Damariscotta to Naples 80 miles

5/30/19

Sorry about the lack of pictures but I lost my cell phone yesterday and I couldn’t get a new one until we made it to Brunswick where they had a AT&T store.  The people at the store were extremely helpful.

We started out from Damariscotta early in the morning and the only place open to get breakfast was a gas station.  What we purchased was not very filling but it held us over until we reached Brunswick.

Here we ate at a pizza place.  They provided our team with two pizza but Ed and I went in the store so I could charge my new phone.  The food was great and filling.

The ride was long and hilly.  We rode on a lot of back roads to the climbs which were again pretty steep.  Our rest stops were well spaced and at a locations where we could get warm meals.

Tonight we are camping again and the camp site was 3 miles outside of the of the town of Naples so we stopped at a restaurant in Naples before going to the campsite.

The camp was nice and we have plenty of room to spread out.  They had great showers that only cost us 25 cents for 5 minutes.  The water was hot which helped us warm up before going to bed.

We didn’t get our tents and gear completely setup before dark but since this wasn’t our first camping night we managed.

Belfast to Damariscotta 55 miles

5/29/18

We got a late start since it was cold  and we had camped for the first time on this ride.  We had to pack everything up WET.

We had a great breakfast at a local café.  I had my first corn beef harsh and eggs of the trip with a side order of cinnamon roll which I carried with me for the first rest stop of the day.

By the time we left it was still cold with the temperature somewhere in the mid-40s and it never got over the low 50s but it didn’t rain on us.

The road today had a lot of rolling hills.  The one thing about the climbs is the grade which is fairly steep which was a lot like what we experienced through Virginia and Kentucky on the Trans Am ride in 2017.

Tonight we stayed in a Baptist Church.  It was great staying inside.  We showered in the home of the pastor which was right across street  from the Church.

Since the laundry mat was 0.1 mile from the church Ed and I decided to take advance of the close laundry mat.

We are still trying to get to know some of the other riders so Ed and I had dinner with 4 other riders to get their stories.

Bar Harbor to Belfast Maine. 68 Miles

5/28/19

After the tire dip and numerous pictures we took off in groups of 3 or 4 riders so we wouldn’t block traffic. Of course that didn’t work as well as planned because you could have slower riders ahead of faster riders so as you can imagine we had the faster riders passing the slower riders and at times we could have 6 to 8 riders together.  One thing that did help get us spread out were the hills.

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The hills weren’t very high but they were fairly steep and since I didn’t train enough I suffered.  Plus, I have a new bike I had to work on my gear ratios.  I rode with Ed Carl for the third year in a row and he rode the last 6 days of the Atlantic Coast ride, he was a lot stronger than I was.

At our first rest stop in Ellsworth Maine we stopped at the Flexit Café and Bakery at 192 Main Street.  They had great coffee as the coffee expert (Ed) explained.  When he ordered they asked him how dark he wanted his coffee.  I will attest that the pastry was excellent.

The owner came and asked us about our ride.  It turned our he has two close friends that have MS so he wanted to get some pictures so he could post them and our story on his website.  He was surprised how big on group we had so he spent time get updates from some more of our riders and leaders.

Bar Harbor Maine

5/27/19

Today was orientation day.  We covered map reading, safety and storage.

Since this is my third time riding across the US for MS the map reading was just a refresher course.

Now safety cannot be covered enough, everyone needs to be reminded of the need for safety especially when it come to pedaling a 2 wheel bike on roads with 4 wheeled vehicles.

Storage is always a challenge.  We are allotted a certain amount of space and everyone is concerned if they brought to much gear.  I am happy to say minefit so I will sleep well tonight.

We are staying in a family owned inn called Quimby House Inn and Spa.  The Inn is very nice and comfortable.

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The family is very supportive of MS since the mother has MS and they go out of their way to make us welcome and lets us use their courtyard for all our training  and preparation.  We can’t thank them enough.

We will get up in the morning at 5:00 a.m. for the final preparation and our first breakfast.

Then at 8:00 a.m. we dip our tires and head west.

BiketheUSforMS Northern Tier Ride

5/24/19

Welcome back!

Tomorrow I fly to Bangor Maine to get ready this years major ride.  We will ride 4,295 miles across the northern border of the US in 69 days, 15 states and 164,365 feet of elevation change.  We start the ride on May 28th from Bar Harbor Maine, but I wanted to get there early to welcome in the Atlantic Coast route which will get in on May 26.  On May 27 we go through the standard orientation and meet the new team, then on the 28th we dip our bike tires into the Atlantic Ocean and head out.

I know a  number of the riders from previous years. One, Ed Carl and I have ridden together the previous two years.

I have not trained as hard this year due to work, weather and laziness.  The one major ride I did was on April 27th and 28th which was the BP MS150. This is the largest ride anywhere for MS.  This year there were over 9,000 riders.   I was please on how well I did especially  since I was riding a new bike.  My old bike was not up to another US crossing so I have gone to touring bike.  The picture below is at the end of day one in LaGrange Tx after about 90 miles.

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I want to thank everyone that has donated to this years ride.  Y’all are very generous and it humbles me that you support me and helped people with MS, which is what it is all about.

The total ride will take 69 days which includes  7 rest days.  Most of the rest days give us the opportunity to do service projects for those with MS.  These are some of  my most rewarding days because we get to see how our efforts go to help those that can’t do what we do but would give anything to be able to join us.

More to come!!