Thursday, August 20, 2009
A Torrid Traverse
On Saturday, August 15, a group of twelve riders gathered in Mount Vernon for the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club ride. The ride, "the Mount Vernon Traverse," was longer and hillier than initially advertised. Hotter, too. Temperatures were already in the high 80s by the start, and would climb into the 90s by the end of the ride.
The route headed north to Rome via Watson Pond Road. I had a family reunion later that day, but since I live in Mount Vernon I was able to make it to the start. The route was a 34 mile loop with no cut-offs, so I debated whether to ride the entire route or turn back at some point. We began the first of a series of strenuous climbs by heading up Blueberry Hill. Fortunately a good part of the climb was in the shade which made the effort a lot cooler.
At the top of the hill the riders stopped to regroup before continuing on to Rt.27 North and the second long climb. Returning via Rt. 134 the group would encounter yet another challenging climb up Cape Cod Hill in New Sharon. Both of those long climbs would be open and sun-baked, so the group decided to take advantage of the shade while they had it.
It was at this point that John suddenly remembered that he had left something behind in his car that he needed (he said something about "A-C") so I took the opportunity to ride back with him, climbing all the hills we had just come down. We made it back OK and I went off to continue preparations for my family gathering. John drove his car back over the route as an impromptu sag wagon. He later hosted a cool, post-ride gathering at his cottage, lakeside. After all the heat and the hills it was no doubt a welcome respite at the end of the ride. Many thanks to John and the impressive number of riders who showed up in the heat.
The next KVBC ride is Sunday in Alna with more beautiful roads and another post-ride gathering. We have more great rides coming up - hopefully the weather will stay dry and turn a bit cooler.