It was a very foggy morning out as I walked over to the motel office to grab breakfast.
Right as I walked in the office, the motel lady said, “hey, you’re that bicycle guy!”
I’m pretty much a celebrity up here now… We had a good chat and I got my breakfast and brought it back to my room. Fruit, home-made muffins, yogurt, coffee, and juice! I literally got everything they were offering, and of course I went back for more after…
So today is day 90. That means I should be heading home now and it’s back to reality again. Back to finding a job and working instead of biking and going to breweries. This blog unfortunately does not pay the bills or the beer tabs (yet).
So with that mindset, I figured I would start now. Today, I am going to put in an 8 hour shift! Get myself ready for those kind of days again.
Here is how my day went:
I wasn’t able to start at the 8am mark I wanted to due to the dense fog.
Once the fog lifted, I set out on my bike with my start time being 9:30. I, however, am always early so I started pedaling a few minutes earlier than 9:30. I planned to take 3 breaks today (just like a normal job) and ride until 6:30ish.
I was cruising the first two hours, feeling good going up and down all the hills, pacing myself for the long day. Suddenly, right as I was going to stop for my first break, I got my second flat tire of the tour. Wah wah wah… Luckily, I had another spare tube, I just had to take an unwanted stop and fix it on the side of the road.
After I fixed the flat, I pedaled down the road and found the perfect spot to hop off my bike seat, take a breather, and eat some food.
Back on my saddle, I hit the hills hard again, no fun and games today, just cruising at a good pace, getting the miles in, thinking about anything and everything to make the time fly by. Just before my 1:30 lunch stop, I took a “bathroom break” to get some blueberry pie served up with some blueberry icecream at the Wild Blueberry Land! It was oh so good!
I quickly ate the pie, and got back on the road looking for some better food to line my stomach and fuel my muscles.
After finding and eating a sandwich from Subway, I had nothing better to do than get back to biking. Just down the road I found the next bike I need! Of course, it was outside one of the thousands of antique shops along the coast of Maine.
Over halfway through my biking day now and I can predict where I am going finish at 6:30. Knowing this, I am starting to plan where I will stay and which breweries I will be able to go to tonight – all while still biking.
I got to a cross section of the Sunrise Trail that I opted out of on the way up to Canada because the trail was too rocky and soft for my bike. Today, I figured, what the heck, let’s try it for a little bit. It may be a bit harder and I will definitely be going slower, but I can see more nature and maybe even some wildlife! It may be more rewarding and exciting, and I may come away with a good story!
The trail was slow going most of the time and I was cringing often from the rocks, but it was a nice change getting away from the busy roads. Once I got too far in to turn around, my time on the trail started going downhill. Not the good kind of downhill while biking..
I was cruising along as fast as possible without breaking something and had several ATVs and Dune Buggy’s pass me by that had me sucking in their dust and scaring off any wildlife nearby. This wasn’t the worst part, though. I was getting attacked by tons of angry biting black and yellow flies! A few of them drew blood – they hurt! And unfortunately, these flies weren’t scared off by those ATVs!
There was nowhere for me to get off the trail for another few miles and there was no way of getting rid of the flies at this point. I couldn’t even enjoy the views or look for wildlife as I was constantly swatting flies and grimacing. Worst decision in a while taking this trail, I thought to myself.
Finally, I found an exit off this trail and away from those pesky flies! What a waste! That trail could have been so much better if it weren’t for the ATVs and especially the flies. I now had to make my way down some back roads to get back onto US 1. Once there, I took a much needed break to check out the welts from the flies.
Down to the home stretch! Final 20 or so miles to get me to Ellsworth and should be right around 6:30 by the time I get there! Surprisingly, I am still feeling good even after 60+ miles and that trail. Looking forward to some food and drinks!
Pushing myself to the limit both mentally and physically, I made it to my hotel a couple minutes before 6:30. What perfect timing for my “8-hour shift game” I played with myself today!
After checking in, I grabbed some food and went down to Fogtown Brewing. Had a few quick and delicious beers and then back to the hotel where I passed out from the long work day I just had.
Today is my last full day of commuting on this trip! I will be flying out of Bangor, so any other riding in the next two days would just be exploring.
Breakfast was bomb today! All the usual hotel complimentary foods, but also home-made scones – both blueberry and chocolate chip, and home-made muffins – again both blueberry and chocolate chip.
I ended up triple dipping into breakfast time today! Normally i double dip, but my third go round I got some stuff to go so I could have a lunch during or after my ride. Made myself a PB&J on a bagel and took a chocolate chip scone also. (Later on in the day when I ate those, I wished I would have gotten another scone or two!)
A quick jaunt up US 1 and then just back roads from there all the way to Bangor. Luckily, I had the East Coast Greenway signs helping me out almost all the way!
For some reason today my chain kept slipping when I would down shift. Probably all the work I put in yesterday loosened the cable a bit. This has happened a couple times during the tour, but every other time I have been able to adjust the rear derailer and fix it. Today, I tried so many times to get it straight and it would not work for me. What a frustrating thing when you down shift to get up a hill and the chain slips and you almost come to a complete stop trying to get the chain to attach itself again.
Thankfully, it wasn’t too long of a day, and my bike tour is just about over.
The weather outside was perfect! Probably in the high 60s and low 70s for the day.
It was a real quick day compared to yesterday, and I found myself in Brewer, ME before I knew it.
The Traveling Brewski was in Brewer, ME at a brewery drinking a brew! That brew was at Mason’s Brewing Co.
Their beers were great, full brewpub atmosphere inside and large patio right on the river and right across the river is Waterfront Concerts. You could hear music playing at the concert venue from the patio, and clearly!
Next up was that lunch I packed as I sat next to the river and enjoyed the sun with cooler weather. I was waiting for another brewery to open nearby.
unfortunately, when I rode over to the brewery, it said they were closed today for repairs… so across the bridge I went over to Black Bear Brewing instead.
They also had some really great beers, and I had some great company! The bartender was great, but there was a crew from some airline there and one of them was also based out of Tampa like myself. After we got talking, another guy from the back of the brewery came over and had to introduce himself cause he lives in St Pete! What a small world that 3 guys that don’t know each other would all be sitting at Black Bear Brewery on an afternoon in Bangor.
After the good conversation, good beers, and good food that the bartender gave me for free (pulled pork mac and cheese), I left for my final hotel of the tour.
As I entered my hotel for the night and was walking down the hallway, I had a weird thought. Here I was 91 days into my bike tour and I am now very comfortable in my padded biking shorts. I remember when my wife bought them for me and trying them on for the first time I felt like I was wearing a combination of spandex and a diaper. A spandex diaper, and I felt like I was walking as if I pooped my pants.
I have only two of these riding shorts and I have worn them 80 out of the past 91 days. They have gotten some action, that’s for sure! I am quite comfortable in my diaper spandex now. May be time to retire them, though.
I thought it was going to be a nice easy ride around the city type of day. You know, ride normal people miles..
I started out going to the furthest brewery on my list – Bangor Beer Co. Then i figured I would work my way back and hit up one or two more in town.
This brewery had a funky vibe to it and I loved it! Tons to do, tons to look at, and plenty of good beer to drink! They will even deliver their beer to your doorstep! (You do have to order $25 or more worth of food first – that’s the loop hole in the law..) Reminds me of how many people throughout this trip thought I was delivering beer on my bicycle. Silly people.
So this is where my plans changed. The bartender said I should ride up to Orono and check out two breweries there. So I of course did just that. This day now went from maybe 10 miles to over 20.
First stop was Marsh Island Brewing. They love their IPAs here! 7 out of 10 beers they make are IPAs. They had some funky flavors too like a milkshake IPA with pineapple and coconut, another milkshake IPA that tastes like a strawberry banana smoothie, and some others. Luckily in my flight, there were two semi-normal good hazy IPAs that I enjoyed.
My time there was short and i went a few blocks over to Orono Brewing Co. Wow they had a solid lineup of beers to choose from and I loved them all. They got a perfect beer rating from me! From IPAs to sours to wild ales to saisons from a kolsch to a heavy bourbon barrel stout. They had a great variety! Now with such variety’s there comes the risk of the beers just being alright. Not having a certain style they specialize in and are known for. But they nailed them all. (Yes, I paid full price for my beer flight and did not get anything free for giving such praise)
This was brewery number 131 on the tour, and I figured that would be my last.
Well I thought wrong! Ended up going to one back in Bangor that was on my way home and was still open. Met some really cool people there and tried some interesting beers like their Barn Burner which is a jalapeno and ghost pepper saison, and their sour beer made with beets.
After I was beered out, I did a quick ride by at Stephen Kings house and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing watching some good ol’ TV.
I’m going home today! While I have had a blast on this tour, I am ready to get back home and see my wife and dog.
After breakfast and checking out of my hotel, I biked down to a local bike shop who had a bike box waiting for me. I sat outside their shop taking my bike apart and trying to figure out the puzzle of getting it all to fit inside. It took quite a while, and I ended up getting a bigger bike box from them which helped out. It was like Jenga trying to fit it all in there, and hopefully when I get it, it won’t have any broken spokes or anything worse!
Called up an Uber, had the box hanging out his trunk and stopped at a UPS to get it shipped back down to Tampa. I am flying Allegiant airlines which I got a good cheap direct ticket. They unfortunately, don’t allow boxes that big on their flights, so shipping it via UPS or FedEx seemed like my best and easiest option.
The shipping charge for my bike was way more than I expected! I almost pooped my pants hearing the price! That bigger box costed me an arm and leg!
At this point, I didn’t really have any other options, so I went ahead with it. I was able to get everything but my two green panniers in that box though, so that was nice. They are shipping it UPS Freight (a bit cheaper than UPS ground), so who knows when I’ll receive it..
Well now it’s just me and my legs!
I’m that weird guy you see walking on busy roads to get to the airport. Walked about 4 miles carrying my two heaviest panniers which gave me a good shoulder and biceps workout. A good change from the past 90 days of straight quads and calves.
At the airport, I got another “hey, you’re that biker guy!” I guess my face and photo have gotten around up here!
Uh oh, I have more bullet points for what I will miss…
The daily blog for this ride is complete, but stay tuned, I will be creating a video of my ride with footage from my GoPro!