Next Saturday afternoon we’ll be on a bus from Portland to Calais (pronounced cal-iss) and the start of our 337-mile ride along the East Coast Greenway. Calais seems to be not quite the most eastern point in the U.S. But it does have a border crossing — passport and Canadian dollars are packed. Dinner? Ice cream? Definitely a passport stamp!
We’ve gotten the cue sheets and here’s how it’s shaping up:
Sunday: Calais to Machias. We’re taking the road option — the Down East Trail looks rocky and we’d rather have our road bikes for the hills that come later. 46 miles.
Monday: Machias to Ellsworth. Once again, road over that rocky trail. Thankfully we have the option. This is our long day — 68 miles. I think we stopped in Ellsworth on our first trip to Maine 11 years ago (destination Acadia National Park) — there’s an L.L. Bean outlet in town. Looks like our hotel is a parking lot away.
Tuesday: Ellsworth to Bangor. This is apparently where the hills start. At least it’s just a 42-mile day.
Wednesday: Bangor to Unity. More hills? But just 38 miles. We’re spending the night in a college dorm. We did the same thing at the start of the charity ride I did for Anchor House three years ago (then it was Burlington, Vermont) — here’s the blog about that year.
Thursday: Unity to Augusta. A 43-mile day, and our hotel at the end has the word “spa” in it. Better pack a swimsuit.
Friday: Augusta to Lewiston/Auburn. The day includes an event with the Maine Department of Transportation just 2 miles from the start, at a trailhead for the Kennebec River Trail. It’s always great to meet local and state officials and help make the case for the East Coast Greenway. And to say thanks too, of course. It looks like we’ll ride most, if not all, of this 6.5-mile trail. I wonder if there are plans to extend it? We end the 44.5-mile day with a much shorter Riverside Greenway.
Saturday: Lewiston/Auburn to Portland. We’re ending the ride with another long day — 56.6 miles, with the option of another 3.5 miles for a victory lap with Maine Adaptive Sports. If people with physical disabilities are coming to ride with us, heck yes we can do another 3.5 miles!