93 days in 15 minutes
Days 90-93: Lubec, ME back home to Florida
Days 87-89: Orland, ME to New Brunswick, Canada!
Days 83-86: South Portland to Orland, ME
Days 80-82: Portsmouth, NH to Portland, ME
Days 75 – 79: Rest and Boston, MA to Portsmouth, NH
Days 72-74: North Dartmouth to Boston, MA
Days 69 – 71: Windsor Locks, CT to North Dartmouth, MA
Days 66 – 68: Stamford to Windsor Locks, CT
Days 63 – 65: Princeton, NJ to Stamford, CT
You’ve all heard about my bike tour from Key West to Canada through words, now check out what it looked like from this video I have created!
This video is a compilation of all 83 days. Yes, I was gone for 93 days, but twice I had to fly to Colorado, and then I had a couple other rest days with my wife and parents, which don’t have any video of them.
It has been good being home and getting back into my “normal” life again. I will say I do miss many aspects of that trip, though.
As you will see in the video, I did it by myself, but I was never lonely. The best and most memorable part of that ride was the many amazing people I met and visited with along the way. I was shown amazing hospitality from people who have never met me before. People cooked me delicious meals, gave me a place to sleep, bought me beers, stuffed my bags with snacks, handed me money from moving cars, prayed with me, prayed for me, had long conversations with me, and the list goes on.
This was simply an unforgettable trip for myself, and I would recommend it to anyone! I am so grateful to my wife for letting me go for 93 days and for everyone else who kept me going.
Do I have dreams of other rides? Absolutely! Until then, though, I’ll settle for the shorter rides to local breweries. I am also going to spend some time revamping my website and currently in the process of expanding the beer/brewery section of my website. It will include everywhere I have been (both from this bike tour, and outside of it) and I will be reviewing them, posting fun beer facts, and letting you all know where I had the best beers at.
I have been busy since I got home being a stay at home husband. My bike is now my “grocery-getter”, I’m cooking a lot more, learning to brew my own beer, and I’ve been learning how to make this video!
With that being said, below is my East Coast Bike Tour video. Let me know what you think, hope you enjoy!
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!
Another day that I was mentally set on pushing out a bunch of miles. I was ready to get to Canada! I wasn’t going to be late on that 90 day timeline either! I’m never late!
Ever since leaving Brunswick, though, I have been trying to find a bike shop.
Yes, it has been that long and difficult finding one up here which is strange! The few I rode past were not open yesterday or today or tomorrow. I’ve had that problem with breweries, but bike shops?!
I am in search for a spare tire.
mfront tire is the original tire from day 1! That tire is looking pretty bald after a few thousand miles! Also, my back tire, (which was changed in Virginia) is cracking/splitting apart along the edges pretty bad due to the amount of weight it’s carrying.
Both of these make me a bit uneasy going into northern Maine and Canada, knowing that there are no bike shops up there in case one of them decides to blow. Also, I know there is a long off road path once I hit Ellsworth.
I got into Ellsworth, and after a few stops, good ol Walmart had a tire that would fit my wheel! This brought my stress levels down and I was now ready for wherever the path led.
Well, after getting that tire, I had the choice of either taking US 1 or that off-road Sunrise Trail.
As much as I wanted to take the Sunrise Trail, it was just too rocky and soft for my tires. Yes, it was both rocky and soft – it’s possible. Big chunks of rocks with a soft sand/gravel under. It looked like it was more meant for mountain bikes and ATVs.
I have full confidence in my bike at this point in the trip, and know that I could have ridden it, but I would have been riding a whole lot slower and the ride would have been a lot rougher.
So I opted to stick to US 1 and the nearby back country roads to keep me moving north at a solid pace.
Those roads, while not the best to seeing wildlife, brought me past some wonderful photo op places along the coast.
As much as I wanted to put my head down and pound out the miles, I always make time and feel good about stopping to appreciate great views along the way.
Some people love seeing big cities, I am all about seeing great views of nature.
As I was getting close to being done biking for the day (around 60 miles) I stopped at a gas station/subway for a bite to eat. After eating and walking over to my bike, there was a car full of old people parked next to it. Each one of them hooked up to oxygen and the lady up front looking like if she closed her eyes, she might never open them up again. Thankfully, she wasn’t the one driving..
They started up a conversation – well what ended up being a one way conversation, really. Each of them are missing all their teeth and honestly I couldn’t understand anything they were saying.
I did happen to realize they were speaking English after a while of listening when I understood my first phrase out of one of their mouth – “bunch of horses”. Then about two minutes later I caught another part – “beat the hell out of me!”. Dead serious, they talked for over 10 minutes and that’s all I understood – those two phrases.
Really only two guys were talking and I’m not sure what they were talking about or if they were even talking about the same thing. I just smiled and nodded and would throw in a “wow”, “huh”, “yeah” every so often.
Just based on those two phrases I’m curious what kind of story(s) they were telling me!
I had to excuse myself from story time, but before I did I asked which way they were driving (cause I sure didn’t want them driving behind me!).
Today was tough physically. There were so many hills (My elevation gain was 3645ft) that I wasn’t totally used to as most of the trip was flat or just periodic hills. Today was constant hills. Up and down and up and down. I went through just about all of my gears multiple times. Trying to get speed on the way down, and survive the way up.
I was happy to stop at a campground and end my day after the 60+ miles. They didn’t actually have room for me, but made room on a bed of wood chips and charged me half price. I was just satisfied to get a shower, and have a nice peaceful and safe place to eat and sleep.
These chilly nights have been fabulous! Not sure if you remember my days 1-80 or so about complaining how hot it’s been camping out. Now it’s chilly and I am sleeping great!
I still deal with my mat being pretty thin and waking up to my hand and arm completely numb, but at least I’m not sweating!
I’m about 45 miles outside of Canada this morning! All day I’ve been arguing with myself whether it is still about the journey or if it’s all about the destination now.
(Yes, I’ve gotten to the point in solo travel where I argue with myself)
I kept going back and forth on whether to take the most direct route or to zig zag a bit with the East Coast Greenway route. It ended up I did a bit of each. Some parts I would make short cuts, some parts I would take the detour.
My legs were actually tired and sore today, which didn’t happen often because they were never given time to get sore. But I pushed on as I was super excited to make it to Canada and 2 days early even. I hate being late!!
I think the hardest thing today was mental stamina. When you are so close and you can see the end in sight it’s hard to stay mentally focused. I knew my body was capable of making the 45 miles, I just needed to focus mentally. That actually has been the hardest thing throughout the trip. More mental fatigue than physical.
I finally broke off of US 1 and only had about an hour left to ride! Here is the lead up of getting to Canada in pictures:
I’ve made it to Canada! I’m smiling ear to ear and almost crying I’m so happy to have made it! 88 days in total since I left Key West! 124 breweries visited along the way. So many awesome, kind, and generous people I’ve met. Such appreciation of the beauty of our country and the people in it.
Wow, what a ride this has been!
First thing I did after entering Canada was get a Canadian beer and some poutine! I’ve got all the feels going!
Shoot, I’ve done 50 miles already, but I’m on cloud 9 so I decided I was going to explore the island. I rode to the tip of the 10 mile island out to Head Harbour Lightstation. Just so happened there was a guy there wearing a Key West t-shirt. I had to laugh seeing that while at the finish line of my Key West to Canada ride.
Made my way around the island, eating lobster rolls and drinking beer and landed back at the Herring Cove Provincial Park where my tent was waiting near the beach.
As you can see, this island is gorgeous! A perfect finish line and camping spot.
It was a rainy night last night, and more rain was being called for today. There was a dense fog covering the campground and I was very content in my tent peering out.
Took me a while to get moving, but I figured I should get packed up before the rain comes back.
Made my way over to a local cafe for some coffee before entering back into USA.
So I’m sure there are some people wondering why I chose Campobello Island as my finish line. The East Coast Greenway route that I have been primarily following ends more north in Calais Maine. Why did I not choose to end there?
For a few reasons:
In Campobello Island, it’s Atlantic time zone, so once I crossed back I gained an hour. An hour to explore before the brewery opens up.
I started my trip in the southern most point in the US and now I had the opportunity to visit the Eastern most point!
The head wind for the roughly 7 miles over there was intense! Worst head wind I’ve had. So much for a “rest day”!
Luckily, today unlike all others, I’m circling back so I will have a tail wind all the way back to the brewery!
Back at the brewery, I got to try a bunch of their small batch beers on tap. Good beers, and even better stories behind the names of each of their beers! Best beer was one they just tapped and used me as their model to tell their followers it has been released. I have no idea how to spell the name of the beer, but it is made with spruce tips to give it almost a sour beer taste.
After enough beer, I went and checked into the only motel nearby to again escape the rain. After a while, though, my tuna packets and pasta weren’t cutting it so I took on the rain and got some pizza.
My budget has gone out the window the past two days!
Tomorrow I will start my trek back to Tampa..
Not biking the whole way though! I plan to bike to Bangor and then fly out of there. As for my bike, I called a local bike shop and they are going to save me a bike box so I can pack my bike in there and ship it either via UPS or FedEx. Unfortunately, Allegiant air doesn’t allow them on the flights, but the flight was priced real good!
So, while I’ve made it to my destination, I still have a few more days of biking left!
Good night. – TravelingBrewski