Malcolm and I raised a total of $4,350 for Team Indian Island! I'm really awed by your generosity...several people made more than one donation (no, we didn't program a sticky Submit key!) and we received donations throughout the past month. Matching donations based on our funds raised through September 10th pushed us above the $4K mark.
We started out at Nine Acre Woods: Malcolm's Playhouse in Durham, Maine.
Our team car was recently rescued twice due to a high speed blowout and a dead battery. The blowout was close to a Mobile Station (and AAA), and the dead battery was discovered upon emerging from Dunn Gaherin's If you have to have a dead battery, there's really no better place to find yourself than Dunn Gaherin's.
Our bikes were ready to ride:
The start was located outside the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. Frontier is a major sponsor. They provided delicious lunches for the riders, too. We arrived at the start with Diane (Malcolm's mother) driving the team car. We off loaded our bikes, set them up and proceeded to check in.
We received our tip sheets outlining our route and proceed to pose for any paparazzi in the area. Malcolm believes in silent meditation before a ride. Me, I prefer to get tattooed.
We checked the tip sheet before heading out of the parking lot and through downtown Brunswick.
I don't really like tip sheets. If there are ride signs along the route or marks on the road, I'm in. If I have to constantly read (and remember) details like Sycamore Road (1.9mi) and then Elm Street (2.4mi), my eyes glaze over (more than usual) and I get a little pissy. (Just ask Diane when she saw me reading the tip sheet.) When I get on my bike, I want to ride. When I go to work, I want to process details. Who combined them!? This was a simple route, and I have ridden and driven in this area many times, so I thought we'd be fine. I had my cell phone, and I have good dead reckoning skills (honed from exploring new cities on foot and the proliferation of gas stations when I go off course in the car.)
We posed for a team photo and then headed out:
We rode carefully through downtown Brunswick. I love this town...it's really a town, although you would think it's a city. Diane told me that Brunswick is the largest town in the U.S. It's also a very cool town. Did I mention that there's a Bullmoose Music in Brunswick?
Emerging from the downtown area and riding through Bowdoin College, we took a right onto Pleasant Hill Road. This was a very unpleasant road, at least for me. I was looking back at Malcolm to ensure he made the turn close to the shoulder and out of traffic when my front wheel hit a stone and large bolt in quick succession. Down I went. I had one hand on the handlebars, and I wasn't looking ahead at the time... Poor Poor Pitiful Me (Warren, we miss you.) It was a slow fall, and fortunately, in Maine, the cars don't automatically try to turn you into speed bump. Traffic was light, and once I was done swearing (Sorry, Malcolm. Diane, he knew those words already, really.) I got up and onto the grass shoulder. Malcolm, of course, was already on the grass shoulder.
I slid on my right glove, palm down and ended up with a sore wrist, a sore shoulder and a little bruise on my right hip. Lucky, I was. I threw some air into my rear tire and that was all that was needed. Several other Pedal for Peace riders came by and offered help. (If I seemed pissy, people, it was only due to (a) cue sheet blindness and (b) my own stupidity for not looking ahead before looking back at The Micro Dude. Sorry.)
Once we remounted, we rode through wide well maintained roads with plenty of great scenery:
We ran into some more Pedal For Peace riders, and they took our picture at FireFly Lane:
Malcolm started the ride telling me he wasn't used to riding hills. We had plenty of them on this ride. As we went along, he rode with much more confidence and tempo. The Dude was happy!
We came across a local artist who uses bike wheel rims to make art. This was off course but definitely welcome!
Yes, we were not on the official route at this time. We improvised. We adapted. We decided that it would be better to be back early rather than see more hills. It was the right thing to do. Two of the ride volunteers from Bowdoin stopped to offer us drinks and snacks and to check on our orientation: Yes, we knew the way back to Brunswick, and I wish I had snapped their photo. They were very cool and helpful. Our own personal feed zone!
I know the country and the world are both filled with gorgeous vistas and wonderful experiences, but being out on your bike with friends on a nice day on perfect Maine roads is a blissful experience close to home.
We made it back into Brunswick and the finish line:
Diane was there to greet us, and we feasted on roll-ups from Frontier at a sun filled table.
All in all, this was a GREAT experience for Malcolm and me. We both appreciate your support. I'm already planning to ride in 2011. Malcolm doesn't know it yet, but he is too! Malcolm: Next year, YOU will be the Team Captain, I promise!