September 16:  Bar Harbor to Bucksport -- 53.1 miles,  2600' climb

Excitement is at an all time high.  The ride down the coast was to begin.  Jan had presented us all with matching biking shirts -- pink, of course, with the "Biking Babes 2006 insignia written on the front.  We are certainly very much the fashion setters!  The "Pink Biking Broads" about to take on the eastern seaboard!!!!

Bags loaded into the van, tires pumped, breakfast carbs consumed, and the safety talk given by our trusted and talented guides (Nancy and Mark) -- and we are off!!!  First to the sea to dip our tires into the water, -- which also included an unexpected dip of almost everyone's feet in as a result of an surprise wave -- then up the hill and out the main drag toward the west.  

Oh no, Jan's breaks squeak so bad that everyone is going nuts with the sound.  Guess this means a stop at the local bike shop.  0.4 of a mile from the start and a break is needed already.  Can't go through life with squeaky brakes!  Turns out that the salt water on the rims was the culprit.  Clean rims and off we go again.

Rumor had it (actually Kathy had discovered the day before) that there was a great bakery and coffee shop on the way out of town.  The bikes just seemed to lead that way.  Now the odometer is reading 1.2 miles from the start!  

Lee has friends who own a B & B ( about 14 miles outside of Bar Harbor and right on our route.  The owners had invited us the day before to stop by for fresh muffins and coffee as a "carbo" load before our long day's ride.  Guess another stop is in the making.

What a Group!!

We now have been underway for three hours and have only gone 14 miles -- BUT -- we have consumed 4000 calories each, enough caffeine to wire us for hours, and have met some great people.  

Time to head down the coast.  Maine has over 6000 miles of coastline and we are going to see but a small fraction, but what we are viewing is phenomenal.  The road winds itself up and over the ridges that seem to slide down into the sea.  The sugar maples are just beginning to turn with most of them still green, but interspersed are the occasional bright red.  A couple more weeks or a good frost and the hillsides will be ablaze in color.  The smell of the balsam fir is in the air along with the campfire deep in the park.  The weather couldn't be better -- clear and warm for this time of year.

Immediately the route heads upward.  Shifting down into the lowest gear the "unseasoned" legs start the pumping action hoping that the lactic acid won't take over.  Up, up we go high into the forest thick with fir and maple surrounding on both sides of the road.  A short coast down and then up again making the first day a real test to one's love of road biking!

Ellsworth, then Surry, East Orland, Orland -- all small villages tucked into the countryside.  Some so small that a blink of the eye and one does not even realize its presence.  This part of Maine is very rugged with boulders jutting out of the earth like small monoliths.  Forest are so thick with trees and foliage that if a deer was standing 25 feet off the road it would never be seen.  The homes are nestled within all this beauty as they have been for a hundred years.  Maineacs are hardy souls, but wonderful people.  Friendly, helpful, and love their outdoors!  An elderly farmer dressed in bib overalls and cap drove up to us in a pickup as we rested on the road side to inform us that "one of us pink ladies" had just taken the wrong turn and did we want him to go back and get her?  When we asked him what she looked like his typical Maine answer:  "Why just like you women -- all in pink!!"  Now where in the world would such hospitality be so eloquent?  Off he went in flash to redirect our missing teammate!!

Lunch stop was at a Mediterranean Bistro in Surry complete with Tapas, garlic and mint ice tea.  Started the day with a heavy carb diet, so need to continue the habit!  Unfortunately the pasta was a little too heavy in garlic for those that ate it -- strong after taste!! -- And a little too strong for those around those who ate it!!!  Next rest stop -- find some breath mints and fast!!

Final push of the day and then a nice coast down into Bucksport, a small village on the water front.  Jed Prouty Inn is a hundred year old inn sitting on the hill overlooking the water.  Don't know who Jed Prouty was, but he must have been important because they built a Best Western downhill from the original inn and named it Jed Prouty too --  our home for the night along with a group of women touring Maine with WomanTours, a bike touring company that four of us went across country with in 2004 and met each other. 

Dinner across the street at the local hangout and off to bed. 

Packed Van!

Babes By The Sea


Latte Stop #1

Latte Stop #2

Latte Stop #3

"Oh So Good!" says Peg, Candi, Sue and Courtney

"What a Life!  Do We Have to Ride?"

Okay We Are Riding!

Are We Sure This is The Right Road?