2015-05-28 - ME - Day 1 - Bar Harbor to Belfast
The epic ride begins on Thursday, May 28! After a morning rush to get everything packed up and ready, I met the other riders near the Bar Harbor Shore Path by the beach. It was time for the ceremonial rear wheel dip in the Atlantic Ocean! We will someday dip the front wheel in the Pacific Ocean, to complete the ritual. Can you spot that one guy without his helmet on and staring at the camera? That's me.
The group quickly spread out far apart as the cycling begun. We made our way out of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island, passing by the Hancock County Bar Harbor Airport, the closest airport and car rental location to Bar Harbor. Our first rest stop was in Ellsworth. I got a pastry and some yogurt from the Flexit Cafe across the street.
After refilling my water bottles and putting on sunscreen, I was off and rode to the next rest stop at a Shell gas station on my own.
I had a nice rest and chat at the rest stop. Among other things, I found out that Olivia plans to teach English in Thailand for nine months after this ride, Don was once on Judge Judy, and perhaps most importantly, there would be showers at the campsite for tonight. I left the rest stop and quickly caught up to Brian, Alex, and Reed, who were riding together. I rode with them until the end. We crossed the Penobscot Narrows Bridge out of Verona Island and stopped to take photos of a collapsing house and check out a cool flea market.
From there it was a quick nine mile ride to Belfast. I spotted the Bike The US For MS sign and pointed it out to the others. We turned down to cross a beautiful footbridge and followed the bike path to the county park. It was only sixty-five miles total, not sixty-eight as we had been told.
We camped in Heritage Park by Belfast Bay. The rain that night got a few people's tents wet and the condensation in the morning caused lots of dripping in my tent in the morning. The female bathroom was locked so we all took turns using the male bathroom and showers. That night felt like I was back in college with so many people in college and grad school. I also met Tina who has MS and her dog Arbo, who thanked us for doing this. It was a great first day, and I'm looking forward to more. For such a long expedition, you can really think about one day at a time. Tomorrow was supposed to be a fifty-nine mile ride to Newcastle, Maine but ended up being a 50 mile ride to Damariscotta, Maine.