Monday, June 25, 2012

Riding Into the Fourth

Sidney on the Fourth

We had a great ride in Augusta last Saturday.  We had a great group, the stormy weather held off, no one got (seriously) lost, and we had a great time.  Our thanks to Connie Brown (sadly in absentia, and sorely missed) who laid out the route.  This Saturday we return to Sidney for Jim Putnam's popular annual "Fourth-of-July" ride in June.  In this Leap Year the Fourth falls on a Wednesday, so we'll be riding the weekend before.  So why don't we call it the "End-of-the-Fiscal-Year-Ride," you ask?  Don't ask.  Just show up at the Bean School on Saturday.  We'll see you then!
Saturday, June 30th, SIDNEY:
"Independence along the Middle Road" - a tour through the middle of Sidney & the middle of a prime farming district, in the midst of Fourth of July preparations.
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 Fourth of July paraphernalia, perhaps.
LEADER:  Jim Putnam.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Augusta, Arrowed

Riding past Augusta Farms

It's not often we get a string of great riding days in a row, and that it should fall on the Trek Weekend is really quite special.  We had a great ride from Kents Hill on Saturday, "Bloomsday," which seemed appropriate since our ride leaders, Ray & Jane Giglio, are soon to be off for a tour in the land of Joyce, where the weather can be even more fickle than it is here.  The weather on Saturday's ride was a lot dryer by Irish standards, but it was still rather cool and even clouded up a bit before the sun came out to stay.  Our thanks to Ray & Jane and best wishes on their trip.  As for the rest of us, the weather continues to look just splendid, and this Saturday we will meet at the Hussey Elementary School in Augusta at 8 AM for a "Capitol Breakfast."  This will be an arrowed ride, covering a beautiful route originally laid out by Connie Brown, who unfortunately can't make it this year.  Our optional breakfast stop will be at Rebecca's Place, at about 24 miles into the ride.  Those of you who rode the Trek and haven't had your fill of riding and eating, feel free to join us!

Saturday, June 23rd - AUGUSTA
"Capitol Breakfast Ride" - a tour through the stately residential areas and outlying farms of our capitol 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: 27 miles, arrowed.
TERRAIN: moderate with a few hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: An optional breakfast stop at Rebecca's Place, some really fine touring roads east of the capitol, new and intriguing routes - and did we mention breakfast?
LEADER: Jim Merrick.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

East Of Winthrop

Cruising Down Memorial Drive

We had a great ride from East Winthrop on June 2nd. The predicted rains, aside from a few sprinkles, held off and we were able to get the entire ride in without getting wet. Denise has organized a popular ride from Tom's Bike Boutique, so she had a fine turn-out despite the forecast. The delicious home-made molasses cookies after the ride didn't hurt either.

Heading Out of Monmouth

For most of the ride, we stuck together as a group, expecting the rains to fall. As luck would have it, we wound up with good company and dry pavement.

Regrouping at the Crossroads

Heading into the Hills and the Return on Rt. 135

The return route added some challenging hills, but we were beginning to think we were actually going to beat the rain. Feeling ambitious, Denise took us back around on the shore of Lake Maranacook a second time for good measure.

One of the Great Roads Between the Lakes

Our thanks to Denise for another great ride (and the cookies!).

Hope you can join us this Saturday, June 16, at Kents Hill for the next Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club ride!

Monday, June 11, 2012

On Top of Kents Hill

Riding into Fayette

We had absolutely beautiful weather for the ride in Mount Vernon last Sunday.  Calm, not too hot, hardly a cloud in the sky.  I'd say "picture perfect" except with my photo skills that would stretching it.  Hopefully the weather will hold just as nice for this Saturday (and so far it's looking very promising) for Ray's ride in Kents Hill.  And for all of you on the Trek, Bonne Route!

Saturday, June 16th - KENTS HILL
"County Corners Tour" - ride from the edge of Kennebec County in Readfield and Fayette, into a corner of Livermore Falls in Androscoggin County, and back into Kennebec County in Wayne.  
START:  8:30 AM, Torsey Church parking lot on Rt. 17, at the top of Kents Hill.
DISTANCE:  25 miles, with an option for an extra 3 miles RT detour on the paved portion of Echo Lake Rd .
TERRAIN:  Rolling with a few good hills.
HIGHLIGHTS:  Past Kents Hill School and out Rt. 17 on good pavement, then south past Sturtevant Farm Scenic Area, Pikes Store, and in Wayne, Tubby's Ice Cream and Wayne Farmer's Market.
LEADER:  Ray Giglio.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Single Chainring at a Time

Cruising along the Chesterville Esker
We had a really fine ride from Livermore to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend. The weather was a bit cool and overcast, but that made for great riding - had the sun burned through the haze as advertised the ride would have been a lot hotter.

A Few Short Hills

The route was laid out by Frank Rosen, who was unable to make the ride himself. A few of us gathered at the Lunch Pad for breakfast before the start, and the waitstaff inquired about Frank. We'll have to reprise the ride later when Frank can come with us.

Rolling Towards Chesterville

The ride headed south from Livermore to Fayette before turning north along some pretty back roads past old campgrounds. We regrouped when we came to Twelve Corners, and set off to ride the Chesterville Esker - a delightful ridge ride along to top of a prehistoric glacial sandbar, dropping off to many little lakes on either side.

Running Past Farms on Valley Road

The original route called for riding several miles along the Esker and then reversing direction for the return. The day was so promising that we decided to continue to the end of Ridge Road and then head further north up Zion's Hill to North Chesterville. We then backtracked down Valley Road back into Chesterville Village.

Peggy Setting the Pace

As we headed back south along the Esker on the return I began to experiment with a "behind-the-back" camera technique. At one point Peggy asked me if I was getting anything while shooting blind, and I said: "Yes, lots of treetops and pavement." But with a little practice I was able to get some head-on shots and straighten them out with some judicious editing later.

Heading Back Towards Livermore

Leaving the Esker we headed back towards Livermore. The roads were really in fine shape, the temperature stayed cool, and the blackflies gave us a break, and for the most part stayed out of the picture.

Coming At Ya on a Road Near You

Hope you can join us this Saturday as we head out from Mount Vernon on a return trip to the Chesterville Esker on the Eleven Ponds Ride!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

From Lakes to Ponds

Along the Chesterville Esker
We managed to dodge the raindrops last Saturday in Winthrop, and we had a fine ride thanks to Denise.  It was a great route, with great company, and great timing.  Since then we've had quite a few more raindrops, but if you're one of those who have been watching the puddles in your yard turn into ponds, we've got a ride for you! 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, June 10th - 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.