Miles: 73.1 Today / 2633.14 Total
Elevation Gain: 2375 ft. Today / 76,472 ft. Total
Well that hotel night was a mixed bag. I loved the view of the inlet and ocean, and my room was excellente, but it as cold, last night, and neither of the heaters in my room worked. I still slept like a baby, but it was an annoyance. I was able to wash my kit (cycling clothes), which was a plus.
One other problem arose when I went to add some air to my tires. When I went to unscrew the plastic cap you screw on the valve, the valve core of the rear tire unscrewed with it, letting all the air out of the tire in about 5 seconds. This has never happened to me before in my entire life! Why now?
I panicked. What if that blasted tire loses its seal again? What if I can’t re inflate it with my itty bitty bike pump? Well I lucked out, and it didn’t lose it’s seal. I probably had to give the tire 1000 pumps of air, with my tiny little Topeak Road Morph Mini pump to air the tire up, but thankfully, I did get it aired back up. And I was happy that athis happened last night, instead of in the morning, so I had time to deal with it.
Starting 6.5 miles up the route from the rest of the team, I got out the door early, so when I ran into a hardware store at about mile 2, I stopped to solve my rack hardware problem. I rolled my bike into that section of the store where they have trays of all types and sizes of nuts, bolts, washers, etc. and asked James, the guy working that area, if he would help me solve the problems with bolting my racks on. He gave that a yes, but I’m not sure he understood how much help he was going to have to give me.
We removed the rear wheel, so he could see where it looked like I was missing a nut to screw the bolt that holds the rack into, and he was mechanical enough to see that the bike part that my rear brakes are attached to has a hole I should have been bolting into, but it was pivoted a bit and out of alignment. We broke out my Allen wrenches and busted a gut trying to free up that part to move it back in place. After a lot of grunting and groaning, we were able to loosen loosen the bolt and get it into proper alignment, then with Jame’s help, I was able to get the bolt to screw in and hold the rack in place. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but I was looking at having to ship my rack and rear panniers home if I couldn’t solve this problem, and finding and transporting a big box to pack a bunch of stuff in is easier when you are driving a car than it is when you’re riding a bike. This was a major problem averted, trust me.
I forgot to mention that when we rotated the part that the brake mechanism is mounted to, it tightened up the brake cable, so now we couldn’t get the wheel back on, due to the brake pads being adjusted inward where the brake rotor needed to be. James was clueless on disc brakes, so this was my problem to solve. I’ve watched mechanics adjust my brakes, but they are complicated creatures, so I try not to deal with them, but today I had to give them my best shot. After a little fiddling with the two adjusters on the inside and outside of the disc and the barrel adjuster, I somehow lucked out and backed off the brake pads enough to get the tire on and then into position to allow it to spin freely, while also stopping the bike. Trust me, succeeding at that was a complete miracle.
An hour had passed, dealing with the bolt and brake problem, so now I was behind the team and had to pedal like a son of a gun to catch up, which I did by the first rest stop.
Within a mile of the hardware store, the route took a turn and had me riding along the ocean again, with very few cars and people and spectacular views. And that continued for most of the day. If the view wasn’t the ocean, beach or tide pools, it was picturesque farms, homes and forests.
Back on the route, I passed miles of farms and historic Colonial homes, rode through several small towns, including Kennebunkport, before jumping on a gravel rail trail for a few easy miles of scenic farmland and forests.
This was a 70+ mile day, but when I saw signs for lighthouses, which Maine is known for, I decided to go the extra miles to see them, and it was worth the effort! From Port Williams Park, I could see 2 lighthouses.
Portland was one of my favorite cities thus far. My sister and I had a stop there, a few years ago, when we took a Fall colors cruise of New England, but it seemed a lot different on this visit. I loved the vibe of the downtown area, the public art, and how active people are there. In the downtown area, I rode on the paved Eastern Promenade Trail for a couple of miles and passed people of all ages and backgrounds out walking, running, cycling, and just hanging out with their dogs, family and coworkers. I love that kind of culture.
In Yarmouth, we were hosted by the local Universal Church, where a couple, Marge and Pete, who are a little older than me, served up a delicious meal and desserts that were mostly catered. What a feast that was!
Before they left, he helped me find a private room to sleep in, and I was hopeful the privacy would give me some space to work on my blog, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to accomplish anything. It’s a daily problem, at this point!