Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Holiday Greetings!

Best Wishes for the Holidays and the New Year to all of you from the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club! We had a great year for cycling in 2011 (although from a non-cycling perspective, I'm really looking forward to 2012)!
Coming up in January we will plan for our annual ride planning pizza party - stay tuned for details. I am also amenable for organizing another New Year's Day Ride - perhaps along the rail trail in Hallowell, if the weather remains rather mild - although I recovering from a (non-cycling) calf injury, and may not be able to ride by then. I certainly hope to be ready for my 6th quadrennial Leap Day Ride - which will be Wednesday, Feb. 29th - more details as we get nearer to the date. These winter rides are subject to weather, but we have had pretty good luck with them in the past.
And I'm sure that when we get into March, we'll all start to look forward for the spring rides to start up again in April! Perhaps we'll get to see each other before then!
Happy New Year!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween is not for Weenies

We've had some great Fall cycling weather of late, with two really nice rides in Farmington and Winthrop. Lots of sun and very little wind. The weather forecast for Sunday looks to be rather grim, but if we manage to avoid a lot of snow we will meet in Wayne for a special Halloween ride to some notable cemeteries, including the round Wing cemetery in Wayne. Last year's ride was a lot of fun! Costumes optional - even zombies must wear helmets. To get you in the mood, here's a classic Edward Gorey tale. This may be our last official ride of the year. Don't let anything scare you away!

Sunday, October 30th - 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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Industry in Fall

The weather last weekend was pretty nasty, but this weekend is looking a lot better with sunshine and temperatures expected in the 70s. Great riding weather for October! Please join us Saturday morning in Farmington for a pretty ride to Clearwater Pond in Allens Mills and some great ridgetop views to take advantage of the best part of the Fall Season.

Saturday, October 8th: FARMINGTON
"The Ups and Downs of Industry": a ride through the picturesque hills and hollows of Farmington, New Sharon, and Industry.
START: 10:00 A.M., at the Hannaford Plaza on Rt. 4 in Farmington, about a mile south from the junction of Rt. 4 and Rt. 27, towards Wilton. Park near the entrance to the shopping plaza.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: rolling to hilly - includes an optional short (1/4 mi.) section of hard-packed dirt road, which can be circumvented by adding a mile to the overall route.
HIGHLIGHTS: quiet back roads along the Sandy River, spectacular panoramic views from the ridgetops of New Sharon & Industry, Clearwater Pond at Allens Mills.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pedaling to Pocassett on 9/11

Since our last ride we have had a ton of rain, lengthy power outages, and I personally have had a plague of bicycle-related mechanical problems. My in-season solution has always been to have more than one bike to fall back on, but the problems have started to mount, and now I am faced with multiple repairs. But the weekend weather forecast is too nice to let this great fall weather pass, so I'll try to come up with a working bike by Sunday when we head out to Readfield and Wayne. We will have a short loop in case some people want to head over to Vassalboro where the CMCC is sponsoring an event with time trials Sunday. Otherwise I hope to see you Sunday morning in Readfield - with a working machine!

Sunday, September 11th: READFIELD
"Pedaling to Pocasset": a sampling of the fine back roads of Readfield, Wayne, Fayette, and Kents Hill, with nice runs along Pocasset Lake and Lovejoy Pond.
START: 9:00 A.M., Readfield Center, near the junction of Rt. 17 and Rt. 41. Park in the lot behind the Readfield Post Office.
DISTANCE: 20 miles
TERRAIN: rolling with a few hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: splendid waterfall in North Wayne (a lot more impressive than it usually is this time of year), quiet roads skirting the shores of Pocasset Lake and Lovejoy Pond; possible ice cream stop in Wayne and/or the Apple Shed in Kents Hill.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

NOTE: The Downeast Sunrise Trail ride re-scheduled for next weekend, Sept. 17-18, is still on, as far as I know, and we will have updates later in the week. The following weekend is the Common Ground Fair in Unity, where I will be working at the Stanley Museum booth again on Friday and Saturday. The Bike Coalition can also use volunteers at their bike valet parking area (our Museum booth will be right next to them this year!). If any of you are interested in pedaling to the fair, we can try to put together a ride up near Unity on the 23rd or 24th. Let me know what you think. We can also use ride leaders for the remainder of September and into October. Still some great fall riding ahead!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hot Dogs and Toasted Buns

Last Saturday we traveled down a sandy dirt road on no map to Ken's house, taking our cue from a beautiful summer day - and the promise of hot dogs later - to ride over some of the hill country in Wings Mills, Belgrade, Manchester, and Augusta.

The day was clear, but would turn hot, and some of the hills were long. But we had little traffic and good company.

We could hardly grouse about the sun and the heat, for the ride had nearly been rained out in previous years. Ken's hot dogs remained one of the club's best secrets. But no longer - not after last Saturday.

Our thanks to the Louises for the great ride and their hospitality - and for the perfect setting to chill out after a sweet ride. See you next year? Hot Dog!

A reminder - the KVBC ride scheduled for Sunday, August 21st, in ALNA has been POSTPONED and we will be meeting in SMITHFIELD at the fire station at 9:00 am instead. See you then!

Alna is OFF - Smithfield is ON

Due to unforeseen family commitments, our scheduled ride this Sunday in Alna will be POSTPONED and rescheduled for another date.

Instead, we will be meeting in Smithfield for a great double loop around North and East Ponds with some great lakeside runs, followed by a nifty ice cream stop. Hope you can join us!

Sunday, August 21st - 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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Are What You Eat

I'm told that there was a great ride last week in Wayne, with such classic cycling views as rolling past fields of sunflowers just 20 miles outside of Paris (well, Paris, Maine, anyway), and some culinary quandaries involving lobster rolls vs. Tubby's ice cream. Decisions, decisions.

No need for decisions this Saturday, because 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!

Saturday, August 13th - 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.

Somewhere Outside of Paris

Last Saturday, Ray & Jane Giglio led the KVBC ride from Wayne through Leeds and North Monmouth on the "Tour de Lacs." The group rolled past some classic cycling vistas, including fields of sunflowers some 20 miles outside of Paris (Me.).

Ray reports:
"Beside Jane and I, we had three other riders for the Tour de Lacs ride on 8/6: George Luckhurst, plus Claudette Purington and her husband Tom Keyes. Perfect day - the ride was 29 miles. It was our anniversary (23rd) so I took Jane out to eat at a benefit lobster roll dinner at the Cary Memorial Library in Wayne, after a swim and change of clothes at the Androscoggin Yacht Club. Hey, she had her choice of there or at Tubby's. Unfortunately, Claudette and Tom, and George, had other places to go to."

Unfortunately, some of us (including this would-be blogger) had to miss it. Many thanks to Ray & Jane for stepping up and leading such a memorable ride.

Whatever you do, don't miss next week's ride in Wings Mills, where Ken will reprise his Hot Dog Ride! See you then!

Along the Esker

We had a fine ride in Mount Vernon, cycling past many ponds and lakes and over some challenging hills in Chesterville. At one point, we overtook a family of four out cycling - always a cause for rejoicing, to see families out cycling together. Beats the heck out of spending "quality time" at the Mall.

Leaving the hills behind for a time, we had a great run along the Chesterville Esker - a nice flat ridge of glacial deposits running between many pristine little ponds - one of the more striking cycling venues in Central Maine. Too soon, we had to leave it, too, behind, as we traversed the rolling terrain back to the start at Mount Vernon. Perhaps we can schedule a return in the Fall.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wandering and Pondering

Summer has finally arrived! With it has come the heat, but not so bad as in other parts of the country, and as one rider last Saturday remarked, we'll be nostalgic for this heat soon enough. As for last Saturday, we had another great ride down to Bowdoinham along some really pretty back roads, skirting ponds and marshlands, dappled with welcome shade. Our "warm" thanks to Geology Joe for another great tour.

This Saturday is the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's 10th annual Lobster Ride in Rockland. They could still use some volunteers for flagging, rest stop support, and post-event clean-up. There's a lobster roll (and a t-shirt) in it with your name on it - just call Cecelia Garton at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at or 623-4511. Volunteers may also sign-up online, at

Please join us in Mount Vernon this Sunday to count ponds and have fun on multiple 50 mph descents (there are potentially three, road conditions permitting). 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 - a good part of the route was laid out by glacier! We may also get together after the ride at the cafe in Mount Vernon.

Sunday, July 24th - 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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bowdoinham by Bike

Splendid weekend weather and a great breakfast ride in Augusta made for some really fine cycling for everyone who made it to Sunday's KVBC ride. The early morning ride start was not too hot, and some of the bikes that showed up were really cool - Peggy practically stole the show with her funky Rans semi-recumbent with electric motor assist. Only recently configured, she had already put 600 miles on it, and she was talking about tackling Cadillac Mountain!

Many thanks to Connie for leading the ride and once again opening her house to us for a post-ride breakfast which was much appreciated! Her porch is a great place to chill out after a nice ride, and the kitchen fare is great, too.

We have a great ride 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. Rumor has it that we are finally in for a string of really fine weekend biking weather. Hope you can all join us!

Saturday, July 16th - 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.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Capital Breakfast Again

Happy Fourth! And if you were on the ride in Sidney on Saturday, you likely had a happy Fourth. It was a beautiful ride, sunny, not too hot, very little wind, lots of fresh new pavement, and a great group of 20 people taking part in a great route. Many thanks to Jim Putnam, who seems to have a special knack for picking great weather days eight years running.

Next Sunday we will have a reprise of the Breakfast Ride in Augusta that was washed out a week ago. Thanks are due to Connie who was quickly able to reschedule her ride. If you plan to come, please R.S.V.P. to Connie, the ride leader, ahead of time, so she can get an idea of the head count for breakfast after the ride. The long range forecast for Sunday looks promising, so mark you calendars so you don't miss out! If you are heading for the Maine Bike Rally in Brunswick, have fun, and if you can take some KVBC brochures along, let me know. Thanks!

Sunday, July 10th - 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. Please R.S.V.P. if you plan to ride, so we can get a good head count for breakfast. Thanks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cycling Fourth

Well, it's either going to stop raining soon or some clever person is going to invent an automatic self-replenishing chain-lube. Either one of those might be nifty, but right now I think I'd like to see a sunny day for one of our rides.
The Fourth of July is coming up this weekend, 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!

Saturday, July 2nd, 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.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Capital Breakfast Ride Postponed

Due to impending weather conditions (rain and thunderstorms) tomorrow's KVBC ride in Augusta (Saturday, June 25 at 8 am) will be postponed to another date. Please forward this message to anyone you know who may be planning to ride who is not on our email list. Thanks, and we will reschedule the ride for another weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Capital Breakfast

We had a fine ride around Cobbossee Lake led by Cynthia Snow last June 11th. Despite another so-so forecast, eleven people showed up and were rewarded with a great ride. Many thanks to Cynthia!
I wasn't quite so lucky, as I was off in Vermont attempting two back-to-back centuries in the cold and rain. There was some great Vermont scenery, even wet as it was, but the Vermont roads have really taken a beating since the last time I was there. Their roads may even be worse than some of ours now, sorry to say, but still worth a trip.

Next Saturday's ride will be in Augusta, and it will include breakfast on the agenda! If you plan to come, please R.S.V.P. to Connie, the ride leader, ahead of time, so she can get an idea of the head count for breakfast after the ride. In year's past this event has been really well received, and you wouldn't want to miss it!
Saturday, June 25th - 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. Please R.S.V.P. if you plan to ride, so we can get a good head count for breakfast. Thanks!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Cobbossee Odyssey

Finally some beautiful weekend weather! I hope you all were able to get out and enjoy it. Since I had to work at Colby for reunion weekend, I went out Saturday morning on an alumni ride with members of the Colby Cycling team. Not only was I the oldest one there (by far) I also had the oldest bike (by far). I dusted off my 1975 Raleigh, since I was representing the Class of '75. Both the bike and I held up OK. I brought it out again for the ride Sunday with the Central Maine Cycling Club, and again it rode really well. Would've been better if I hadn't gotten lost, but that's another story. It did get me back to the start where we had a great post-ride barbecue put together by Dave Richard and his crew, who have offered to do it again later this summer. My thanks to them all.

I hope we are in for a stretch of good weather, because Cynthia has a great ride set for this Saturday around Cobbossee Lake, followed by the Trek weekend, and Connie's breakfast ride in Augusta on June 25. Lots more to come!

JUNE 11th, Saturday: EAST WINTHROP
"A Cobbossee Odyssey": a tour around Cobbosseecontee Lake.
START: 9:00 A.M., at the parking lot of Tom's Bike Boutique, 2208 Rt.202 in East Winthrop, across from D.R Struck's Nursery.
DISTANCE: 30 miles.
TERRAIN: rolling with some challenging hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: views of Cobbossee Lake, back roads of Winthrop, Manchester, West Gardiner, Litchfield, and Monmouth.
LEADER: Cynthia Snow.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Ride to a Barbecue

Dave Richard has graciously invited us to a joint ride this Sunday with the Central Maine Cycling Club and the Charlie's Big Wheels Trek Team in Vassalboro, followed by a post-ride barbecue/pot luck (see details under HIGHLIGHTS below). This ride is essentially a "re-do" of the joint ride we had planned last year that got washed out - a "re-do" of the RIDE, we should emphasize - NOT the "washed out" part! The weather looks like a great weekend, finally!

Sunday, June 5th - VASSALBORO
"CMCC/Charlie's Big Wheels Barbecue Ride" - a tour through the scenic back roads of Vassalboro with the Central Maine Cycling Club
START: 10:00 AM at the ride leader's house, 35 Katie Drive, off of Gray Road approx. 1/4 mile from the junction with Rt.32 in East Vassalboro (see map:
DISTANCE: 3 or 4 route options up to 40 miles plus
TERRAIN: moderate to challenging
HIGHLIGHTS: a joint ride with the Central Maine Cycling Club/Charlie's Big Wheels Trek Team, featuring quiet back roads through a very scenic area and a post-ride barbecue; additional details at their website:
LEADER: Dave Richard.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Single Chain Ring At-a-Time

An update on a potential KVBC ride this weekend: We have no ride scheduled for Saturday, June 4, but if the planets align properly we may have something in the works for Sunday. The tentatively scheduled ride to North Haven that was on the preliminary calendar is being reworked for a later date - the logistics are a bit more challenging than one of our normal rides, but we still hope to offer an island ride later this year. Sunday is the 10th Annual Womens Ride organized by BCM in Freeport - word is that it is a lot of fun, inspiring, and worth all the effort that goes into it. For those of us who are... what's the right word? Ineligible?... anyway, for those of us who aren't attending the ride in Freeport, we might have an alternative ride closer to home on Sunday, especially if someone jumps up and offers to lead one.

We had a fine ride last Saturday in Livermore. A bunch of us got together for breakfast before the ride at the Lunch Pad, a great little seasonal diner. Despite another dismal weather forecast, the ride came off really well. Well, at the beginning the mist was as thick as black flies (or maybe the black flies were as thick as the mist) but once we got rolling that took care of itself. There was some question as to why it was called a "single chainring tour" as there were (despite being significantly flat) a few significant hills en route. Actually it was meant to be called the "single-chainring-at-a-time tour" but I shortened it because I didn't want to be accused of being too verbose. Our thanks to Frank Rosen for another great ride. We'll see what we can drum up for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Women's Ride

The 10th Annual Women's Ride is this coming Sunday, June 5, in Freeport. They are still accepting registrations - according to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's Facebook page, they are having some problems with on-line registration, but you can register by calling the BCM office on Tuesday if the on-line system is still down. You can also register the day of the event.

This is a great way to introduce women, both young and older, to a fun and festive all-women ride. Distances are 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles. We start the morning at a great venue, LLBean's Headquarters. When riders return, they will be greeted with a steel drum band, massage and yoga. Then we move the celebration next door and rehydrating in the awesome backyard at Grittys! There are some great giveaways and raffle (need to be present to win)!
We could use help in the following areas:
  • Volunteers. The day of the event. Contact Cecelia Garton or call
    207-623-4511 Volunteers can be males, too!~
  • Raffle Items. Whatever you can provide or think will inspire more women to ride.
  • Women riders from Your Community: Encourage all of the women in your circles to participate. So invite and tell a sister, wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, aunt, and grandmother. This is a great initiative to get more females of all ages moving! Register HERE
Lastly, we are jumping into the social media world and have "LIKED" many of you that have supported BCM. If we did not find you, please LIKE us so we can LIKE you back! We are also going on Twitter to cross promote as well. Please feel free to share your Twitter handle if you have a moment.
Thanks in advance for all your support with this endeavor!
Now for some warm weather and sunshine!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Single Chainring Tour

Hey, we saw some blue sky last Saturday! We saw dry pavement! Heck, we even saw shadows of bikes on dry pavement! Get this - we even saw the SUN! Oh, the rapture! Well, it was a bit humid, but not the end of the world. And George led us on another terrific ride - with a great cookie stop! Hopefully it will dry out again by this weekend when Frank leads us on an adventure to Leeds, as well as the great run along the Chesterville Esker. Come early, and we'll have breakfast!

Saturday, May 28th - LIVERMORE
"Single Chainring Tour" - an exploration of the flatlands from Livermore to Leeds, through Fayette to the Chesterville Esker.
START: 8:30 AM at the Lunch Pad Restaurant (7:30 am if you want to join us for breakfast) at the junction of Rt.17 and Rt. 133 (Park Street) in Livermore, where Rt. 17 N comes into a "T" intersection just before downtown Livermore Falls. Park in the Footware parking lot next to the diner.
DISTANCE: about 25 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, May 16, 2011

Return to Litchfield

Once again the weather gods smiled on us (or perhaps, ignored us) and we got in another ride before the rains moved in last Saturday in the Belgrade Lakes. The weather was mostly cloudy, mostly cool, and thankfully mostly dry - and all of us had fun, mostly. (The ride leader was mostly under the weather, but he managed to do most of the ride.) Somewhat damp and dreary weather ahead for Bike to Work Week, but hopefully not enough to deter the faithful. Here's hoping everything clears out for this Saturday's Tour de Litchfield - a really great ride, and one where the sun always shines. I'm counting on that. See you then!

Saturday, May 21st - 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!
LEADER: George Luckhurst.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Belgrade Lakes

Hey, we actually lucked out weather-wise on last Saturday's ride in Manchester. All the forecasts of rain, thunderstorms, high wind and hail, managed to evade us - at least on the ride itself - and the ten of us who rode had a pleasantly storm-free ride. May is National Bike Month, so we'll take advantage of an open date in the calendar to revisit one of our club favorites and ride around some of the fine roads in the Belgrade Lakes this Saturday. Help kick off Bike to Work Week (or Commute Another Way Week) and come join us in Belgrade. Hope to see you there!

May 14th, 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 right (northbound) just past 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 (translation: there are hills on this ride).
HIGHLIGHTS: views of the Belgrade Lakes, some roller coaster hills, Castle Island, and Blueberry Hill.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Manchester in May

We had a great ride last Saturday, with fine Spring weather and a great turnout of 22 riders. We rode over some great roads, rescued a runaway dog, dealt with a mysterious grey minivan, did not get rained on, and all-in-all had a really nice ride. Many thanks to Denise for putting together the ride and sharing fresh baked cookies afterwards! Hope you can all come out again this Saturday as we explore the back roads north of Manchester and Wings Mills. See you then!

Saturday, May 7th - MANCHESTER
"Manchester in May" - a posted roads tour from Manchester to Wings Mills.
START: 9:30 AM, at the Manchester Elementary School parking lot on Rt. 17, near the junction of Rt. 17 & Rt. 202. The school is on the left next to the fire station just after you turn off Rt. 202 onto Rt. 17 West.
DISTANCE: 23 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate, with one long hill.
HIGHLIGHTS: We'll ride some paved (albeit sandy) back roads along some streams in and out of Wings Mills and take in some pre-foliage hilltop views.
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring on the Big Lakes

Well we almost lucked out with the weather last Saturday, but the rains only held off until about a half-hour before the start, and then mixed with sleet. With temperatures dropping, Frank & I decided to postpone the ride till some other day with less hypothermic conditions. Not the way we drew up the start for the season, but we'll just hit the "reset" button and give it another go this Saturday! More showers are on the way this week, but they most likely won't last through all of April, and we'll find out on the last day of the month when Denise takes us on a tour of the big lakes in Winthrop, Monmouth, and Manchester - hopefully on dry pavement! See you then!

Saturday, April 30th - 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, accross 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.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wake Up The Earth Ride

OK. We've had the late, late Winter snows and enough April showers to fill several flower shows. Enough of that already! Now it's time to Wake Up the Earth! Come on out and join us in Wayne the day after Earth Day, to kick off the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club's 10th season! It looks like we have a great lineup of rides scheduled (and more to come) and we hope to get off to a great start in Wayne on Saturday. If you haven't gotten many miles in yet, no worries - this is a fairly flat route and a great first ride to start the season. All are welcome! And with gas nearing 4 bucks a gallon, never a better time than Earth Day to start traveling as "car-free" as you can. Hope to see everyone this Saturday!

Saturday, April 23rd - WAYNE
"Wake Up the Earth!" - an Earth Day tour of the lakes and waterfalls around Wayne, Leeds, Livermore, and Wayne.
START: 10:00 AM at the Wayne Elementary School, 48 Pond Road, Wayne.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate, with some surprisingly flat sections.
HIGHLIGHTS: some very nice scenic shore roads, meadows, and waterfalls - and we're back riding again!
LEADER: Frank Rosen.
For more information about the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club contact Jim Merrick at

Friday, April 1, 2011

The All-New DomestiqueBot

Have you ever dreamed of winning a stage in the Tour de France, just like the pros, but thought it was beyond your reach? Well now that yellow jersey can be more than a dream - with the incredible all-new DomestiqueBot!

Yes, your very own personal domestique - loyal, tireless, dedicated - and synchronized with a fully automated support team to shepherd you to victory!

DomestiqueBot will silently see to your every need on tour. Never complaining about dropping back to the support vehicle for the umpteenth time to fetch you another water bottle. Or giving you one of his wheels whenever you have a flat. Or charging ahead to reel in a rival's breakaway just because you're too tired to do it.

What's more, DomestiqueBot will never test positive for illegal substances (unless motor oil is declared an illegal substance), and will never testify that you pressured him into performance enhancing drug use, or implicate you in any way. DomestiqueBot will never let you down!

Can you picture yourself in this scene?

Order your DomestiqueBot today!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Memorable Memorial Day Ride

As part of our countdown to Spring, here is the first of a series of ride reports from last Summer, starting with the Memorial Day weekend ride on May 29, 2010, starting in East Winthrop at Tom's Bike Boutique on Rt.202.

We had a fine turnout, considering that the ride was scheduled at the last minute on a long holiday weekend. The weather was dry, although mostly cloudy.

It's usually a good sign when the ride leader is smiling! (Or perhaps that's the trademark of a professional dental hygienist?).

The route took us over the back roads of Winthrop and into Litchfield and Monmouth.

We rolled past historic cemeteries and many lakes and ponds.

As customary, we often stopped to chat while we waited for others to catch up.

And once everyone had caught up, we more often than not, continued to chat.

But there were more fine roads to explore, so we were soon on our way.

If you missed this ride, don't miss it twice - Denise will be leading it again on April 30th! Thanks, Denise!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting Anxious For Spring?

If you're one of those people who think all of this wonderful, winterful, ice-crystalled Currier & Ives scenery would've looked REALLY great about a month and a half or so ago, you probably have lots of company. But have faith - we are just 46 days away from our first scheduled KVBC ride on April 23! And we will begin our countdown here on the POSTED ROADS club blog with ride reports from last year serving as previews for the rides ahead (if I can find time to post reports and get my bikes and legs in shape in the next six weeks). A special salute should go out to those who have been riding through the winter. In case you missed it, the Morning Sentinel had a nice profile of Denise Crowell last month:

KVBC Club Dues: our annual dues for 2011 become due on April 1st - still dirt cheap, at $10 per person or $15 per household. The money goes to pay for our insurance coverage, as well as club affiliation with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the League of American Bicyclists. Send your dues with a signed copy of the KVBC Membership Form (the link is under the Club logo on the blog) to Sandi Hodge at P.O. Box 511, Alna, Maine 04535. Please note the new mailing address which may not appear on the online form. Thank you!

We still have a number of open dates available for ride volunteers. If you can lead a ride, please contact Jim Merrick at 293-3784 or We also have two additional rides to announce (one is actually an updated listing):

August 13
(Saturday) - Ken's Hot Dog Ride, 9:00 am, Wings Mills (Mt. Vernon), 25-30 miles Road, Ken Louis.
August 27-28 (Saturday & Sunday– KVBC Downeast Sunrise Trail, Time TBD, Ellsworth, 30-40 mi per day, one or two day ride (overnight option) on packed gravel surface to explore the new trail; Dave Wood.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

KVBC 2011 Ride Schedule

Ahh, the Bike Boom years. I came across this great blast-from-the-past image in the Time/Life photo archive, dating from 1971. Hard to believe that was 40 years ago! And what a great ensemble of groovin' Mod Squad cyclistas, ready to roll. Pre-index shifting, pre-suspension, pre-computer, pre-helmet - pretty much pre-everything. Didn't stop them at all. And check out those retro jerseys! Looks like some of those jerseys have double breast pockets. You might still find a bike from that era, but you're not likely to come across one of those jerseys any time soon. I've found some old bike jerseys in bike shop bargain bins, but nothing like those. If you know where there's a stash of them, let me know. It'd be great to try and recreate this photo sometime, perhaps on one of the rides we have coming up this year...

Here is the 2011 preliminary ride schedule for the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club. We still have a few open dates to fill, and I am expecting that we will have a few more rides to add as we get closer to spring. If you have a favorite ride that you would like to share, map it out, pick a date, and let me know the details. Many, many thanks to all of you who signed up to lead a ride. We have some really interesting rides in store, and here's hoping that the weather will be just perfect for all of them. Here in winter, with a thick snow pack and sub-zero temperatures, we're allowed to hope for perfect weather, since just about anything would be perfect by comparison, so we're not askin' much. Except maybe for one of those jerseys.

Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club 2011 Ride Calendar

April 23 (Saturday) – KVBC Wake Up the Earth Ride, 10:00 AM, Wayne Elementary School, Wayne, 25 mi. Road; leader: Frank Rosen.

April 30 (Saturday) – KVBC Three Lakes Tour, 9:30 AM, Tom’s Bike Boutique, East Winthrop, 25 mi. Road; leader: Denise Crowell.

May 7 (Saturday) – KVBC Manchester in May, 9:30 AM, Manchester Elementary School, Manchester, 23 mi. Road; leader: Jim Merrick.

May 21 (Saturday) – KVBC Tour of Litchfield, 9:30 AM, Purgatory Village, Litchfield, 25 mi. Road; leader: George Luckhurst.

May 28 (Saturday) – KVBC Single Chainring Tour, 8:30 AM, Lunch Pad Restaurant, Livermore, 25 mi. Road; leader: Frank Rosen.

June 11 (Saturday) – KVBC Cobbossee Odyssey, 9:00 AM, Tom’s Bike Boutique, East Winthrop, 25-30 mi. Road; leader: Cynthia Snow.

June 25 (Saturday) – KVBC Capital Breakfast Ride, 8:00 AM, Hussey Elementary School, Augusta, 25 mi. Road; leader: Connie Brown.

July 2 (Saturday) – KVBC Fourth of July Ride, 9:00 AM, James H. Bean Elementary School, Sidney, 25 mi. Road; leader: Jim Putnam.

July 16 (Saturday) – KVBC Biking to Bowdoinham, 10:00 AM, Laura Richards School, Gardiner, 40-45 mi. Road; leader: Joe Renda.

July 24 (Sunday) – KVBC Eleven Ponds Ride, 9:00 AM, Mount Vernon Post Office, Mount Vernon, 30 mi. Road; leader: Jim Merrick.

August 13 (Saturday) - Ken's Hot Dog Ride, 9:00 AM, Wings Mills (Mt. Vernon), 25-30 miles Road, Ken Louis.

August 21 (Sunday) – KVBC Alna Alternative, 9:30 AM, Alna Post Office, Alna, 20-25 mi. Road; leader: Sandi Hodge.

August 27-28 (Saturday & Sunday– KVBC Downeast Sunrise Trail, Time TBD, Ellsworth, 30-40 mi per day, one or two day ride (overnight option) on packed gravel surface to explore the new trail; Dave Wood.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

KVBC Ride Planning Meeting and Pizza Fest

We had a wonderful New Year's Day ride last Saturday in Hallowell. The roads were clear and even dry in sections - not messy at all, and traffic was very light. With the clouds moving in, I'm not sure if the temperature actually got up to 50 degrees, but it was very pleasant for January 1st - even if I was overdressed. We rode out Town Farm Road towards Litchfield, and explored some back roads on our way back to Hallowell, just over 14 miles in all. It wasn't until we got back to Hallowell that I suddenly realized that we had to climb a very difficult hill up Winthrop Street back to the ride start at the Hall-Dale School. I had completely forgotten it. Oh, fudge. Turned out it wasn't as bad as I remembered it. It was worse. Oh well, at least Duane was very good natured about it. Have to remember to consider the entire route next time I make up a ride at the last minute.
We will have our annual KVBC ride planning get-together at the BCM's Augusta office on Thursday, January 20th, for pizza and planning. Let me know if you can come, and if you can't make it and have a ride in mind to lead, let me know as well. See you then!

Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club Planning Meeting
Thursday, January 20, 2011, 7:00-9:00 PM
Location: Bicycle Coalition of Maine Headquarters
341 Water Street (2nd Floor), Augusta

The BCM Offices are at the beginning of Water Street as you come off the circle, and there is a free parking lot across the street. Map & directions can be found at the BCM website:, 623-4511.
Purpose of meeting is to put together the KVBC ride calendar for the year. We will also discuss holding other events and get-togethers, possible joint events with other clubs, and other KVBC issues.
Pizza and other refreshments will be served. All members and interested individuals are welcome to attend.
The Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club (KVBC) is a recreational road riding club located in the central Maine capitol district. An all-volunteer club, the KVBC offers weekend rides on scenic local cycling routes designed by its members. Most of the club's rides start within a 30-mile radius of Augusta, with some further afield. KVBC rides vary in distance and terrain, and are intended to offer regional day tours that will appeal to riders of different abilities. Riders are free to ride at their own pace - non-members and newcomers are welcome. Helmets and signed waivers are required for all participants at KVBC cycling events. Annual membership dues - $10 for individuals, $15 for households - are collected in early April to raise funds for the club's liability insurance and its affiliate membership in support of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM). KVBC rides and events are posted on the BCM's events calendar (both on-line and hard copy versions), with further details distributed by e-mail to everyone on the club's free contact list. If you are in our area and are interested in participating in a KVBC scheduled ride, please feel free to join us!