.

Thanks go to Frank (center) for laying out the scenic route and leading the ride from Wayne. We will try and get a map of the route and other KVBC rides posted here for future reference.

The start of the ride allowed many members to
renew acquaintances. (We all know that parking lots were really designed for conversation.)

Stopping by the Leeds Community Church

Next week's ride is in Hallowell on May 9th. Keep your tire pressure up and stay tuned for further details.