Monday, April 27, 2015

Off to the Oasis

We had a fine ride Sunday despite some brisk temperatures and occasional sprinkles. Jeanine worked her usual magic in keeping the worst of the rain at bay, and led us on a splendid new route through Winslow and Benton, with a welcome post-ride lunch stop at Big Gs. Thanks Jeanine! The "bare knees" anticipated in the ride announcement didn't materialize - the ride conditions never hit 50 degrees - and the weather forecasters squandered all of their good will from the previous week. Will we find a seasonal oasis as we head into Bike Month in May? Find out this Saturday as we set out from Pike's Oasis in Livermore!

Saturday, May 2nd - LIVERMORE
"The Oasis Loop" - a not-quite-desert-like tour of the ponds and ridges around Livermore, Fayette, and Chesterville.
START: 10:00 am at Pike's Corner Oasis at the junction of Rt. 106 and Rt. 133 in Livermore.
DISTANCE: 28 miles.
TERRAIN: Moderate with a few good hills.
HIGHLIGHTS: some scenic back roads including the famed Ridge Road along the Chesterville Esker, and perhaps a post-ride ice cream stop.
LEADER: John Lanoue.

For more information on the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club find us on Facebook, or contact Jim Merrick at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bare Knees to Big G's

We had a really fine day last Saturday for the annual KVBC "Wake Up the Earth Ride" along the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Augusta. We had a great group of 16 riders, and far better than expected weather - dryer, clearer, and at least ten degrees warmer than predicted - at this time of year we'll cut the weathermen some slack if they err on the "right" side. Many thanks to Jim Floyd's "uneventful" ride leadership (compared to last year) and to all the folks who came out. Did we Wake Up the Earth? Find out this Sunday, when we reconvene in Winslow for a new ride along the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers - maybe lunch, too! Happy Earth Day!
April 26th, Sunday - WINSLOW
"Big G's and Bare Knees" - a riverside tour through Winslow, Benton, and Clinton.
START: 10:30 AM at Winslow Elementary School, 285 Benton Avenue, Winslow.
DISTANCE: 25-30 miles.
TERRAIN: moderate.
HIGHLIGHTS: an early Spring ride along the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers. Optional lunch stop at "Big G's" in Winslow.
LEADER: Jeanine Libby.
BCM Calendar link:
For more information on the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club, contact Jim Merrick, 293-3784,, or check out our Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cover Club

KVBC Cinco de Mayo Ride in Windsor, May 5, 2013

Hey KVBC! The latest issue of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's "Maine Cyclist" newsletter is out. Take a close look at the cover? Yep, that's YOU folks on the cover - from an early spring Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club ride a few years ago. And the BCM Ride Calendar is also out - the very first club ride listed is the KVBC Wake Up the Earth Ride this Saturday in Augusta, and the very last ride listed is yet another KVBC ride in Wayne on Halloween. We got the alpha and the omega of rides this year! Not bad for a small bike club in Central Maine. Worthy of a bit of chest thumping (not that we're prone to boasting or anything). You guys deserve it!

I guess now we may look into club jerseys...

Friday, April 10, 2015


Yes indeed! The weather is finally turning spring-like, and we are one week away from the first KVBC ride of the season, the Wake Up The Earth Ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Augusta! It has been a very long winter, and it is definitely time to wake things up and get out and ride!  Hope to see everyone next Saturday in Augusta at 10:30 am!

April 18th, Saturday - AUGUSTA
"Wake Up the Earth" - an early Spring/Earth Day ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail through Augusta, Hallowell, and Gardiner.
START: 10:30 AM at the Augusta trail head of the rail trail - the municipal parking lot off of Water Street adjacent to the Maine State Housing Authority (353 Water St.) in the shadow of Memorial Bridge.
DISTANCE: 20+ miles
TERRAIN: flat (and we mean flat)
HIGHLIGHTS: the first ride of the season, a pleasant run along the Kennebec River, with some great natural scenery mixed with some urban vistas, kicking off another great year of cycling. Probable stop at Slate's Bakery in Hallowell!
LEADER: Jim Floyd.

A special note: the CMCC is planning a ride and potluck tomorrow, Saturday, April 11, in Vassalboro - details on their Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Greek Law of Cosmic Motion

Helene Alberti Demonstrates the Greek Law of Cosmic Motion (Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library)

Brookline, Mass.: Inventor Helene Alberti of Brookline, Massachusetts, successfully harnessed the Greek Law of Cosmic Motion (or something very close to it) today. It was overcast when Alberti and her team of assistants approached the crown of a nearby hill chosen for its cosmic alignment and gentle slopes. "Already, boys" she cried as they buckled on her harness and affixed her extendable wings. The wings, she explained, were not the primary means of initial lift - that was where the bicycle wheel came in, and she held it aloft and spun it gently to accumulate the cosmic energy in their surroundings. The wings were mainly for gliding in flight and in landing, she said, although they could assist in the launch phase. 

Three times she spun the wheel, faster and faster, to no avail. Looking concerned, she gave it another spin. Again, nothing. As she made ready for a fifth attempt, one of her assistants noticed something. "Hey, I think you got a flat," he said. "Holy crap," cried Alberti. "How did that happen? It was holding air fine when we left the house!" She waited impatiently as her assistants got out their tools and a patch kit (they forgot the spare tube, naturally).

Squared away, she once again took her position, held the wheel aloft and gave it a healthy spin. For a moment nothing happened. Then a strange blue glow began to radiate out from the wheel. It spread out along her wings and radiated in pulses, gaining in intensity. "Ha!" she cried, and began to run down the slope, taking bounding leaps. Two, three, four times she sprang into the air, higher each time. Then with one final bound, she left the mortal ground entirely, and soared off into the heavens.

"Madame Alberti!" called out one of her assistants. "You forgot your CO2 cartridge! What if you get another flat? Will you be able to land?"

"Never you mind, son!" she cried. "Where there's a wheel, there's a way!"

And with that, she vanished from sight. There has been no trace of her since.

(For more on Ms. Alberti, click here.)