Started the day off with a bagel and cappuccino brewed by our Warmshower host, John. Our destination was a Warmshower host in Camden, 60 miles away. The forecast was rain so we planned on getting wet today. Of course during my morning prayers, I asked God if he saw fit that it didn’t rain on us, that would be fine with us.
Off we went riding through one village after another on US 1. We had driven this route before a few years back when we flew in to Boston and drove to Bar Harbor for the MDI Marathon, so things looked familiar. Two fun stories:
We stopped by a bakery with three bicycles propped up outside. Lots of questions asked when you meet other cyclists. Turns out one of these cyclists grew up in Indiana and went to Shortridge HS.
Later we were riding on the outskirts of a village and hit a monster hill (not too long, but rather steep). Right after reaching the summit, I stopped to catch my breath and looked to my right. There in the middle of nowhere is a brewery. It was 12:15pm and the sign said open at noon.
Well, it was hot/humid and we were a bit thirsty 😁 for a sample. Odd AleWives Farm Brewery had just opened three months ago. It was in an old alpaca barn and was one of the coolest breweries ever. We still had 20 miles to ride, so just a sample was in order.
We kept in touch with our Warmshower host to give them updates on our arrival. Deb had looked at the forecast and there was a long wall of showers coming our way. As we were riding through a busy village by a long line of weekend tourists a motorcyclist said we need to button down for a storm.
I looked at my phone and received a txt from our host. He can come pick us up. We said we were good and ventured on. About 11 miles out we see an Outback with a man standing behind it. We rolled up and it was our host, Stephen. He mentioned it wasn’t raining here but there was major rain up ahead and he could give us a ride. We thanked him profusely, but explained we came this far, we needed to push forward and that would feel like cheating to take a ride. He totally understood and said he would see us later at his house.
God has taken care of us in so many ways this trip. We are riding NE and the weather is traveling NE. Believe it or not, we arrive at our Warmshower and it doesn’t rain a drop on us. Prayers answered big time 🙏
And finally another “smilestone” (not milestone) – we reached the 4,000 mile mark, on BIKES!
Did it seem to go fast? Yes! Some of the days were long but the weeks went fast.
What was the farthest Tom got ahead of you Deb? Did you mind riding alone? Deb: about a quarter mile and he waited at every turn. I don’t mind riding alone at all! But some of my favorite times were when we were both in a groove and riding a two person pace line. That was fun too!
How many flats did you each have? Tom had two and I had three. Not bad!
Once you get to Bar Harbor how are you getting back home to Indiana? Our son, John is driving Tom’s car out to Maine with the bike rack. We will stay one night in BH and then drive straight through to Indiana.
Do you feel like you got stronger each day of riding, or are you totally exhausted and glad to be done? Deb: I wouldn’t say I’ve been exhausted but if we were continuing on for a few more weeks I would definitely take a day off from cycling. I thought I was going to get a lot stronger riding but I don’t think I did. The elevation is more difficult in VT, NH and ME, maybe that is why I’m not riding as fast or long as I thought I would. I feel good though and could keep going if it weren’t for the stank bags. Tom: I think I went into the ride well trained and there really wasn’t a day I was really tired.
Was there anything on the trip that exceeded your expectations and was even better than you thought it was going to be? Tom: Riding up Logan Pass without cars – even better than I expected. And I thought riding the Plains would be very tough winds but they weren’t.
How many 100’s did you do? You mentioned a dead skunk and a bear, oh I guess raccoons is that all the wild life you saw? We rode three 100 milers and saw fox, lots of deer, prong horn antelope, elk, wild turkeys, osprey, sand hill cranes, bald eagles and a lot of dead frogs.
What one item that exceeded expectations and what one item about the trip turned about to be a dud that you never expected? Again, Logan Pass without cars really exceeded expectations. Also the cool mom and pop motels along they way that we stayed in were not anticipated but pretty neat. Can’t think of any duds except the two flat tires Deb’s bike had within the first three days. Deb: My only unexpected dud was I never thought I would actually be killing mosquitos with bear spray in the tent. I wasn’t spraying the little pests but squashing them with the spray canister. #mosquitomurder
Would you do it differently next time? Support trailer? Route? Accommodations? Tom: Definitely wouldn’t use a trailer and we wouldn’t cycle Northern Tier again because we would want to do something different. Next time Deb will plan on taking four panniers and the front rack from the start. That worked out well when we made that change in Whitefish, MT. Accommodations were good! We thought we would use warm showers more but it just didn’t work out that way.
What is your next adventure going to be? 😊 We will continue to do more bike touring, a marathon now and then but would like to consider a long distance thru hike! Maybe the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.
Did you ever want to give up? Tom and Deb: Nope. Never.
After Monday, when is the next time you think you will ride the bike? Tom and Deb: Maybe to the Indiana State Fair on Thursday? Definitely to work on Monday for Tom.