Monday, July 16, 2012

Epic Cross Bike Trek

Well, maybe not "Epic" but it tired me out. 

I had the first weekend day that was totally uncommitted in recent memory do I decided to do a training ride for The Dempsey Challenge: Donate Here.  I left at 10:20 on the cross bike with the goal of about 60 miles including some dirt "roads" that I couldn't do on a road bike.  I also wanted to do a reasonable amount of climbing.  It all seemed reasonable for a day that was forecast to be 92 and muggy.

My first stop was atop Hacker Hill on Quaker Ridge where I was treated to somebody playing native American flutes and nobody else.  It sounded like this but with more nature sounds.
I continued on to a road that google maps gave as driving directions.  I knew there were no real roads in the area but I expected something dirt.  Nope, not a road, barely a trail, more of a dry stream bed.  So I hiked about 1mile through the woods with my bike.  The next adventure would be Edes Falls Road between Casco and Edes Falls.  This was another road I that Google shows as traversable but I was expecting something like unimproved dirt.  Again my expectations were too high but I did find Jugtown Forest.  I should have actually stopped to read the signs because I came back out about 1/8 mile away from where I entered.  Instead of trying it again I decided to take a longer loop through Otisfield.  One more time I took roads I knew to be dirt and this time they actually were dirt roads.  I ended up at Schribners Mill.
After a short climb out of the valley I got an opertunity to dig a piece of wire out of my tire and try my new pump.
Next stop, Edes Falls.

I continued on to Gary and Cindy's to get my water bottles filled with water and lemonaid and I was off.  Through Sebago lake state park and then onto another dirt road to connect with Douglas hill.  This road I had been on before and it was just as I remembered it - awful.  The "Not Maintained for Winter Use" signs are always a clue.  After some more climbing I got to Douglas Mountain and climbed to the top with my bike. 

This would be the picture from the top if my phone battery hadn't died

At this point most of my climbing was done which was good because most of my energy was gone too.  I had an easy ride down to Grandma's camp for a swim, 1/4 teaspoon of salt more water and lemonade and some fruit.  After about 1/2 hour visit I decided that it was time to leave before I stiffened up too much.  Putting the shoes back on wasn't my favorite part of the day.   At least the 20 miles ahead of me seemed like I was almost home, perspective has a funny way about it.

When the trip was over I'd gone about 75 miles including over a mile of vertical rise.  With the hiking and dirt roads it was actually more challenging than my 100 mile Dempsey Challenge rides.  And it was about half the distance at half the speed with a lot more stops than the people riding Le Tour.  Kind of like looking up at the stars and realizing how small you are (even if you are fat).

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