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!