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Route suggestions: Bangor Maine to Pittsfield Mass.

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Route suggestions: Bangor Maine to Pittsfield Mass.

Old 03-24-15, 06:49 PM
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Route suggestions: Bangor Maine to Pittsfield Mass.

Planning a ride for this coming summer: from Bangor (where I can get to by bus with my bike), through Liberty Maine and Lake St George State Park (long story, involving "Cards Against Humanity"), to Pittsfield (where some friends will be having a party). Judging from "Ride with GPS", things stay pretty flat in coastal Maine, but things start getting hilly in Manchester NH.

A first approximation of the route suggests: Bangor ME, Belfast, Liberty, Freeport, Portland, Dover NH, Manchester, Keene, Greenfield MA, with a final climb along routes 9 and 20 into Pittsfield.

Do folks have other suggestions? Better routes? Things I should make time for along the way?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-25-15, 04:30 AM
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I like Rte 25 to get to NH from the Portland area. Don't use 52 to get to Camden, it's a nightmare. I won't ride Rte 1 from Lincolnville to Camden. Narrow, blind corners. I turn inland, it's longer but a lot safer. I've done several trips up and down the coast, and always schedule a day off in Camden. There's a decent cheap motel, and from there you can walk the town in a matter of minutes. If you want to do that I can give you the specifics. Kappy's Chowder House is reasonable, and the menu usually strays a bit from the beaten path. Most of the time we took Rte 90 out of Camden, most people do. It's quicker, but that also makes that part of Rte 1 a little quieter and nicer. Stop at Roundtop ice cream on 1A in Damariscotta. There is a bike path from Bath to Brunswick. It's a pain to find, but worth it. There's a great sandwich place at the Tontine Mall in Brunswick, it's in the middle of town, can't miss it. I am going to offer an oddball suggestion here. You can ride down to Bailey Island and take the ferry to Portland from there. We've done that both ways. There is also a funky place on the island that is cheap and straight out of the 1950s. Nice time warp, and you can sit on the porch and watch the sun go down. There is a breakfast place on the island, it won't look open, but it is. One option out of Brunswick is Pleasant Road. It is what it says it is. Out of Yarmouth you can do 1 or 88. 88 hugs the coast and is nice. Rte 1 between Yarmouth and Falmouth is nice for cycling. It's fast and smooth, if lacking in the scenic department. The Portland area has a couple hundred places to eat, more prob. You want Eritrean, we got it. My go to place is J's Oyster Bar in the Old Port. As I suggested, I always take 25 to get to New Hampster. Once I cross the border, I turn north. So I haven't ridden 28.
I haven't ridden southern NH much, so that's all I got.

We have the big Delorme Maine Atlas, and copied the maps we were going over. Occasionally that came in handy.

Last edited by late; 03-25-15 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 03-27-15, 09:37 AM
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Your post seems to suggest riding Rte 3. I haven't done that, so I can't comment. But I have done some riding in the Augusta area. The road I like best is 27, which follows the east side of the river down to Wiscasset. That cuts out Belfast and Camden. If you head west out of Bangor on any road, take an extra water bottle. There are places in between, but not many.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 03-27-15, 10:57 AM
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Jeneralist, This may be of help. Bike Ride | Bike Trails | Biking Trails | Bicycling in Maine | The Bicycle Coalition of Maine .Late has some great suggestions, I will try to add a bit. The name of the ferry service in Portland is Casco Bay Ferry Lines. It is operated by the State. Very reasonable and a great way to get on the water and see the islands of Casco Bay. Even in mid summer wear a sweater. Portland has a nice walking/biking path around parts of the city. Some of it runs along the water.
I personally would not enjoy riding my bike on any of rt. 1 from Belfast south to Brunswick. Too much summer traffic going way too fast and paying too little attention. I would use an inland route on some of the quieter roads. Route 3 from Belfast to Lake st George is excellent for autos. Wide two lane in good condition with wide shoulders. Long, big hills with an uphill passing lane. Traffic is fairly steady and traveling at 55 to 60 mph. Cyclists do use it but I would consider the smaller roads just south of rt. 3. As Late stated a Delorme Maine Atlas is very helpful.
You may want to consider rt. 220 from Lake St. George south to rt 126. Head west to North Whitefield, then south on rt. 218 to Wiscasset. To avoid rt 1 between Wiscasset and Woolwich take the smaller local roads just north of rt 1. Pickup the Leeman Highway (not really a highway) in Bath and ride to Cooks Corner in Brunswick. Get on the Brunswick bike path and take to intown Brunswick. Center Street cycles is an excellent resource in the center of downtown. As Late stated Pleasant Hill road from Brunswick to Freeport. We like the Linda Bean Tavern in Freeport for great food. To avoid the busy section of rt 1 just south of Freeport I like South st and Freeport Rd. Winslow Park is operated by the town of Freeport and is off Freeport rd. It is on the ocean and offers camping.

I prefer rt 88 between Falmouth and Yarmouth as traffic is much lighter and slower (35 mph) and somewhat shady on sections.
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Old 03-27-15, 11:00 AM
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More Info: Explore Maine by Bike: Portland & Casco Bay

Explore Maine by Bike

http://www.maine.gov/mdot/bikeped/do...ok%20DRAFT.pdf
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Old 03-27-15, 12:45 PM
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For the last stretch, I think 116 is nicer than 9. (I haven't ridden 9, have ridden 116.)
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Old 03-28-15, 07:06 AM
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I can only really speak to the Maine portion of the route, but the organization I work for (Bicycle Coalition of Maine) holds several events up that way and has a good list of where to ride in the state.

I would start with our Where to Ride page here: Bike Ride | Bike Trails | Biking Trails | Bicycling in Maine | The Bicycle Coalition of Maine

It's also worth checking out our BikeMaine route archive that has some really nice daily routes already mapped out for you. The 2013 ride focusses more on the Bangor, Midcoast and Belfast areas, while 2014 will help bring you down through Bath, Freeport and through Portland and west: BikeMaine Route Archive | BikeMaine

The East Coast Greenway and US Bicycle Route 1 also run through Maine and you can check out some routes here: Explore Maine by Bike: Tour Maine's East Coast Greenway - Overview and here: https://www.greenway.org/explore-by-state/me

Hope this is helpful!
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Old 03-29-15, 07:34 PM
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Thanks, all!

TIme to get the maps on the desk and RIde with GPS on the computer and do some serious planning!
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Old 03-29-15, 08:05 PM
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I have to admit a bit of a bias - but I think some of the best cycling (though lots of climbing) in Massachusetts is a bit south of your proposed route. Between Wachusett Reservoir to Quabbin Reservoir, a stay in Amherst or North Hampton, then through Savoy Forest to Adams. From Adams, if you are in a hurry head to Pittsfield, but if you have an extra day, heading up to North Adams and spend time at MASS MOCA - it's well worth the diversion. (Or, if you *REALLY* love to climb, head up Mt. Greylock.)

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Old 04-02-15, 08:29 AM
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Get the Rubels bike maps for Ma. They might be hard to find as some i believe are out of print.
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Old 11-06-18, 07:11 AM
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You might also check out the Maine Bicycle Coalition.
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Old 11-07-18, 03:57 AM
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Route suggestions: Bangor Maine to Pittsfield Mass.
Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
(OP, posted 3/24/15) Planning a ride for this coming summer: from Bangor (where I can get to by bus with my bike), through Liberty Maine and Lake St George State Park (long story, involving "Cards Against Humanity"), to Pittsfield (where some friends will be having a party)…

Do folks have other suggestions? Better routes? Things I should make time for along the way?

Thanks for the help!
Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
(preceding, most recent post, 4/2/15) Get the Rubels bike maps for Ma. They might be hard to find as some i believe are out of print.
Originally Posted by newenglandbikes View Post
(last post, 11/6/18) Youmight also check out the Maine Bicycle Coalition.
I always wonder how subscribers pick up on zombie threads seemingly out of the blue. I haven’t seen posts by @jeneralist in years, and I recognized her avatar.

And, as usual
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…BTW, over the years ( I have responded to) several of these threads with open-ended requests for travel destinations. One thing they have in common is that the OP never informs us of the final destination, much less how was the trip, even when requested to do so.
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Old 11-07-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Route suggestions: Bangor Maine to Pittsfield Mass. I always wonder how subscribers pick up on zombie threads seemingly out of the blue. I haven’t seen posts by @jeneralist in years, and I recognized her avatar.


Hi, Jim!

You're right, I don't do much posting these days. My knees don't have the strength they used to, so I'm using an e-bike now. I can do my commute to work, but I haven't done the 400 mile week-long trips for a few years.

And you're also wrong: I did indeed post the tale of my travels from Bangor to Pittsfield. It's at Ride report 2015: Augusta, Maine to New Lebanon, NY (I didn't put it here because I thought cross-posting the same thing to multiple forums was discouraged.)
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Old 11-07-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
Hi, Jim!

You're right, I don't do much posting these days. My knees don't have the strength they used to, so I'm using an e-bike now. I can do my commute to work, but I haven't done the 400 mile week-long trips for a few years.

And you're also wrong: I did indeed post the tale of my travels from Bangor to Pittsfield. It's at Ride report 2015: Augusta, Maine to New Lebanon, NY (I didn't put it here because I thought cross-posting the same thing to multiple forums was discouraged.)
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Get ride report! Thank you. I have so much to learn about packing light.

Have re you ever considered using google earth to check out your route prior to touring?
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Great story, and hope you enjoyed 100 bowls of ice cream.

Thanks for sharing!
Originally Posted by since197three View Post
Wow, that was such an entertaining read. A bit of a noob here and I never knew how people rode long tours like that.

Time to get off my butt and ride! Very inspirational
.
Hi @jeneralist,


Thanks for that gracious reply. Indeed your ride report thread was worthy of “crazyguyonabike,” and I look froward to reading it as soon as I get a chance.

I have previously posted, as a 6000+ subscriber since 2008:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
(from a now-closed thread)... I think I have absorbed all the good advice I can for a complete and agreeable cycling lifestyle, and recently I have clicked on many fewer threads than before…

I’m not especially motivated to read or write about rides in areas I will never visit, or bikes I would not buy. Other cyclists’ biking stories are often meaningful to me, but usually not consequential enough for a reply.

Frankly, now my main enjoyment is reading the personal clashes on the various threads, such as these current ones: "I work with a moron", or ”How often do you check your mirror?.
However, your ride is in my area of interest.BTW, in 2015 I replied to another thread of yours, “Changed my world: Two riders on Tobermory Ferry, 2009”:
Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
It's now about 6 years since a chance encounter with two touring cyclists who changed my life. In the summer of 2009, I was on one of my every-so-often motorcycle road trips. Back then, if I had a free week in the summer I'd spend it on my motorcycle, just aimed it for where the rain wasn't. This give me a time by myself to see the sights and get some thinking done.

After a night at the Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario, I waiting for the ferry that would take me across Lake Huron from Tobermory to South Baymouth. Once the ferry docked and the bow started to open to disgorge its passengers, the air was filled with the sound of a gazillion motorcycles revving their engines, preparing impatiently for the chance to disembark.

And at the very head of the line were these two gentlemen.

I don't know who they are, or what their larger plans may have been. From the size of their panniers, and from the amount lashed to the rear rack, I'd say they were in the middle of a long-haul adventure.

They seemed so matter-of-fact about it. When I saw them, I thought, "That looks like fun. It looks like it's more fun than what I'm doing now. And it looks like something I could keep doing for decades
."

When I got back, I started riding my bike...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I clicked on this thread because I too have cycle toured on the Bruce Peninsula and taken the ferry from Tobermory to Maniitoulin Island and on to Sudbury, back around 1975.

I also had a “Eureka moment" that got me into cycling, and eventually into touring…
I still would like a reply from @newenglandbikes as to how he came upon your zombie thread

Otherwise your current thread is now complete.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-07-18 at 04:35 PM.
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