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I'm Mainely alright

Day 1: Bar Harbor Airport to Bar Harbor to Bar Harbor Campground (22.92 miles)

I had somewhat forgotten what a logistical nightmare bike touring can be, between figuring out when to go where and planning how much time I can spend doing something versus how far I'll get for the day, needless to say it was quite stressful! I drove up to Bar Harbor from Boston which was a four hour drive (Maine is quite long!). Unfortunately, I forgot my portable battery in Boston (mistake #1). Upon arriving, I turned in my rental and finally got on my bike, which wasn't too bad but the immediate density of high-speed traffic combined with a small shoulder for biking was a bit difficult at first. I biked into Bar Harbor, which was way more exhausting than I remember (I'm horribly out of shape, mistake #2), the hills were utterly draining though ironically Google Maps considers it "mostly flat" 🤣🤣🤣

It's a bit of tradition for coast-to-coast trips to dip your bike wheel in the water at the start and at the end of the trip, so I went and ceremoniously performed the "tire-in-water" ritual in the same location that I ended by last bike tour. Afterwards, I had a bite to eat (yummy lobster rolls) and continued on actually a nice separate bike path on the island perimeter where I managed to snag a campsite. I was still hungry so I went to a nearby restaurant for some delicious BBQ (everything is delicious on a bike tour...) before coming back and attempting to shower, but I forgot to bring quarters (mistake #3). Luckily I was bailed out by some other campers at the campground, so the shower was still on! I came back to the tent to wet...everything...I squished the mouthpiece of my Camelpak with something and it leaked out a portion of the water in the bladder (mistake #4). Also, I've had a lot of folks concerned about the weather, in particular how hot it would be during the summer. I'll have you know I'm sitting in my tent in a torrential thunderstorm and brr, it's quite cold...

Day 2: Bar Harbor Campground to Belfast (55.60 miles)

I woke up today at around 6 am, which is totally outside the realm of my usual waking hour. However, on tour it's easy to go to sleep when the lights are out and wake up at dawn--one of the benefits of reduced electronics use. When everything is wet in the morning after it rains, you can either lay everything out to dry in the sun or you can stuff it into your bag/hang it from your rack and simply continue on--I chose the latter because I wanted an early start (though I didn't end up leaving until around 8 am). My first stop was into the town of Ellsworth (which has terrible bike lanes, if you want to call them that) where I swung by a Walmart to try and pickup a helmet mirror and a portable battery. No luck with the former but I was able to replace the battery I left at my friend's house. (By the way, check out those gas prices Californians)

eThe rest of the day was filled with rolling hills (up and down, up and down, up and down...) and certainly felt better than yesterday but still quite weary. While the conditions were generally good in between towns, in the towns themselves, shoulders tend to be much smaller and often scattered with intermittent sewage grates (not an ideal biking path). At the end of the day, I found myself in quite a dilemma: both campgrounds I was relying on were full. None of the options were ideal: rent a room ($200+ a night), bike to Northshore campground (8 miles off route and no guarantee of availability), or bike all the way to Camden (the next town 20+ miles away). I decided to ride to Northshore but on the way I swung by the address of a house on my ACA map speaking of a host who was willing to let cyclists camp on his backyard. Luckily, I had the pleasure of meeting Alex, a senior Vietnam vet who indeed kindly let me camp in his backyard and hooked me up with a shower for free.

Food Gallery!

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TJ Kyong
TJ Kyong
Jul 24, 2021

im enjoying your adventure posts and subscribed!

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