June 10, 2007
Wells, ME -> Salem, NH
At last, I get to hold my new grandson Andy!
At the motel last night we had to lock the bikes up outside which meant that all the gear and panniers had to come off and come inside. So when it came to packing up in the morning it took a bit more time. Also I was working on the log until midnight. When I finished I didn’t pack anything up so that also took me some more time in the AM. As we were packing we had a few conversations with members of a bicycle club from northern CT and southern MA. We talked a bit about the trip and some of their experiences as well. It was bright and sunny in the morning and in fact all day long. This was probably the best weather day of the trip. I think it may have been the only time that Denny rode with a short sleeve cycling jersey. Winds were from the northeast so they were favorable. Temps were perfect in the mid to upper 70’s.
View of the coast from Shore Road.
In our ride from Wells we took Shore Road from Ogunquit to York. It is a very picturesque route and one that I ride often when Joan and I are vacationing in Wells. On this route a rider came by and Denny immediately recognized the jersey he was wearing. It is a Major Taylor limited edition jersey that the Seven Hills Wheelmen Cycling Club had made in honor of Major Taylor. Denny is a member of that club. The Major was a world cycling champion at the turn of the century. That is from the 19th to the 20th century. The thing that makes this a real accomplishment was that he was African American. He was probably one of, if not the first African American world class athlete and had his home in Worcester, MA while he was competing. There is a book about him, a children’s book about him with illustrations, and a biography about him. The rider whose last name I believe is Letour has read all of them and feels that while what Jackie Robinson did in baseball was an accomplishment, what Major Taylor did in the time frame that he did it was astounding. I think I am going to get my hands on a Major Taylor jersey when they make up another batch. After a chat with Letour while we were riding we said our so longs and he sped off up one of the hills while Denny and I churned up it at a much slower pace. Link to Major Taylor Association, Inc.
Another view from Shore Road.
When we reached Kittery by way of Route 103, which bypasses a very busy section of US 1, and is also a scenic route used by many bike riders, it was time for second breakfast. I asked a man on the sidewalk in front of a home if he knew of a place to get a good breakfast and he directed us to the Sunrise Café which is just of the Kittery Rotary near I-95. Sitting at a table behind me was a husband and wife and one of their two sons. The man rode across America in 1984. I could see in his eyes that he still has the allure. He has been trying to get the son who was with them to ride but the son just can’t get by the saddle soreness thing. We tried to tell him that it just a week or ten day thing but I don’t think he believed us.
Moorings in the harbor.
The ride to and thru Portsmouth, NH was a pleasant surprise for me. It was quaint and there were a lot of people on the streets as it was a beautiful Sunday morning. We had to navigate the route to Salem with a combination of the map Denny was carrying and my GPS. Denny says we missed one turn that probably cost us a mile or so but the way we went seemed pretty direct to me. We took a snack break about ten miles from our destination at JA’s Gas and Snacks, LLC. Angela one of the owners was very outgoing and we had quite an enjoyable discussion while we were there. If she had any more energy and we could tap into it as a nation that would solve any energy crisis. As we approached Salem I missed a turn that would have brought us by Canobie Lake. I know the way to Jason and Erin’s (my son and daughter in law) from there so by missing that turn I got confused and had to call when we were less than a mile away for directions.
Bridge into New Hampshire from the NH side.
Jason, Erin, and my new grandson Andy were in the front yard as Jason was doing some landscaping. Corrie was taking her nap. I have been aching to hold Andy but I was pretty sick with a chest cold when he was born and wouldn’t get within ten feet of him then. Denny told Jason that that is all I have been talking about all day and it isn’t far from the truth. That all changed after we went inside and after I had a shower. I fed him and then he fell asleep in my arms. I am still amazed at the instantaneous love that exists with a new child or grandchild. I can’t describe the comfort and pride that I felt while holding him. I usually don’t have any problems in a search for words, but on this one I am baffled.
Grampa in his glory.
Since we are about a week away from my planned return date of next Saturday I have decided to “tack on Rhode Island”. I will still have time to get home comfortably by Thursday. That way I will have ridden in all six New England states, Quebec Province and a short section of New Brunswick in this ride. So, tomorrow’s destination is Denny’s home which is south of Worcester, MA. It will be close to a hundred miles and Denny advises me that “there will be some hills.” Denny may join me to my home and then get a ride back home.
Today was a beautiful day from a weather, riding, and personal standpoint. It will be hard to top.
Cycledog (Ride the extra mile!!)