Saturday, August 16, 2014

Travelogue – on the bike

Saturday, August 16

A good day! I rented a bike, had it taken to the carriage roads in Acadia Park, and rode for much of the day. I did about 18 miles. That's a normal run when I'm at home something I can do in under two hours. But Acadia Park is nowhere near as flat as the area around my house. In the perhaps nine years since I took up the bicycle as my primary form of exercise I've used first gear twice, maybe a bit more. My bike has 21 gear settings, 7 for the back wheel 3 for the front. I rarely change gears for the front, so first gear for me isn't the easiest gear, just the easiest on the back wheel.

But I used first gear a lot today. Some of those uphill grades were long (the downhill ones too) and even in first gear I usually stopped once or twice to catch my breath. I could have kept riding until 5:00, but quit at 4:00 – I was quite worn out.

The carriage roads were built in the 1920s & '30s. They are separate from the roads from cars. They're not paved, though the gravel is pretty well worn in so not treacherous for bikes. The nominal gravel surface meant when I went downhill I didn't want to go too fast, which drained off energy to get up the next hill. Their original purpose was for horse-drawn carriage rides through the park. Those are still done (I saw one carriage today) though it means I had to guide my bike around road apples.

It was a lot easier to stop at the Jordan Pond House while on bicycle than it was by car yesterday. Before I left Bar Harbor I stopped at a grocery store deli counter for lunch supplies. I didn't have to wait in line for the House's restaurant. I did take advantage of the rest area, the water fountain, and a seat and table in the observation deck.

The weather was ideal for a long ride. The morning was sunny, though the afternoon was cloudy. The high was about 65F. The area with the carriage roads has a few lakes and is well forested, but the scenery isn't all that dramatic. So I didn't take many photos. Here's one:

There wasn't time to post Thursday evening. I had time to write yesterday, but was too tired to stay up to scan through all the photos (128 in 3 days). That's why you get three travel posts today.

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