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
Since I was staying in the hotel, I woke up early so I could double up on breakfast. Stuffed my face the first round at 7am and then got seconds around 9:30. I’m all about that free food life! Taking advantage of it while I can!
It was calling for rain later on today so I knew it was going to be a shorter day, and I had some time to play with as I needed to be to Boston by Wednesday. Also wanted to let my bum rest! And by rest I mean only riding 38 miles.
First part of my day was riding through tthe city of New Bedford, nicknamed The Whaling City and the smell around town matched the name! A little fishy! The small but lively city had brick lain streets and lots of seafood restaurants. Which makes sense looking at the harbor filled with big fishing boats.
Unfortunately, I did not stop and try any of the seafood.
My plan the past couple days was to go through Cape Cod and then take a ferry from Provincetown to Boston. The East Coast Greenway had two options taking you to Boston as you can see below, so I was planning the Cape Cod route. I would have had to go north from Providence, RI to take the other route.
Farther down the route, my bum was feeling good, the weather was cooling down and I got to enjoy a nice bike path along the Cape Cod Canal. It was here where I hit my 3k mile mark!
At the start of this trip, I assumed and projected that I would ride about 3,000 miles and go to 100 breweries. Well, I am not even to Boston yet, and am now over 3k miles and have been to 99 breweries thus far!
This Canal path led me across the Sagamore Bridge and into Sandwich MA where I found a State Forest with reasonable camping prices compared to other campsites in Cape Cod.
As soon as I touched down on my site, it began sprinkling so I rushed to put up my tent and threw everything inside. Just as I was putting the last of my stuff inside, it started dumping!
I left the tent with my pannier full of my clothes and ran into the covered proper bathroom about 50 yards away (not the ones in the trees). Used the time to take a shower in a pretty disgusting looking shower and freshen up.
The rain didn’t stay long and I was able to get out and make some food and get organized.
As I was eating, I was searching on my phone where I wanted to go tomorrow, as well as the ferry times and costs over to Boston. I figured out that the ferry was going to put me back $70! So at that sight, and knowing it was going to be expensive even camping farther up the Cape, I decided tomorrow I would turn around.
Luckily, I decided to put the stakes in the ground, mainly for the rain cover as I knew it was going to rain more tonight.
Boy did it rain more! In fact, there was an intense thunderstorm with a crazy amount of lightning and some real loud booms I could feel. I didn’t even need to get out my flashlight as the lightning was constant and bright. I was pretty wide awake at this point around 11pm making sure the water was staying out and everything was staying dry.
It rained so hard for a couple hours that not only was water starting to seep in through the roof and up through the ground, but it felt like I now had a water bed! I could slap the ground inside my tent and it would cause a ripple. I would say there was a couple inches of water beneath me now.
Water was dripping from overhead, the bottom of my tent was now wet, and it didn’t sound like the rain was going to let up, let alone the huge gusts of wind that accompanied all of it. This is when I was super glad I put in all those stakes!
Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous as this thunderstorm went on. I am definitely used to thunderstorms from both living in Colorado and Florida, but sitting out in a small tent with all my stuff and nowhere to go if it doesn’t hold up was a bit frightening.
On top of that, my phone was screaming telling me there was severe thunderstorms, flash floods warnings, and tornado warnings!
Whew! Made it through the night without getting swept away, and without getting too wet. Thankfully my sleeping pad provided a barrier between me and my now wet bottom of the tent.
The weather was calling for rain all day with the lightest rain supposedly around 6-7am. So I got up early, but it was still raining out. I didn’t really think I had a choice to try and wait it out, so I packed as much as I could while in the tent. Once I opened her up, I rushed to tear down the tent and put together my bike.
As I rolled up my soaking wet tent, I had to pry a bunch of slugs off of it. It’s not too fun trying to roll up a dirty, wet tent and shove it all into a small black bag, and knowing there will be a time soon you will have to open that back up.
Let’s just say I got soaked before I even put my bum on my saddle.
I rode away from the State Forest in the pouring rain, out of the Cap Cod area, over the Sagamore Bridge and into a Dunkin donuts. Got myself a coffee and a bagel sandwich and sat inside there dripping wet and starting to shiver.
Decided tonight would be a good night to get a hotel room! Got out my mobile device, searched around and found a great deal on a hotel in Middleborough, MA. It was going to cost me $50 with complimentary breakfast! Sold! Now the only issue was riding the additional 30 miles to get there..
There was a small Gap in the rain and I took advantage of it. I could have followed my path yesterday and it would have been a shorter ride for me, but I am stubborn and wanted to at least maybe see some place I haven’t before. So my route took me up the coast to Plymouth and then West to Middleborough.
While I got a good hour of no rain, just having to ride through the side of roads where all the water accumulates, the clouds rolled in again and the rain came quickly and without notice.
Finally made it to Plymouth and first place I saw that I could stop into was another Dunkin donuts. Looks like they will be taking all my money today!
There was a good amount of people there and I got some “he’s crazy” looks as I burst through the doors into a cold, but dry dining area. Immediately went into the single bathroom and squatted beneath the hand dryer for as long as I could before it being weird.
Ended up getting a coffee, a donut, and two breakfast sandwiches in the couple of hours I spent here as the rain poured down outside.
I had to change clothes and put on my long sleeve shirt as I was freezing! First time this trip I’ve actually been cold.
The rain let up around 2 and I threw back on my wet clothes and biked the rest of the hour and 20 minutes to the hotel. There were spurts of light rain along the way, but nothing like earlier. Thank God!
After I checked into my room, I turned on the TV and it was the news. They were talking about the weather that I just experienced.
I was definitely being watched over today! Around noon there were two tornadoes that touched down and caused a lot of damage in Cape Cod, exactly where I was planning on riding – near Yarmouth.
I would have tried to ride right into the worst of the storm today had I not looked up the prices of the ferry and decided to go a different route!
It is very rare (as you can see from the picture below) for a tornado to touch down in the Cape, and here I was about to ride my bike right into it.
Learned also that last night just 10 miles down the road, there was a bunch of damage and flooding from the wind and rain. The same storm that I was sitting in my tiny little tent in! So glad I stopped at that State Forest and didn’t ride another 10 miles to a different campsite.
I felt so thankful after seeing all of this, and to be sitting in a hotel room.
It was time to try and dry everything out so I took apart my bike and laid everything out.
Climbed into that comfy bed and slept much better than the night before.
The storm has left, and today I get to enjoy some absolutely beautiful weather! Like if I could choose a day this trip where the weather was almost perfect it would be today.
I pulled the “get breakfast twice” move again. Once at 6:30 and the second at 9. After I loaded all my [mostly] dry stuff onto my bike again I hit the rode.
It started out at like 68 degrees and felt so nice out throughout the day.
At this point I also have gotten rid of my saddle sore, so I am back to being a well oiled biking machine! My bike needed some lubrication and adjustments after all the rain and grime that stuck to it yesterday, but after that, my bike and I felt great!
Today, I was looking forward to visiting brewery number 100! My route was set to a brewery that a few people have said I need to visit – Trillium Brewing Co. They have two locations, but I visited the one in Canton, MA.
I’m not sure what I was picturing visiting my 100th brewery. Like confetti everywhere, tons of people cheering, keg stands, pouring a beer over my head, swimming in the beer tanks, high giving everyone, some chocolate cake, you know something like that.
It was nothing like that. Actually, did not feel too special at all. I told the bartender (which they only had a walk up and order bar, no seating at the bar) and he said , “wow, that’s awesome! Well what beer would you like?” “Cool that’ll be $8”
And so I walked to a table and sat in the corner by myself. The place was not busy at all.
I learned that this place is my cousin Marshalls favorite brewery and he told me to get their pale ale. Wouldn’t have gotten that if he hadn’t recommended it, but it was actually really tasty!
A girl on Instagram had seen me riding today and commented on my picture about visiting this brewery and another one nearby called Castle Island Brewing Co. She tagged Castle Island in the comment, and they responded almost instantly inviting me over.
I was like, “alright this is where I’ll have my party at!” They are active on Instagram, started following me, invited me over, this is gonna be great!
Let them know I was on my way, rode the 40 minutes over there… and… crickets.
Got the same response from this bartender as the last one, and whoever does their social media either was not present there or didn’t care to come out from behind the internet.
Sure the beer was good and all, but I was striking out on good vibes, and good conversations. All breweries should have good beer if they are still an active business, but what sets the good breweries apart are those places that give you a good experience being there. I was not getting any of that.
In fact the next two places were the exact same. Went to Samuel Adams Brewing Co to see the big name brewery and then to Backlash Brewing Co.
At Backlash, I was literally the only person there. Not even a bartender could be found for a good 5-10 minutes. I almost went behind the bar and started serving myself. I would have tipped myself great!
So after my uneventful visits to the four breweries, I grabbed some dinner and rode over to East Boston to a Warmshower hosts apartment. I, however, was not going to be sleeping there. Instead, I was dropping my bike off.
My Papa passed about 2 weeks ago and I was going to fly out to Colorado for the funeral. No one knew I was coming except my parents so I got to surprise my Nana and the rest of my extended family, and celebrate the life of an amazing man, papa, father, husband, and friend.
My flight didn’t leave until 5:45am the next day, but the warmshowers host didn’t have room for me to sleep there. I was not about to buy a hotel room for a few hours so I decided I would sleep at the airport for free. So I took my time and walked the hour to the airport passing up all the free airport parking shuttles.
On my way I stopped into a hotel to use their restroom and grab some water and as I left I saw this sign and had to laugh.
Found a small dark nook at the airport and tried my best to get a few hours of sleep there until it was time to board in about 6 hours.
The timing of this worked perfectly as I am meeting my wife in Portland Maine on Wednesday the 31st, so I was ahead of schedule anyways. Glad I was able to make it out to the funeral, and see all my family!
I could not make up my mind where I wanted to ride to today. I could go back south and get back on the East Coast Greenway, just go straight across from where I am and either stay in Connecticut one more night or go straight to Rhode Island.
Many people were also telling me that I need to check out Tree House Brewing in southern Massachusetts, but I thought it was too out of the way.
Or was it?
Past couple days I rode through the suburbs and cities, and today I was able to add in the rural parts of Connecticut as well. Feel like I got to experience and see a good amount of Connecticut!
I rode about 20 miles and then said what the heck, I’m riding 20ish miles north of the East Coast Greenway route anyways, let’s go to that brewery!
That’s what this ride is all about – exploring the East Coast, meeting lots of people, and trying good beer. Lots of people recommended this brewery to me, so it must be good beer!
The route Google maps took me on was beautiful – passing by farms, and lakes, and forests, it kept my eyes busy.
Rode through a nice little town called Sturbridge and then had to pedal on a busy rodeway with speeding cars and no shoulder. Had to do this for a couple miles to get to the brewery, but I could almost taste the cold beer hitting my mouth at this point! I could see the finish line getting closer on my phone!
I’ve arrived! I snapped myself a good picture of their sign then rode up the long driveway only to find out…
This whole route up to the brewery was for nothing. I call this my “Fail Friday”.
They had a super long line of people waiting out in the blistering heat. They also weren’t even pouring beers! Only cans to go were being sold and all those people were waiting hours for a few six packs.
I was quite upset. Then I had to laugh to myself as just last night I posted on my Instagram about rejoicing no matter what and to always be thankful and look on the positive side of any situation.
Okay God, I see what you did there.
Just so happens that today I am getting saddle sores for the first time this trip also! There is like a sore circle around my butt. I’ll spare your eyes and not show you a picture of my white ass. Instead I’ll do my best describing it to you.
Just kidding, I won’t! It’s not pretty though. Well, I guess it probably wasn’t that pretty beforehand either..
While I was bummed out (pun intended) about the brewery, I was able to get a solid ride in, see some beautiful sites, and snap a lot of pictures including the welcome signs to both Massachusetts and Connecticut. I also ended up going to a campsite I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
At this campsite, I met some pretty awesome people!
Their normal, no hook-up tent sites are normally $15 a night. Unfortunately, I had to pay $30 for the last site available which was an RV site with electric and water hook-ups.
After settling in, doing my laundry, and starting to cook some mac and cheese, the camping host rolled up on his golf cart.
He said there was another family that wanted to switch me sites. They had a tent site with no hook-ups, but also had a 13ft camper and two young kids so they wanted AC. He said they were willing to pay me $20 to switch!
I said absolutely!
I would have switched without the money, but they came at me with the money in the request!
The camp host helped me move everything to the new site, then came back a little later and I got the $20 from the other family and he gave me an extra $20 from him and his wife for my trip!
So I ended up essentially staying for free and actually netting $10!
The family came up to me and thanked me. They also brought me an ice cold seltzer and some cheese and crackers. I don’t normally like seltzer, but the coldness of it made it delicious as it was still super hot out.
They were there with a couple other families and they invited me to go hangout with them. They made tons of food!
Mind you, I already ate a full box of mac n cheese mixed with a full can of chili. Then, with the other campers I ate a big bowl of vegan pasta salad, pretzels and hummus, another bowl of mac and cheese, a hot dog, and a turkey burger. I think I almost consumed the amount of calories I burned today!
2nd best thing to all the free food…free beer! The mom, Sarah, gave me her favorite beer from a local brewery near them called Be Hoppy. There was also a home brewer there that brought a growler of his own beer and gave me two cups of it. It was a larger and was super good!
Went to bed later than I would have if I hadn’t hung out with them, but I definitely went to bed fat and hoppy!
I could feel the sweat on the back of my neck and back as I laid in my tent trying to sleep. Yesterday was about 100 degrees and last night I don’t think it got lower than 80. Laying in my tent beneath the mesh upper half definitely adds a few degrees as well.
All to say, I did not sleep too well. Too hot! I felt fine and ready to bike after some breakfast and coffee, though.
My made-up route took me into Rhode Island and on some rural roads that don’t have any paint on them.
As I rode through a stop sign without stopping like the crazy person I am, I came across two other bikers. They were out for a big 69 miles loop for one of the guys 69th birthday. Ending up riding and talking with these guys for about 10 miles or more.
It was so hot out again today that my beard was sweating, my knee caps were sweating, even my helmet was sweating! It was again close to if not over 100 degrees!
We rode down some big hills and they would always coast so much faster than me, I was jealous. I’ve got too many things flapping in the wind! On the uphills, though, I would catch up again and pass the birthday boy.
At one point after we stopped to cross a busier street, I got attacked my a wild cougar! It attacked me on my left side, but I punched it in its nose, and it ran off.
Just kidding… As I was crossing, I had a hard time getting my bike to get going. At the other side I looked down and my blue shirt (that I had drying on the back of my bike) got caught up in my rear disc brake. Totally tore up the bottom left side of the shirt.
The guys hadn’t realized I stopped, but turned around eventually to check on me. Showed them what happened and they said I needed to make up a good story about it. So that was my short “good story” of my ripped shirt.
As our routes pointed us in different directions, they gave me some snacks and energy gels and then wished me well on my journey.
I hopped on the Washington Secondary Trail and made my way into Warwick both in search for a postcard and for breweries!
I found the latter!
Three breweries all on my way to downtown Providence: Proclamation Ale Co, Buttonwoods Brewery, and Long Live Beerworks. All three of these places had very odd locations, each I was uncertain if I was at the right place.
All also had beers good enough for me to want another! Proclamation was my favorite if I was with friends as it had a big open space with games to play, but the layout and style of Long Live Beerworks was cool and better for a solo dolo (unless all bar seats are taken).
At the last brewery I called the only hostel in Providence and was told there was no room available. Went back online and it said there was so Ibooked the hostel. At this point I was unsure why he said there wasn’t any room available..
My saddle sore was not getting better. The first half of the day was fine, but I could feel it the second half! By the time I got to the hostel, I was walking funny.
Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to get out of the heat! The inside of this hostel was so freaking hot! I’m not sure which was worse, the tent last night or sitting in the hostel when it’s close to 100 degrees outside with just a small little window AC unit, and a full house of people!
I took a cold shower and before I could dry off I was sweating again.
I now realized that I took the last bed in the hostel, and this last bed was bed number 5 in a small room where the guy who answered the phone slept also. So obviously he just didn’t want anyone else in his room. I don’t really blame him as it was freaking hot in there!
Woke up to some girls feet about 10 inches from my face. That’s how small the room was and how close the beds were piled in there. And of course it was still hot and I was still sweating even when I woke up.
Well, today is Sunday so that means I go out and find a local Christian Church to attend!
Had a nice ride around downtown Providence and then down E Bay Bike Path.
13ish miles away I landed at Refuge Church. I picked this one mainly for the name. I liked the sound of refuge. A safe place to come, and a place to seek shelter (from the heat!).
People were very welcoming and everyone wanted to shake my hand and talk to me. The message was good as well on finding purpose. That is something I am searching for on this trip and hope to implement in my work when I get back to Tampa.
After church I entered Massachusetts for the second time this trip, and sought out my 99th brewery! Canned Heat Craft Beer Co was in a warehouse/garage right on the water in historic Fall River. There was no AC there so I felt like I was baking in a garage. Maybe that’s where their name “Canned Heat” came from.
I had to drink fast, but their beers were both interesting in flavors and delicious. For instance they had some kind of Key Lime Pie Sour, and a Quahog Stout.
As I was leaving, my saddle sore was at the most pain! I literally rode as long as I could standing up which was slightly less painful than sitting. Once I couldn’t stand any longer I sat and prayed for my bum.
I still had 45 minutes to go..
Decided tonight to get a hotel for 3 reason:
Made sure the hotel I was getting had complimentary breakfast, checked in, and waddled past the concierge into my room. Actually, the concierge guy was super cool and gave me 3 chocolate chip cookies, an apple, and 3 cold bottles of water in addition to my room key.
Woke up to a bagel with cream cheese and a bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola! On top of that, Lori made me 3 sandwiches for the road! PB & Jelly’s and one had bananas in it! Oh the little things that get me going..
She also made a breakfast sandwich for one of her boys and Stuart (the dad) said he never gets sandwiches made for him. He also said that was okay with that cause he doesn’t like her sandwiches anyways! Haha obviously he hasn’t had the PB & J with banana sandwich cause man I loved them during my ride today! It wasn’t the nasty jiff PB either, it was the organic, stir before you scoop kinda stuff.
How I would describe my ride today: Suburb cycling.
I rode through many suburban streets, past houses small and large. Along the Long Island Sound with sailboats littering the docks and kids learning to sail in little dinghy’s.
It was a pleasant ride, but I was looking forward to a brewery as it had been a few days!
Most of the breweries I would pass by weren’t open until Wednesday or Thursday, but today I noticed two breweries in Stratford were open.
First stop: Two Roads Brewing Co.
It was a large facility and you could tell they pump out a lot of beer there! It came out what I was doing – riding Key West to Canada going brewery to brewery and the bartender was stoked and reached out to their social media marketer.
She got some pictures of my and the bike in front of the brewery and then I went back to drinking.
A little bit later, they came out with a cycling jersey with their name and logo and asked if I wanted it. It is normally like $70, but they said they would give it to me free of charge as long as they could get a picture of me in it.
I said of course!
On top of that, they hooked me up with the free beer flight that I had ordered, a tank top, and some stickers.
Then came in one of their tour guides/brewers.
He was waiting for a group and took me on a private tour of their facility.
After the tour, and before I was about to leave, he asked if I wanted to take a 12 pack of beer with me free of charge!
Luckily tonight I was staying with a family that has been following my journey on Instagram and they only live about 10 miles from the brewery. So I said sure!
It was an IPA mixer and one of the hosts, Mark, loves IPAs so it worked out great!
Before that ride though, I went to the second brewery. It was right next door, and was owned by Two Roads! Score!
I was able to get a free flight there as well. This place is their experimental brewery called Area 2 Experimental Brewing. The beers there are more sours, farmhouse ales, saisons, barrel aged beers, ect.
Not just because I got everything free, but I really liked the beers at both places.
Biked my 10ish miles to Nancy and Mark’s place and was glad to unload that extra weight on the back!
They made burgers and potatoes, and went out for icecream afterwards!
Super cool that someone who found me on Instagram opened up their home, fed me, gave me a bed, and made great company.
Woke up to some overnight oatmeal filled with blueberries and other goodies.
Speaking of goodies, Nancy also made me a goody bag full of protein bars, snacks, chili, soup, and an avocado!
She wrote down all the cool places along my route today that may be worth stopping and checking out, including where I can get a Connecticut postcard for my wife.
They were spot on where to get that – at the Yale bookstore.
My route took me through downtown New Haven which is right where Yale University is. There are some beautiful buildings! I didn’t get a picture of their library because of too much construction around it, but it is covered with huge slabs of marble that let in cool looking rays of sunlight.
Right down the street was Louis Lunch, a burger place that opened in 1895 and still cook their burgers vertically through some old looking cookers!
I didn’t think I would get to try them, but I only had to wait a few minutes for them to open, and it was worth it! Some tasty burgers. Just white bread, medium rare burger, onions, and tomatoes. Don’t ask for ketchup!
Back to biking, my destination today was New Britain as I found another warmshowers couple that were willing to take me in for the night on a last second request.
From New Haven, there is a great bike route that pretty much goes all the way through Connecticut and into Massachusetts. This made the ride much easier and relaxing!
There was a lot of rain in the forecast later today and tomorrow. After riding about 52 miles arrived at their place literally 2 minutes before it started dumping!
Thank you Lord! What perfect timing!
After I showered, Jimi and Molly surprised me and said they were going to take me to a brewery!
They took me to New Park Brewing and bought me a couple beers and we shared a couple food truck apps.
Jimi has biked from San Francisco south to San Diego and then across the whole south of the US ending in Orlando! It was cool hearing his stories and seeing a large map of the US with pins of all of the places he stayed.
When we got back home, Molly served us some beef stroganoff and little did she know, that was one of my favorite dishes growing up!
It was an early morning, but it hadn’t started raining yet, so it was a great time to get going.
Since the weather was calling for rain and thunderstorms all day, Jimi called his dad and got permission for me to stay the night at their place tonight!
This meant it was going to be a short riding day with plenty of time to explore Hartford and try good some breweries!
After a long morning at Rebel Dog coffee shop, I set out for a couple things that the internet told me I should see.
I saw the Mark Twain house, the capital, the science museum, and the Riverwalk.
The capital was actually really nice looking!
Next up was trying some brewski’s! However, I was kinda stuck on the Riverwalk.. There was a bridge that went across the interstate but the elevator wasn’t working on it. I ended up carrying my 80+ pound bike up about 6 flights of stairs pictures below:
Right downtown was a brewpub called City Steam. I asked the bartender if they did flights and he convinced me to just try a bunch of samples for free and then buy a pint.
So I did just that! He also hooked me up with the pint which was a real nice hazy IPA.
Earlier in the day I got a voicemail from the other guy I met back in Virginia. He is doing Key West to Canada but on a slightly different route and he said he is almost to Maine!
Way ahead of me! Still, he has done about 700 less miles than me though..
Next stop was Thomas Hooker Brewery. They were impressed with my venture and got me to take a picture in the brewing area with some of the brewers.
I was also given a free flight giftcard from another customer after I finished my flight so I was able to try all of their beers. I can’t say I liked them all, but there were a couple that I would have again like their Tropical Storm IPA made with coconut.
After filling up on beer I made my way to Windsor Locks – home of the 2nd largest NE airport and the 1965 little league world series champs.
I was staying with Jimi’s parents and his dad, Jim, made us some big hunkin steaks, mashed taters and asparagus. I ate it all! He got two meals out of it – packed the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.
Jim then took me to a brewery as well! We went to the nearest one to his place called Problem Solved Brewing.
After drinking there (both for the first time) we decided their name should be more like “working on solving the problem brewing” or “Problem Not Solved Yet Brewing”.
We chatted and talked to a few of his buddies that happened to be there as well.
I am super grateful for all the kind acts people have been showing me lately. Like taking me to breweries, making me real good food, giving me a place to stay on last minute notice, giving me money for food later on, giving me food to go, etc.