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  1. #1
    jtm
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    The hills of Western Maine

    As a young person I limited myself by the thoughts that I didn't have a ten speed so I couldn't ride out of town. Three summers ago my son said we should ride the New Hampshire seacoast, so I picked up an old ten speed for free at the end of a local yard sale, pumped up the tires and started riding, reading, and bothering the local lbs'. For the first time since I learned to ride in Hawaii I fell off my bike a couple times and learned that that is part of learning defense. Well, we rode Route 1 north and in my lowest gear with my tongue hanging out I conquered the huge 50' hill on the way. Fortunately, my son had better training and could drag me home. Being the masochist, I rode the rest of the summer, learning cadence, gears, and drafting( big trucks are great, but fellow bikers are better) and also learned on 120 mile trip that the real limiter is how much I can eat under way. That fall I bought a used bike a couple decades younger than my first, had the bearings changed out and commuted from Kittery,Me to Amesbury,Ma. I love it! When we moved to Lovell last June, I learned that there is no such thing as a warm up before pushing the heart rate in these hills. I have gotten past walking up, and boy, do I like to go fast down. After two years of lurking ( to quote CRUM ) at the tail of the paceline I think I'm ready to join in.

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    and welcome! I love seeing fellow Maineiacs. We ride in Southern Maine, and NH in the spring. I have a book of rides somewhere, and there is a loop that starts in Exeter. Sounds like an awesome ride.
    No, I haven't even seen the roads, but I have eaten at the little riverside restaurant/bakery where we will have lunch after!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtm
    When we moved to Lovell last June, I learned that there is no such thing as a warm up before pushing the heart rate in these hills.
    Yes man, you live in a very beautiful part of the country. I did the Loon Echo Bike Trek last September and absolutly loved the area (my wife and I are sometime talking about moving there ). Meantime, I'm gearing up to next September century ride organized by the same preservation society, their organization was top notch, we had a great time.

  4. #4
    jtm
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    I don't often ride in the south now as riding Rte. 5 home gives me the worries as some of it is narrow with only the white line to ride on as a semi goes by. I've picked up on the back roads without lines that I feel much safer on. I did the Loon Echo Trek last year also and am planning on it this year. Loon Echo's web site said they are considering a change for this years century, too bad, as after training on Evan's Notch I found I liked going up but I tended to go too fast down- the wife made me promise to use the brakes after I told her about one hairy trip down. I have a clockwise loop through Bethel that is very senic.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtm
    I did the Loon Echo Trek last year also and am planning on it this year. Loon Echo's web site said they are considering a change for this years century, too bad.
    Did you do the emperial century ? I only did the 50 miles ride wich was real easy, got intimidated by the description they gave of the century as "toughest century in Maine and is recommended for the experienced cyclist" but this year I'll be ready for it .

    I did not hear of the change of route you mentioned but their site says: "century route may be reversed this year - additional information and in-depth route descriptions will be posted later this spring"...

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Jtm,
    what is the Bethel loop? I really need some new rides, and that sounds great.

  7. #7
    jtm
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    I did the Loon Echo century which is a clockwise loop out of Shawnee Peak Ski Area going up through Evan's Notch- about 1000 ft. in 2.4 miles; if the route is reversed the same climb is done over 8 miles. There are some other good climbs so I needed to pace the ride. I practiced riding a clockwise loop from home through North Fryeburg, up Rte. 113, along the north side of the Androscoggin, south on Rte35, onto Hunt's Hill Rd., then along Rte.5 , and home. The traffic is low and road visibility good. I got so I really enjoyed the four and a quarter hours in which I would go through a couple Power Bars and two liters of water. I'm starting to build miles again in the hope of being ready for the ride when the National Park Service opens the Evan's Notch in the spring.

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