TRIP 2009

Update #15 - May 23rd
South Orrington, Maine
2649 miles (4238 KM) since March 22nd
2913 miles (4661 KM) since January 01st

My trip up the East Coast is over. I turned off U.S. 1 and away from the East Coast at Bucksport, Maine. This is about 200 miles (320 KM) away from where I had tentatively planned to do so at Topsfield, Maine. From Daytona Beach, FL, I had ridden 2,225 miles (3,560 KM) in 40.25 days at 55 miles (88 KM) per day. This turning now has me about twelve days ahead of my tentative schedule.

The ride up the Maine Coast has been okay. From Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, I had stops in Wells and Portland, Maine. The ride almost came to a complete stop by an incident that could have resulted into a dangerous accident like what had happened back in 2002 when my front tire blew out while coasting down a mountain in New Hampshire. About five miles out of Newcastle the rear tire blew out with a loud bang. When I checked out the tire there was a sidewall blowout.

One section looked like it had gave out and the tube had caught in it. Luckily, I wasn't traveling that fast when it blew. If it had blown a couple of minutes earlier while I was coasting down a hill around 18 mph, I would have had a serious accident again. It was lucky that I was only traveling around 7 mph at the time. It took me about two hours getting the tire fixed. I had to glue and sew on two patches. I had to inflate the tire three times since I was concerned about the rim strip and also that the valve wasn't on the way out. I inflated the tire to 85 psi (15 psi below rating).

I got into Newcastle around 6 PM. I found two ladies at the Congregational Church but they didn't know how to contact the minister. I rode across the river into Darmascotta. I stopped at the Baptist Church. There was an AA meeting and also a ladies Bible study. I got to share for a few minutes. One of the ladies went into the kitchen and got me something to eat. Another lady contacted this Christian community in Pemaquid (The Carpenter's Boat Shop) and they had a room available. Around 8 PM, the Bible Study was over and two of the ladies gave me a ride over to the center. One of the ladies at the church had slipped me $20 and one of the ladies who took me to the center slipped me $20 more.

The Carpenter's Boat Shop was founded in 1979 by Robert Ives. Before Robert founded the center, he and his wife were ministers and served churches in New Harbor, Round Pound, and Sheepscott, Maine and on Monhegan Island, Maine between 1973 and 1979. According to the apprentice handbook, the daily life of the community is based upon the sixth century rule of St Benedict. The community doesn't have anything to do with the Catholic Church. The community is supposed to be based upon the "Benedictine tradition" which sees that the "Opus Dei" (Work of G-D) is fulfilled by balancing seven basic fundamental activities (work, prayer, study. service. worship, recreation, and hospitality). People come to the center to learn how to build wooden boats and also to build wooden furniture.

I was given the chance to give my testimony and share about my ministry after breakfast. After breakfast, one of the guys who worked on bikes that he picked up from the junkyard had a couple of tires that might fit in back. There was a 26x1.5 tire that had a good tread but the sidewall was iffy with some possible dry rot. It was a total loss since the threads split in the sidewall at around 60 psi. The other tire was from a mountain bike so it was knobby and was a 65 psi rated 26xx1.95. It fit because of the disc brakes.

I had to scramble getting into my cycling clothes and packing up the bike because a newspaper reporter was coming by to interview me. The story should be in next week's paper that comes out on Thursday.

Once the reporter left, I unpacked the bike and put back on my street clothes since I was going to do a job. I was taken over to the restoration shed and was told to work on a 17 foot pea pod sloop that was at least 35 years old. My job was to give the inside a rough sanding, vacuum the dust up, and then give the inside of the boat a coat of paint. By 5:15 PM, I had the port side of the boat painted and the brush cleaned up.

I had stayed at the Congregational Church in Camden, Maine and tonight I'm staying with a fellow CS (CouchSurfing) member in South Orringtom, Maine north of Bucksport. When I turned Northward on ME 15 away from the East Coast at Bucksport, I felt that my trip up the East Coast was complete and I didn't need to follow the East Coast up to Topsfield, Maine. I've been that way before and I didn't think that I needed to repeat my ride through that section of the Maine Coast.

I am taking tomorrow off (because of possible rain storms). From where I am staying now, I've got about a 10 mile (16 KM) ride to Bangor where I will be turning west to Eastern Colorado on U.S. 2.

The next update should be between May 30 and June 07.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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