Friday, December 17, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Season's Greetings to you all!

We had a terrific season of cycling in 2010. From Earth Day to Halloween, we had 23 rides scheduled over 28 weekends (with most of the rest filled in by major cycling events). Only one ride was canceled due to bad weather (thunderstorms); another was postponed but we substituted another in its place. I'm personally pleased that I made it to all but one of the rides! I want to thank all of the ride leaders who graciously offered to share one of their rides with us, and for all the folks who showed up to keep me company on the rides I led.
Thanks, too, to all those who welcomed us into their homes and shops for baked cookies and other treats. Thank you all!

Today I had my first "Posted Roads" placard sighting, which means it's already time to start planning for next year! Sometime in January we will have our annual ride calendar planning party and pizza fest. Those of you who would like to attend - either to plan rides or just socialize (yes, both are eminently acceptable and not necessarily exclusive) - drop me a line on what evenings are best for you (or not) and I will try to find a good day to meet. We have traditionally met at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine offices in Augusta, but I will entertain suggestions for another venue, if any entertaining options come to mind.

In the meantime, I hope to spend the rest of the Winter trying to catch up on my ride reports from this past summer, going back to Memorial Day, I think. Obviously, I was spending more time riding than blogging, but keep an eye (or a browser) on and I will try to give you something to recall the roads of summer while you are waiting to be plowed out. I'll also resolve to try and figure out the intricacies of online mapping, Facebook, and all those things currently beyond my limited comprehension. I expect that by March I'll be more than ready to get out and ride. Perhaps I'll see you out there, too.

Thanks again, and Best Wishes for the Holidays!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Win Pizza in Tuscany

Win A Tuscan Bike Tour in Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Super Raffle

Augusta –
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 2011 Super Raffle features a grand prize of a VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations trip to Tuscany, Italy. Valued at as much as $3,145, the 10-day trip includes roundtrip airfare from New York to Italy plus accommodations, sightseeing and world-famous Italian cuisine.

The lucky winner will be able to join one of VBT’s 2011 Tuscan Coast or Tuscany by the Sea tours. Both trips feature:
· Small groups (14-20 people).
· Eight nights at comfortable hotels and unique accommodations such as a country resort or an agrihotel with a private wine cellar.
· Excursions to places such as an ancient castle, an olive oil mill or a pastry-making lesson.
· Free use of a VBT custom bicycle and helmet.

Both trips are rated as easy to moderate bike rides, with daily distances ranging from 15 to 45 miles. VBT provides bilingual guides, maps and a fully equipped support van. The raffle winner may choose departure dates between March and November 2011, subject to availability.

Everyone who purchases a raffle ticket will receive a T-shirt featuring the Bicycle Coalition’s new logo. Tickets may be purchased for $50 each at or by phoning (207) 623-4511.

A total of no more than 200 tickets will be sold. The raffle will be held on the first day of spring, March 20, 2011. For more information, please visit

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All Hallows Tour

We had a brisk, colorful ride in Belgrade last week. Stayed dry, but cloudy and cold. We had some fine cycling weather this week, nonetheless. Perhaps it will carry into the weekend. We will meet in Wayne on Sunday for a special Halloween ride to some notable cemeteries, including the round Wing cemetery in Wayne. Costumes optional - anything from Elmira Gulch to Pee Wee Herman - with proper helmets, though. Don't let anything scare you away!

Sunday, October 31st - WAYNE
"All Hallows Tour" - a Halloween ride featuring some historic cemeteries.
START: 10:00 AM at the Wayne Elementary School, 48 Pond Road, Wayne.
DISTANCE: 15-20 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate, creepy in spots.
HIGHLIGHTS: the Wing family cemetery, the Kents Hill orchard, perhaps a notorious historic crime scene, and other local haunts.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Highland Fall Fling

We had a fine ride on Columbus Day weekend along the Sheepscot River, although it started out a bit blustery, overcast, and cold. Things actually warmed up nicely later in the day, so a later ride start may have been in order. The weather this Sunday looks favorable, and the fall colors are holding strong, so lets try for a ride in Belgrade Lakes - starting a bit later, at 10:00 am, to let things warm up a bit at the start. We may have a post-ride gathering at either the cafe or the grill in town. This may be one of the last chances to get a group ride in, and to enjoy the fall colors. Hope to see you there!

October 24th, Sunday: BELGRADE LAKES
"Highland Fling" - a tour around the Kennebec Highlands through Belgrade and Rome.
START: 10:00 A.M., at the Belgrade Community Center on Rt. 27, a half mile south of the Village of Belgrade Lakes, on the right (northbound) just past the Great Pond Marina. Park in the community center parking lot nearest the street (just as you turn in).
DISTANCE: about 20 miles.
TERRAIN: rolling to "moderately" hilly (translation: there are hills on this ride).
HIGHLIGHTS: fall foliage, views of the Belgrade Lakes, some roller coaster hills, Castle Island, and Blueberry Hill.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Be Prepared (to Change this Week's Ride Start)

NOTICE: KVBC RIDE START CHANGE. We will be meeting for the KVBC ride this Sunday at the Windsor Elementary School, about a half mile north of the Windsor Fairgrounds, as it has been pointed out to me that there is a major three-day event involving several thousand Boy Scouts scheduled at the fairgrounds this weekend. Everyone of them, I'm sure, is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. But they'll also be armed with lasers and fireworks, so to be on the safe side, we'll shift the start of the ride to the school instead. See you there!

"Sheepscot River - China Lake Tour": a tour up and down the banks of the Sheepscot River, through Windsor, Whitefield, Pittston, and Coopers Mills, plus an optional half-century or metric century around China Lake, adding the towns of China, Vassalboro, and Palermo.
START: 9:00 A.M., at the Windsor Elementary School on Rt. 32, about a mile north from the junction of Rt. 17 and Rt. 32. The school is on the left, northbound.
DISTANCE: 27, 56, or 63 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with no big hills on the short ride; moderate to hilly on the long routes.
HIGHLIGHTS: scenic back roads with fine straight runs, the R. Majorowitz Sculpture Garden in Alna, and nice views of the Sheepscot, one of the most pristine rivers in the Northeast; the long routes include ridgetop vistas and views of China Lake. Also lots and lots of Boy Scouts. Be prepared.
LEADER: Jim Merrick (former Star Scout).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Windsor and the Guardians of Rust

We had a beautiful ride to Pemaquid the last weekend of September, thanks to Sandi Hodge, and last weekend the Dempsey & Cadillac Challenges had great weather, too. Can we make it three in a row? Why not? The weather this Sunday looks very nice, and may be one of the last weekends to get a good ride in, so come on out and join us on one of our favorite trips along the Sheepscot River. We'll meet at the Windsor Fairgrounds for the pretty Sheepscot loop, and I'll bring maps for the optional 56 and 63 mile routes. If you are not doing the Tour de Farmington, this is a great alternative to get in a great metric century with fall foliage. If you can't make it, have a great Columbus Day weekend, and as always, stay tuned for some further rides ahead.

October 10th, Sunday: WINDSOR
"Sheepscot River - China Lake Tour": a tour up and down the banks of the Sheepscot River, through Windsor, Whitefield, Pittston, and Coopers Mills, plus an optional half-century or metric century around China Lake, adding the towns of China, Vassalboro, and Palermo.
START: 9:00 A.M., at the Windsor Fair Grounds on Rt. 32, about a half mile north from the junction of Rt. 17 and Rt. 32. Park in the lot across from the entrance.
DISTANCE: 27, 56, or 63 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with no big hills on the short ride; moderate to hilly on the long routes.
HIGHLIGHTS: scenic back roads with fine straight runs, the R. Majorowitz Sculpture Garden in Alna, and nice views of the Sheepscot, one of the most pristine rivers in the Northeast; the long routes include ridgetop vistas and views of China Lake.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pemaquid, Pemaquid

We had a splendid ride last Saturday through Winthrop, Monmouth, and Manchester, and a delightful post-ride party with great food and company. Many thanks to Denise for leading the ride and opening up her house for us - and providing the great food afterwards. Thanks, Denise!
This Sunday's KVBC ride will return to the scenic Pemaquid Peninsula with a great ride along the shore. The route is not only scenic, but also a great trip to the ocean, and there are many great places to stop and see the sights. Hope you can join us! (Photo: Maine Office of Tourism.)

Sunday, September 26th; DAMARISCOTTA
"Drafting through Damariscotta, Pedalling to Pemaquid" - a tour through Bristol, Bremen, Pemaquid and Damariscotta.
START: 9:30 AM at the landing at the North end of Biscay pond. From the north, take Belvedere Road east off of Rt. 1. The Miles Hospital Hospice Building is on the corner. At the stop sign turn right onto Business Rt. 1 and at the traffic light by McDonald's turn left onto Biscay Road. From the south, turn off Rt. 1 onto Business Rt. 1, pass thru town & turn right at the light by McDonald's onto Biscay Road. Follow Biscay Road until you come to a small beach and landing on the right (the water is close to the road). Park on the wide shoulder on either side of the beach.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: Moderately hilly to Hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: scenic roads within the Pemaquid Peninsula, fresh and salt water views abound.
LEADER: Sandi Hodge.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bohemian Winthrop

Hi Everyone! Hope you have been able to enjoy some of the great cycling weather of the past few weeks. After a short hiatus we will take up where we left off, and return to one of our favorite ride locales, leaving from Tom's Bike Boutique in East Winthrop. Not only has Denise a great ride for us, she has also arranged for a post-ride pot luck at her house in Manchester, about two miles from the start. Denise says she will have some chili, cornbread, fruit salad, and cookies - bring what you like to share. If you have things that need to keep warm or cool, contact Denise about dropping things off before the ride. And if you need to keep warm or cool after your sojourn through bohemian Manchester, Denise says she'll have her hot tub fired up and at the ready. There you go! Just don't forget to bring your bike.

Saturday, September 18th - EAST WINTHROP
"Wandering Around Winthrop" - a tour through the bohemian environs of Winthrop and vicinity.
START: 9:00 AM at the parking lot of Tom's Bike Boutique, 2208 Rt.202 in East Winthrop, across from D.R Struck's Nursery.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with some hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: Some nice lakeside runs along backroads in Winthrop, Monmouth, and Manchester. Post-ride gathering at the ride leader's house.
LEADER: Denise Crowell.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Roman the Hills

We had a very pleasant ride on Sunday morning in Wings Mills despite the light rain that was supposed to fall in the afternoon, and the hot dogs and hospitality at the Lewis' post-ride spread were absolutely first rate! Many thanks to Ken, who is already thinking of a date for his ride next year. This Saturday our roads lead to Rome with its multiple hills - and an optional long loop around Great Pond. The weather looks like it will be clearing up for this weekend - hope to see you then!

Saturday, August 28th: ROME
"The Seven Hills of Rome" - a roadside tour of the many hillside trails through Rome and Belgrade.
START: 9:00 AM, Rome Town Hall at the corner of Rt. 225 and Mercer Road, about 0.3 mi from the junction of Rt. 27 and Rt. 225.
DISTANCES: 20 - 35 miles.
TERRAIN: Moderate to Hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: the route passes 5 trailheads, Blueberry Hill and the Kennebec Highlands. There is an optional short hike up French's Mountain to a spectacular scenic vista.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot Dog!

We had great weather - sunny and cool - for our ride last week in Readfield. Many thanks to Frank for the great route, and the great ride stop at the Kents Hill Orchards - the raspberry turnovers were a real treat. This Sunday Ken is leading us on a ride exploring the other side of the Belgrade Stream in Mount Vernon, followed by a hot dog roast at his house overlooking the water. We have openings in the KVBC ride calendar for leaders in September and October. If you can lead a ride, contact Jim at Fall is coming - more great riding ahead!

Sunday, August 22nd - WING'S MILLS (Mount Vernon)
"Hot Dog! - The Hot Dog Ride" (not because we'll ride like one but because we will want one) - a tour through Mount Vernon, Belgrade, North Augusta, and Manchester
START: 9:00 AM at 49 Marble Point Rd., Mount Vernon
Directions to Start:
From Augusta, take #27 North to Belgrade and turn left onto #135 (Christy's store and blinking light)
Go 3 miles and right onto Wings Mill Rd; go 2.5 miles and right onto Marble Point Rd. which is just after crossing Belgrade Stream; it is a hard pack dirt road and we are the log home on the right)

From Mount Vernon, Readfield: Take North Rd to Wings Mills Rd and go about 3 miles to Marble Point Rd; just after passing Bartlett Rd on the right, turn left onto Marble Point

Delorme Maine Atlas Map 12; A-4. Just west and across the stream from the intersection of Dunn Rd and Wings Mill Rd. (Marble Point is not listed by name on the map).

DISTANCE: 29 miles
TERRAIN: Moderate with some hills
HIGHLIGHTS: Views of Belgrade Stream, Hamilton Pond, Stuart Pond, Messalonskee Lake, Doctor Pond, Silver Lake, Gould Pond, with a Hot Dog cookout lunch following the ride - swimming available also.
LEADER: Ken Louis.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Readfield Mt. Pisgah

We had splendid weather for the China Lake-Palermo-Vassalboro ride last week, with picture perfect views from Mo's Mountain (which I'm told has a story about it, though I haven't been told what it is yet. Probably something involving cursed chainrings, judging from some technical problems one of our riders had to endure - and I think everyone else had cursed chainring tattoos.) This week's adventure involves Mount Pisgah - and maybe some ice cream and apple turnovers ("turnovahs" for those of you who are natives). What more could you want? See you there!

Sunday, August 15th; READFIELD
"Mount Pisgah Turnovah" - a tour from Readfield to Winthrop to Wayne and back to Readfield.
START: 8:30 AM, at the Readfield Elementary School on South Street, a half-mile from the junction of Rt. 17 and South Street at Readfield Depot. Readfield Depot, where there is a small market and a RR crossing, is about a mile south of Readfield Center.
DISTANCE: approx. 30 miles.
TERRAIN: Rolling with a few hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: Readfield and its surrounding towns are interwoven with fine cycling roads and scenery, and the ride may feature stops at Tubby's Ice Cream in Wayne and the re-opened Apple Shed in Kents Hill, before returning to Readfield where the town's "Heritage Days" events are in full swing.
LEADER: Frank Rosen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Almost Alna

Greetings everyone! Hope you all had a splendid weekend and were able to get out and ride. Mnay thanks to Frank Rosen for volunteering to lead the ride in Fayette on short notice. I had a great time down in Standish volunteering at the MS-150 ride - beautiful routes and great weather. Things are looking a bit dreary for this week, but better for the weekend. If we need the rain, better to see it fall midweek or at night!
If you haven't heard by now, the KVBC ride, "The Alna Alternative," scheduled for Sunday in Alna has been postponed and will be rescheduled for some other date in the future. Meanwhile we will have an alternative ride around China Lake on Saturday. It's "almost Alna," so I hope you can all make it!

Saturday, August 7th; EAST VASSALBORO
"Almost Alna" - a tour around China Lake, with Palermo and Windsor added on the longer loop.
START: 9:00 AM at the Vassalboro Historical Society on Rt. 32 in East Vassalboro. From Augusta take Rt. 3 East 9.5 miles to Rt. 32 North for 4.4 miles. The Vassalboro Historical Society is in a red shingle schoolhouse on the right, lakeside.
DISTANCE: 18 and 36 miles.
TERRAIN: Rolling with a few hills (short ride); moderately hilly to Hilly (long ride).
HIGHLIGHTS: Fine back roads and views of China Lake, ridgetop views and the village of Palermo (watch for Elk).
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

All Along the Esker

We had a wonderful ride to Bowdoinham, courtesy of Geology Joe. Beautiful roads with little traffic, and lots of shade to beat the heat. Many thanks to Joe (and Melinda, too!).

We will have some changes to the ride calendar for August. The Alna ride scheduled for Sunday, August 8, will have to be postponed while the ride leader recovers from surgery. Sandi vows that she will be ready for her Pemaquid ride in September. Good luck, Sandi!

This Saturday we will return to a club favorite: the Ridge Road along the Chesterville Esker in Fayette and Chesterville. And stay tuned for the return of Two Wheels Over Easy, the KVBC's popular breakfast ride series, as we roll into August.

Saturday, July 31st - FAYETTE
"All Along the Esker" - a bike ride back to 'the land before time' in Fayette and Chesterville.
START: 8:30 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 24 miles.
TERRAIN: mostly moderate with no big hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: A nice flat run along the scenic Chesterville Esker - good roads and good people.
LEADER: Frank Rosen.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gardiner to Bowdoinham by Bike

We had a very pleasant ride in Smithfield yesterday. The weather held up nicely - not quite as hot as the past week, with lots of shade and a nice breeze. Beautiful roads, especially the great run along the shore of North Pond, with virtually no traffic. We met some other cyclists mid-ride, visiting for the summer, and stopped to chat and talk-up rides - they may join us on a few coming up. Speaking of which, we have a great one coming up this Saturday in Gardiner, heading down the coast to Bowdoinham - a great tune-up ride for the BCM Lobster Ride the following weekend. Hope you can all join us!

Saturday, July 17th - 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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunday in Smithfield

We had a great Third-of-July ride last Saturday in Sidney. Many thanks to Jim Putnam for leading the ride, and all those who kept up the pace in the heat. This weekend is the Maine Bike Rally in Brunswick. For those of you still hanging out around here, Sunday looks like a nice day weatherwise, and a great opportunity to return to Smithfield for a popular ride on some great roads. Join us if you can - we may have an ice cream stop in Smithfield after the ride.

Sunday, July 11th - SMITHFIELD
"Route 8 Figure 8" - a scenic tour through Smithfield, Belgrade, Rome, and Mercer.
START: 9:00 AM, at the new Smithfield Fire Station on Rt. 8 in Smithfield, about a quarter-mile north of the junction of Rt. 8 and Rt. 137.
DISTANCE: 15 and 28 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate to moderately hilly.
HIGHLIGHTS: many scenic lake views and back roads, and an ice cream stop.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ride on the Fourth of July

We had a nice hilly ride in Mount Vernon last Saturday. The weather was fine, the roads were (mostly) great, and we had a good group - including some new folks - which is always welcome. The Fourth of July is coming up, which means another great ride in Sidney, led, as in year's past, by Jim Putnam. Hope you can make it, and if not, have a great holiday weekend.
(Photo: Fourth of July, 1941, Vale, Oregon. Library of Congress Collection.)

Saturday, July 3rd, SIDNEY:
"Independence along the Middle Road" - a tour through the middle of Sidney & the middle of a prime farming district, in the middle of the Fourth of July weekend.
START: 9:00 AM at the James H. Bean Elementary School on Middle Road in Sidney.
Directions to the Bean School:
From south: I-95 North exit #120. Turn right at end of exit ramp onto Lyons Rd. Follow Lyons Rd. to stop sign. Turn left onto Middle Rd. Bean School is approximately one mile on the right.
From the north: I-95 South exit #120. Turn left at end of exit ramp onto Lyons Rd. Follow Lyons Rd. to stop sign. Turn left onto Middle Rd. Bean
School is approximately one mile on the right.
DISTANCE: 16 or 30 Miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with a few hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: some fine back roads and Kennebec River views, and some 4th of July paraphernalia, perhaps.
LEADER: Jim Putnam.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ponds, Ponds, and More Ponds

Welcome to the First Day of Summer! We had a great ride in Augusta last Saturday, followed by a great breakfast at the ride leader's house. Many thanks to Connie for both the ride and the hospitality. The Trek had great weather, too, and I trust they've all recovered and are ready for more, because there's more great riding ahead.
Please join us in Mount Vernon this Sunday to count ponds and have fun on multiple 50 mph descents (there are potentially three). Whether that has any benefit to cardio-vascular training I'll leave for experts to judge. I've been informed that this ride has 3,230 feet of climbing (by one rider's electronic calculations) and there are several 15% grades (short ones, though) on Sandy River Road. The ride also has some unique scenery, with a delightful (and flat) run along the Chesterville Esker - part of the route was laid out by glacier! We may also get together after the ride at the cafe in Mount Vernon.
Sunday, June 27th - MOUNT VERNON
"Eleven Ponds" - a tour past many of the hidden ponds and lakes in Mount Vernon, Fayette, Chesterville, and Vienna.
START: 9:00 AM, Mount Vernon Post Office, just off Rt. 41 on Main Street in Mount Vernon.
DISTANCE: 14 and 29 miles.
TERRAIN: Rolling with a few good hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: rural back roads winding through many small ponds and lakes, and across the top of the Chesterville Esker. Possible post-ride get-together at the cafe in Mt. Vernon village.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Capital Breakfast

We had a better-than-anticipated ride in Readfield Saturday, as we were largely successful in dodging raindrops that weren't in the original forecast. While the skies tried to decide whether to pour or not, Frank led us on some short, improvised loops so we were never too far away from the ride start in case the skies really opened up. In doing so, he took us down some great roads that we hadn't been down before, and we had a lot of fun. Next Saturday's ride will be in Augusta, and it will include breakfast on the agenda. Last year's event was really well received, and you wouldn't want to miss it. To those of you doing the Trek, good luck, good weather, and Bon Route!
Saturday, June 19th - AUGUSTA
"Capital Breakfast Ride" - a tour through the streets and past the features of our capital city.
START: 8:00 AM at the parking lot of the Hussey Elementary School on Quimby Street in Augusta. Quimby is right off Rt. 100 at the traffic light across from Auclair's Cycle heading north; detailed directions here:
DISTANCE: 25 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with some flat stretches riverside.
HIGHLIGHTS: breakfast, the capital, the Kennebec close up, new and intriguing routes - and did we mention breakfast?
LEADER: Connie Brown.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roundabout Readfield

We had a rather soggy weekend that saw our scheduled joint ride last Saturday with the Central Maine Cycling Club postponed until some later date. I spent the morning at a special alumni ride with members of the Colby Cycling Team since it was my (gasp!) 35th reunion. I have to say that after riding 20 miles plus in the pouring rain with those guys, I didn't feel so special - I was definitely spotting them 35 years. I could barely stay with them on the hills, and truth be told, I suspect they were dogging it. Not that that mattered much - I don't think that if I turned the clock back 35 years I could've climbed that effortlessly then. It was fun, though. Hopefully the weather will be much nicer this Saturday when we return to Readfield for another fine ride, and yet another opportunity for me to avoid acting my age. 'Til then!

Saturday, June 12th; READFIELD
"Readfield Roundabout" - a tour in and around the scenic byways of Readfield or thereabout.
START: 9:30 AM, at the Readfield Elementary School on South Street, a half-mile from the junction of Rt. 17 and South Street at Readfield Depot. Readfield Depot, where there is a small market and a RR crossing, is about a mile south of Readfield Center.
DISTANCE: 25 to 30 miles.
TERRAIN: Rolling with a few hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: Readfield and its surrounding towns are interwoven with fine cycling roads and scenery, and this ride will scope out a good selection of both.
LEADER: Frank Rosen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Joint Ride with the Central Maine Cycling Club

We had another great ride last Saturday to kick off a splendid Memorial Day Weekend. Thanks to Denise who put the route together on short notice, and arranged for a post-ride cookie sampling at Tom's Bike Boutique in East Winthrop. Following a great ride with eating in a bike shop, surrounded by beautifully sculpted bikes, makes one feel like you're at an opening at an art gallery. A special treat! Let's hope the fine weather holds up for this Saturday, when we join the folks of the Central Maine Cycling Club for a joint ride in Vassalboro. See you there!

Saturday, June 5th - VASSALBORO
"Tour de Vassalboro" - a tour through the scenic back roads of Vassalboro
START: 9:30 AM at the Vassalboro Community School, 1116 Webber Pond Road, off of Bog Road approx. 3 miles from the junction with Rt.32 in East Vassalboro (see map).
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles
TERRAIN: flat to moderate
HIGHLIGHTS: a joint ride with the Central Maine Cycling Club, featuring quiet back roads through a very scenic area
LEADER: Dave Richard.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ospreys and Oatmeal Cookies - Litchfield Part 3

We actually got to see a pair of ospreys at their nest up in the high tension lines.

Thanks again to all who made this a great ride!

Ospreys and Oatmeal Cookies - Litchfield Part 2

Here are some more photos from the "rolling hills" and other features on the Tour de Litchfield on May 22nd.

Many thanks to George and Chris for the great ride, and the great cookies! (To be continued...)

Ospreys and Oatmeal Cookies - Litchfield Part 1

The KVBC's Tour de Litchfield is a very scenic ride with historic buildings, including the old Litchfield Academy at the ride start, and our host's house, where we were treated to oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies. The roads are really nice, passing by well-kept farms, the Litchfield Fairgrounds, and several pretty lakes. What few hills there are, all lead to great vistas and even opportunities to view nesting ospreys. Here are some views from the ride on May 22nd.

(To be continued...)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big Lakes Tour

We had a splendid tour of Litchfield last Saturday - great roads, fine weather, beautiful scenery, and a happy group of ten riders. Many Thanks to George for leading the ride and marking the route, and to Chris for the wonderful cookie stop. We have a fine stretch of weather forecast ahead and Denise has planned a new ride for this Saturday starting in East Winthrop. If you are going to be around for the long weekend, come on out! Otherwise have a great holiday weekend, and we'll see you in June (Vassalboro ride on Saturday the 5th).
Saturday, May 29th - EAST WINTHROP
"The Big Lakes Tour" - a ride along the shorelines of Lakes Maranacook, Annabessacook, and Cobbosseecontee.
START: 9:30 AM at the parking lot of Tom's Bike Boutique, 2208 Rt.202 in East Winthrop, across from D.R Struck's Nursery.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate with some hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: Some nice lakeside runs along backroads in Winthrop, Monmouth, and Manchester.
LEADER: Denise Crowell.

Down By The Riverside

We had about a dozen riders on the KVBC rail trail ride, Sunday, May 16th. Many thanks to Dave, who led the group out of the Augusta end of the rail trail. The weather was fine - a bit breezy, but sunny and dry.

The Kennebec River Rail Trail follows along the river and the existing RR tracks from Augusta to Hallowell, where it briefly merges with street traffic through the center of Hallowell. The trail then resumes off-road for the remaining stretch to Gardiner.

The trail is paved for most of its length - there is a short section of cinder-pack at the north end. There are narrow sections where signs direct cyclists to dismount and walk (although we didn't find that necessary with light trail traffic) and there are barriers or berms at street intersections. Two of us - Jim & I - rode tandems with our daughters, and we were able to negotiate the barriers and narrow sections without difficulty. We saw a number of young children riding solo as well, accompanied by their parents - there were two young lads who were likely not more than 4 years old.

Dave took us beyond the Gardiner terminus of the trail to the riverside park just beyond, where we took in a spectacular overview of the mighty Kennebec, running clean through its banks. Dave told us that years ago, no one would want to get this close to the river, but now that it is much cleaner thanks to the efforts of many communities and agencies (and activists spurring them on) the river is now a popular spot for all sorts of recreational activity.

Including ours, and we turned back and rode the trail back to the capitol. We could see first-hand why those who live nearby the trail would find it a real attraction.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tour de Litchfield Redux

We had a great day on the Rail Trail - about a dozen riders (in our group) and lots more along the path. We had two tandem teams of dads with stokids, all of whom did very well. A bit windy along the waterfront, but nice and sunny. Thanks to David for leading the ride, pointing out the sights, and updating us on future plans and prospects for trail expansion. Next Saturday's ride takes us back to the fine cycling roads along the Tour de Litchfield. This was a very popular ride last year, as hinted by the highlights (below). Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, May 22nd - LITCHFIELD
"Tour de Litchfield" - an exploration of the back roads of Litchfield.
START: 9:30 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, and possibly a cookie stop. (Actually, didn't we vote to make the latter mandatory?)
LEADER: George Luckhurst.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inland Rides

One of the nice things about working part-time in Waterville is that I now get to check out the Tuesday night Inland rides. "Inland," as the rides are known, is a weekly fitness-style ride series that starts and ends in the spacious back parking lot behind the Inland Hospital off of Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville. Every Tuesday night from May to September (weather and daylight permitting) a sizable and growing group of enthusiasts get together at 5:30 pm and head out on a 20-30+ mile ride. The routes vary from week to week, and the riders tend to split into two groups: one faster and one slower. The rides leave the back parking lot past a gate at the end of a quiet residential street, avoiding the traffic on Kennedy Memorial Drive. The routes take advantage of the scenic back roads that stretch along the relatively flat river plain along the Kennebec basin.

The Inland rides were long organized by Tina Quinn, the petite dynamo who directs the Birthing Center at the Inland Hospital. It is probably a non sequitur to describe a health professional's enthusiasm as "infectious," but that would seem apt. As a measure of Tina's efforts in promoting the Inland rides, one might observe that the rides draw the participation of almost equal numbers of men and women - not always the case in rides of this type - and a welcome and inclusive mix.

At last Tuesday's Inland ride, the faster and slower groups set off on two different loops, with volunteers acting as ride leaders and sweeps for both. By my helmet count, I would estimate there were at least 17 riders at the start, although Duane later calculated that there were perhaps as many as 23 altogether. I opted to ride with the slower group, cycling the shorter loop.

I can't attest to how fast the "faster" group travels, but I can say that some of the "slower" riders can set a pretty brisk pace. Trying to get steady photographs at speed can be challenging, even on fairly smooth pavement. Our group headed south on Rt. 104, past one or two fragrant farms. We made a number of stops at turns to regroup, and then crossed over I95 to the Middle Road in Sidney to head back towards Waterville. We zigzagged back across I95 to avoid some construction on our way back to Rt. 104. As dusk was closing in, we finished up the 20 mile route and made our way back to the Inland parking lot. It was a really nice ride - a good workout at the end of a day's work.

If you are situated close by Waterville and looking for something to do on Tuesdays after work, you would do well to check out the Inland rides. Updated ride announcements are often sent out by Duane Weaver, who would be happy to add you to the list if you send him an email at I plan to frequent the rides now that I have the opportunity. If one of these days I'm able to hang with the "faster" group, I might even stay for ice cream at Gifford's afterwards.