Ari Gold and loaded bicycle. August 6th, 2011 outside a Hannaford grocery in York Village, Maine
I met Ari by chance that we both were on bike tours and both at the same market at the same time. He was 23 months into a much longer tour. He could recite a long list of cities and towns that were along his route. It sounded like a song. His goal was to get to Australia. He showed me a rear view mirror he makes and sells. It was different because you wear it on your hand. He was also kind and gave me a couple of ball on a bungee fasteners, that proved to be very useful.
It was a late start, 11am and after breakfast I went straight to the boarder.
Customs gave me 6 months visitor status. I wish I would have taken a photo of the agent, she was pretty. In St. Steven the rain started and I geared up for it by covering my bags and putting on my rain gear. I stopped at the visitor center for some maps. None are very good but it’ll do. Switched my computer to km. And started riding in the rain. After a traffic circle I followed a couple turns onto the Canadian 1.
My whole day except for a few clicks in St George were on the one, much like yesterday and the US 1.
But today was quite different because on this side the 1 is a 4 lane divided highway vs a 2 lane state route in Maine. And very little of anything along the way. Hills trees and gentle curves in the path are all I saw. Maybe 1 or 2 sleepy exits in 45 km. And just that many over-passes. I stopped at both to hide from rain while I ate pb and j in the blowing mist of semi trucks.
Slowly approaching St George I figured that was enough. Some cheese and crackers at the SaveEasy. And a bench out front for well over an hour just watching it rain while I ate crackers and wrote in my note book.
Now camping in a simple town park. A gravel lot and not much more than a picnic table. But there is a dam of some sort right next to me, I’ll check it out tomorrow. I hear the falling of water and a passing car every now and then. I had a short break in the rain to leave the grocery and look around for a tent spot. But as I was setting up the rain came back.
I talked with two people today.
I’m lucky most everything is dry. Dry enough.
When I see banana peels laid so neatly on the shoulder of the road that I have to change my path a bit not to hit them, I can’t help but think there is another touring cyclist just a head of me. But I don’t recall seeing even one other cyclist the whole day. Maybe tomorrow will be different, they say the weather is to be nice the rest of the week. I hope.
Last night, after a full day with the Beehive Collective, I had decided if the the weather man was right and there is rain in the morning I’d stay longer but if the morning was clear I’d stay for breakfast, say goodbyes and hit the road before noon.
I woke up to a dry tent and barely overcast skies.
I was up an hour before breakfast was served but by time I was all packed and made my way to the Grange the line was started. Oatmeal and cherries.
I had my bike with me so the ones I had sort of gotten to know knew I was about to leave. I would have liked to stay but I’m in travel mode. They all know what that’s like. A few last photos and a couple people asked for my info.
I wanted to get a photo of these four young kids who got in last night. They sat at the same table as me for breakfast but before I knew it they had left for their projects. I went to the house and found two and learned they were that much of a crew. They just drove up together. Anyway I took a nice shot of the two of them. I lost track of their names.
The very last thing was an official Bees fair-well. A few in the front yard waved handkerchiefs with many goodbyes. I rode down the hill to the 1.
I bought a loaf of bread, a small OJ and a few bananas at the gas station and made my way just after 11am
There was not much else today.
I ate about 6 times. Even stopped at a cafe for grilled cheese and fries. Now much happened there, the most excitement was a 50 states crossword on the placemat. I found Maine but could not find New York. Ohio was easy.
Some clouds the whole day. Never saw my shadow.
I did stop to talk to Gregory. A man hammering a roof onto a structure mention to be a bathroom/greenhouse over a septic tank. Lives half the year in India. Would much rather hitchhike than bike. Made scarecrows from 6 foot logs by hammering washers on for eyes and nose and dressing them in thrift store clothes. There were about 25 of them scattered about. Some in the weeds across the highway. “these ones don’t like those ones”
We talked for about 15 min. But he had work to do and I had miles to ride more before the rain started.
Not much else to Calias. Learned of a Walmart. Tented it there. Crossing the boarder in the morning if the rain clears. Raining as I set up the tent. Plain sight.
Thought I might switch to km on the cycle computer since I’ll be in Canada for a few weeks. But how?
Also thought to be clean shaven as I cross. But that’s not happening unless I shave in the Walmart bathroom in the morning. Na.
Would like to get a new, non broken screen, good battery having, slightly better camera equipped iPod touch and a solar charger. But no money for that stuff right now.
Also my 34″ Outliers are a size too big now. What happened??
I rode 64 miles today. Almost all of that was on US 1.
Waking up within the Beehive camp on a Sunday is probably the best timing I could have had. Breakfast was at 10 vs 8 during the week and the projects many are doing are on hold for a day. Leaving time to chill. It was not a difficult choice to take a rest day here. Someone made a small bit of eggs in the house before breakfast at The Grange. That’s where I ate dinner last night. I took a quick shower. Pancakes and greens for breakfast in a hall that fits 60. Then coffee and talk with too many to recite. But after that I washed dished for a while w 3 others out back in the sun.
Later, a walk to the store for a large yogurt and granola to share. Some painting of art at the craft house. The same place I met Kathy yesterday. A nap. A ride around town. Hearing talk of the rain that’s coming. A roll of portraits mixed with other photos on film. And a side run to Subway for a vege foot long. I feel like I can eat for 3 I’m so hungry. All the time. It’s 5:30pm now and all my things are in my tent out back so this is a rest day.
People keep asking how long I’m staying and what are my plans. I have no real answer but I think I’ll roll out tomorrow as long as it’s not pouring.
I did say that I’m the type of person that if in a new group of 50 and 49 were totally nice and fine with me and 1 was like -who is this and why are they here- I would not have stated this long. But everyone is very nice and I feel welcome.
Kind of wish I could stay a week and be here for the Black Fly Ball. They say over 1000 people will come and it’s a great time.
I hope no rain but if there is I could not be stuck in a better place.
I woke up on Thompson Island again and stopped in the visitor center to decide ferry or ride the 1. I’d have to book it 7 miles in 25 min to catch the 11:30 or kill time til the 2:pm. Looking on the map it would save me about 30 mile from where I stood but that’s not counting the 7 to get to the ferry. The ferry being a $25 ride from Bar Harbor to the East section on Acadia NP. I decided to ride. Stopping at the Walmart to stock up on many fruits.
Then miles of comparatively quiet 1 and 1A. I met a lady at a Gulf station as I was re-upping H2O. She gave me both her business cards. I thought I might get invited for a beer, she was on a beer run. As we talked about green and black tarps two other lightly loaded trailer toteing tourist rode by heading south. Did not stop. My new friend took my picture. And then I rode on. Many more miles of quiet.
My map of Maine is clearly paid for by a grocery called Hannafords bc there are icons in every town that has a store. Good for me because not all town on my map are towns at all. Machias was the next town looking worthy of a nights camp, to have a place to buy dinner and then breakfast. On my way in to town on a desolate 1A I saw a girl painting in a yard. I had to stop. From there I was sort of sucked into the prep for the Black Fly Ball. Dinner. Many introductions. Lots of friendly people and a safe place to camp in the huge contorted and very green backyard. Sharing it with about 20 other tents.
I passed on going to the river on the full moon because I figured it to be very cold to swim. Instead I walked my bike back to my tent. And walking through the yard I found a circle of people around a fire playing music and singing songs. I sat and listened for as long as they played. And then to bed.
My day was almost as lonely as any so far. Only talking to one person up until the evening but by talking to Kathy the painter I was taken in by 50 or so of the most welcoming people. It turned into a very good day. And in the small world that it is Sherry, who I know from pol0, is here.
I woke up on the small island Thompson. I rode straight to the Acadia National Park visitor center and paid my $5 to bike around. That pass was never checked by any official. From there I rode straight to the Cadillac Mountain summit. There were many cars and a few bikers. I even passed a few on the way up. Walking around with just my camera, I had a couple recognize me and we chatted a bit about travel. Lunch of P B and J then a quick ride down to Bar Harbor for some chill time in the grass by the water and boats. Found a plug and wifi next to a light post.
Second lunch was vege patty sub from Subway. Think that was $8 w cookies and Dr. Pepper.
Sitting on a bench I met a local named Ebbin who gave me a tip about good roads to do a loop on the quiet side of the island. And that’s what I did. And that’s how I racked up 64.8 miles for the day by time j got back to the place I woke up, to camp there again.
I was eating my pasta dinner by the side of the road next to a trail head, a couple in a BMW wagon parked beside me. Both were on their iPhones figuring out a place to eat. I could hear their conversation, she was looking for one place and he was to look up another. They must have figured it out because about two min later they speed off. Probably to walk into a place 5 min before they close.
After i packed up and got back to biking to my camp spot I kept thinking about how lonely eating by the side of the road, biking in the dark and solo camping can be. The reverse is that even if the fun I’m having is balanced by the total absence of finer things, like affection, or daily showers, or eating in-doors and with company I know that not all of those would happen if I was still living the non-nomadic life. With the options I have I think I chose the right path, at least for the next few weeks.
A good day. It just so happened that I hit 15.30 miles for the day right as I hit 1530ft summit of this mountain famous for it’s sunrise. I think it should be famous for it’s smooth roads.
I might rather be here in a non weekend day. The cars lined the road as I made my way down just after 12 noon. As I write I’m sitting in a bay side park in Bar Harbor watching boats and yachts do their thing in the water.
I’ve passed the pol0 cities for now. I will be in Halifax but I cant say when or have any idea what day. I still need to send an email to the club to see what’s up. So far it was Sun. pol0 in NYC. The next day I left, then get to Boston by Wed to play(good games), then Portland, ME by Sun to play(I was there they were not) then be in Bangor by Wed(great time at pol0). So even though this has be a pretty care free ride I have had some time constraints. That lightened up a bit today. But talking to my hostess last night and this morning about Nova Scotia I think I just added 300 miles to my time there. Plus the fact the St. John ferry would cost $81 for me and bike I may just ride around. Also adding time and miles in New Brunswick. I can’t slow down too much. I want to try to be in some cities in the latter part of the ride before it’s too late in the season.
But on a time saving note I may take a ferry from Bar Harbor to the other section of Acadia Park. Saving me a days ride and many miles on a busy Route 1.
Today I camped on the side of the road behind a few trees and brush just before the road goes onto the island. About 1/2 mile before the 3 and 198 split.
Also of note, I woke up at 7:47am and was in bed in the tent at 8:32pm but it’ll be at least be 10 before I’m asleep.
Also the last place I filled up H2O was from a dirty hose on the side of a gas station. The bathroom sink was busted.
And I cracked 700 miles on the odo today.
My route was 1A to the 3. Bangor to Trenton. Slept on Thompson Island.
I bought these over quite a few years ago. Not water proof but breath well dry fast and don’t stink. Four tours these have seen. Going strong. 3 outside zippered pockets, 1 mesh pouch and the large main compartment on each side.
I bought these at a local bike shop in Ohio. Think I paid $170 for the pair.
Hand made in USA.
6/14 edit: These have seen better days. Sun faded, weakened stitching, torn edges and beat up zippers. I’m going to try to sew new bags and re-use the inner frames and hardware.
I was about ten miles further than I wanted to be on the morning of the day I was to meet the Bangor pol0 crew. And it was raining. I rode over 60 miles between 1pm and just after 7, the stated start time. It was slow, hilly, wet and very pretty ride from Rockport, or -land? To Bangor up the 1 and 1A. Didn’t stop for many photos or even food and water much. I wanted to get there. Even if it was rained out. I wanted to say I was there. Even if they weren’t.
I got to town and asked a few pedestrians where they play. The fourth try pointed me in the right direction. Not two turns later a dark haired girl in a car behind me yelled out “pol0”. From then on my night kept getting better and better. Pol0 in Maine for one, so fun only 5 of us all together but 2v2 is still good pol0. We had mutual friends because she and her boyfriend Gabe had lived in NYC a couple years ago. One of the other players shared his vege soup. Another was playing music. We mixed up games. And I had a very good time. Good like 2005 bike pol0 good. After, we relaxed at a bar for a bit but they closed early. Fine bc I was hungry. Kierie and Gabe offered a spare room. They also fed me and let me shower. We talked about travel, NYC, and pol0. It was good.
I’ve been happily married to this road for days now. I have been bouncing around a bit but that’s ok too. My only regret is that I was just a handful of miles from a town named Dayton and I failed to realize until I was two days ride past. Oops. That’s one Dayton out out of the 20+ in the states I might not see.
Tried to link up with pol0 in Portland. A week ago I got a response confirming game time. I was there, they were not. Bummed
Up next is Bangor, ME and so far the email response has been positive. I really want to play pol0 in Maine. Even just one game and I’ll be a happy man. And to meet pol0 players up here. Seems so cool. I’ll be glad if I can take a few portraits.
Can say the weather in Portland was at worst, threatening. But it was dry all night. And their court had lights NYC would kill for.
The weather for tomorrow looks good. Can’t see why Bangor won’t be out hitting the ball around tomorrow evening. Looking forward to it.