Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The BIG Lakes Tour

We had a really nice (if damp) ride on Sunday, thanks to Joe Renda and the six or so club members who came out and braved the elements for a very pleasant backroads tour around Gardiner and Litchfield - somewhat abbreviated from the planned ride to Bowdoinham, due to the changing weather. This week we will launch the KVBC breakfast ride series on Friday morning in Fayette. Saturday will see our first ride in August (it's August already?) in Manchester - an entirely new route through the heart of the lakes district. Hope to see you all this weekend!

(Winthrop 1892 USGS Quadrangle; University of New Hampshire Digital Collections Initiative)

Saturday, August 1st - MANCHESTER
"The BIG Lakes Tour" - a ride along the shorelines of Lakes Maranacook, Annabessacook, and Cobbosseecontee.
START: 8:30 AM at the parking lot of O&P Glass, across from Rite-Aid on Rt.202 in Manchester, just west of the junction of Rt.202 and Rt.17N.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with some hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: Some nice lakeside runs along backroads in Winthrop, Monmouth, and Manchester, with a post-ride gathering.
LEADER: Denise Crowell.

Two Wheels Over Easy

Que fait-il savoir? Rapprocher les patisseries!
(Possible translation: "What does he know? Bring on the pastries!")

If you are free on Fridays, please join us for the KVBC morning breakfast ride series: Two Wheels Over Easy. We will meet in various locations (probably), ride to a local breakfast haunt (definitely), check out the menu (likely), eat a semi-balanced meal (maybe), then ride some more (guiltlessly). Sounds like fun - even if you're a British velodrome star with a taste for bran flakes. Ah, dedication... (and British humor).

Friday, July 31st - FAYETTE
"Two Wheels Over Easy" - the KVBC morning breakfast ride series.
START: 8:00 AM at the Fayette Community School on Rt.17, about two miles west of the junction of Rt.17 and Rt.41N in Kents Hill.
DISTANCE: about 10 miles to breakfast in Livermore, full distance TBD.
TERRAIN: mostly moderate.
HIGHLIGHTS: Breakfast! And some great riding, too!
LEADER: Frank Rosen.

A Wet Sunday

The KVBC ride on Sunday was warm and wet. The group of six started at the Laura E. Richards school on Rt. 201 in Gardiner and followed a shorter route than was originally planned. The pre-ride doppler radar showed a good sized storm bearing down on us and there was no reason to punish ourselves.
The rain started as soon as we began our tour through the back roads of Gardiner, Richmond and Litchfield.
Noteable roads being the New Road in Richmond which gives you a nice long (1 mile-ish) 3% decent; a Tour de France-like uphill switchback onto GrindStone Crank Road; a grape vinyard and views of Pleasant Pond.
We did get some dry weather towards the end and everyone had a great time.
Hopefully next year the loop to Bowdoinham won't get rained out.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Biking to Bowdoinham

Finally! We had superb weather for the KVBC ride last Sunday in Vassalboro, and a great ride on top of that. Thanks to John Schooley for laying out the route and leading the ride, and thanks to the seven or so riders who came and made it a great day. This weekend will be filled with more great cycling: Saturday is the reknowned "Lobster Ride" in Rockland, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Sunday will see the return of a classic KVBC ride from Gardiner to Bowdoinham led by Joe Renda. The weather forecast for the weekend looks great! See you then!
Sunday, July 26th - GARDINER
"Biking to Bowdoinham" - a tour of the southern Kennebec Valley through Gardiner, Richmond and Bowdoinham.
START: 10:00 AM, at the Laura Richards School, Rt. 201 in Gardiner, 1.5 miles south of the junction of Rt. 201 and Rt.s 126/9 (the junction near the A-1 Diner). The school is a new brick building with a "spiked ball" sculpture, on the west side of Rt. 201, on the left past the Gardiner Armory (just as you enter the "thickly settled" area). Park in the lot on the north side of the school.
DISTANCE: 40-45 miles.
TERRAIN: Moderately hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: quiet back roads along streams and farmland south & west of Gardiner.
LEADER: Joe Renda.

Velo Vassalboro

Clear sunny skies with nary a cloud in sight. Quiet back roads with practically no traffic. Lots of green spaces with scenic vistas. All answers to the question: what's more to Vassalboro than topless donut shops? Well, the donut shop was closed for relocation so we couldn't make a full comparison, but from what we did see, Vassalboro is a great place to ride.

John had put together a fine route along the back roads past such institutions as schools, meeting houses, and the police academy. There were a few hills to climb but much of the route was quite moderate.

The roads along the river plateau were smooth and flat, which may have stoked rumors of a killer climb ahead, perhaps as retribution.

But the climb did not live up to its reputation, although the full sun along much of its length made it seem longer and steeper. The downhill which followed was a fine reward.

It was a fine ride, refuting the old line, You Can't Get There From Here, with So What? Here is fine enough!

Next week's ride will be in Gardiner as we bike to Bowdoinham. Please join us! And have a great week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You Can't Get There From Here

We had a wonderful - and dry! - ride in Sidney on the Fourth of July, thanks to Jim Putnam. The weather this past weekend turned out to be great, much to the weatherman's surprise and my chagrin. I apologize for not putting a ride together - who would've thought that it wouldn't rain two weeks in a row? Well, no matter - we have two more great rides coming up: this Sunday John Schooley will lead his ride out of East Vasselboro, and the following Sunday Joe Renda will take us to Bowdoinham from Gardiner. As always, I hope to see you then!

Sunday, July 19, EAST VASSALBORO
"You Can't Get There From Here (Even if You Were Here to Begin With) - East Vassalboro to East Vassalboro" - a double bosun's knot through the hills and dells of Vassalboro.
START: 9:00 AM at the Vassalboro Historical Society parking lot just north of the China Lake boat landing on Rt. 32 in East Vassalboro (not South China).
DISTANCE: 14 or 30 miles.
TERRAIN: the short loop is "easy" - the longer loop is more challenging.
HIGHLIGHTS: a selection of great, scenic rural Maine roads.
LEADER: John Schooley.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cycling Fourth

We had a splendid Fourth of July ride in Sidney. The skies were overcast, but this was offset as many showed up attired in some variation of red, white, and blue. In keeping with the patriotic spirit of the times, everyone cheerfully relinquished all of their rights by signing the release waiver. God bless the American Bar Association.

Jim took us out on a very scenic figure 8 route along the west side of the Kennebec River. There were a few inclines to climb, but also a number of fine flat stretches where we could really hammer along at a brisk pace.

The roads, for once, were not underwater, so we could see pavement cracks, potholes, and obstacles - and even point them out to each other. The recent rains had washed out gullies along the road in some places, leaving the roads literally shoulderless. We were wary, and passed by the trouble spots without problems. The dry pavement was welcome, and made the scenery more noticeable.

The ride passed through some prime farming area with some great pastoral views. Our intrepid cameraman, still experimenting with taking pictures on the fly with his 'glove-cam', demonstrates that he has an eye for scenic vistas, although his photo composition still needs work.

It makes things easier to document when everyone holds still - but then, that's not really documenting the ride so much as the stops. (OK, there are stops, but even if we don't always ride that fast we are usually in motion most of the time.)

And on club rides, the ride's the thing - not the recording. We have a lot of riding still in store, so if you haven't been out on a KVBC ride yet this year, check us out!