This exceptionally fine day on the bike was a reminder that, even if you have lived long in Maine and traveled it widely, there are still many places to discover and beautiful roads you have never ridden. For example, despite having grown up less than 25 miles away, and later living in the Portland area, I had never been to Paris Hill with its impressive home of Hannibal Hamlin, magnificent vistas of the White Mountains and Old Jail with its very interesting historical collection and very interested volunteers. Nor had a I ever heard of the Weary Club of Norway Maine (established in part some say as a place for its largely male membership, weary of the demands of home, to whittle away both wood and time.). A visit to the Club’s historic building in downtown Norway was worth a short diversion before the start of the days ride.
The trip over Paris Hill and the highest elevation of the day on Mt. Mica Road (lots of riders snapping photos) was followed by a delightful glide of many miles into the small Town of Buckfield, with great views of surrounding farmlands, hills and more distant White Mountains much of the way down. While I had been to summer theater performances at the Theater at Monmouth’s magnificent Cumston Hall a guided tour of the place provided lots of history with which I was not familiar.
The balance of the ride, including the extension on quiet roads in the lake region of Winthrop, was a relaxing prelude to the peaceful BikeMaine village at the Y Camp on the shore of Lake Cobbossocontee.
Jeff White, pictured left riding during the inaugural BikeMaine ’13, has ridden in both BikeMaine events. He had so much fun in 2013, he joined the BikeMaine Ride Committee to assist with the planning of the 2014 route. Jeff again has been hard at work with other members of the route committee to develop the 2015 route. He is one of many riders who will ride BikeMaine for the third time in 2015!