The weather reports warned of thunder showers so I took my light rain jacket with me. However, because it wasn’t raining I stuffed it into a jersey pocket.
The temperature was great, high 60’s, though still very humid. The roads also continued to be everything one could hope for. While I have ridden on smoother surfaces, these were fine and almost all had wide, relatively clean shoulders. And, as always on this trip, the scenery was beautiful.
I started off optimistic because yesterday went pretty well and today was only 51 miles. I felt better at the start than I had the past few days and that remained pretty much during the ride.
Maybe 20 miles into the ride it started to rain just enough that I stopped to put on my rain jacket. I was a little reluctant because with the humidity I really didn’t want to add clothes. But it was raining enough that I thought it would help.
Since it wasn’t cold, and because the shoulder was pretty wide, the rain was no big deal. Until it was. The skies pretty much opened up and it was coming down so hard that I stopped to put my phone and Garmin in plastic bags in my jersey pocket because as far as I know, neither is guaranteed as water proof. My phone still communicated with my ear piece – I use it for directions – so that wasn’t a problem but I did miss not having the data visible from the Garmin. I especially like to keep track of my speed, the grade and the distance I have gone. I don’t know how much it mattered, though, because I am not sure I could have read the screen anyway between the water that would have been on the screen, the water that did cover my glasses – yes, window wipers are very useful – and the density of the falling rain. My vision generally was impaired so I made an effort to slow down, especially on the descents, so I wouldn’t hit something I hadn’t seen
After some number of miles – I don’t know how many because the Garmin was in my pocket – I turned into the first small market I had seen for a number of mules. I knew I was wet when I walked in but was surprised when I moved one of my arms and water poured out of my sleeve. So I wouldn’t make too big of a puddle in the store, I stepped outside and loosened the cuff on my other sleeve to let another stream of water out. I had been so wet that I didn’t know how wet I was. When I walked back into the store, I was greeted with, “You should dry off after you take a shower,” to which I responded that I don’t get that wet when I do shower.
I got a soft drink and a slice of pizza since I hadn’t really had breakfast because of the motel we had stayed in. I pulled my credit card out when I saw a sign saying there was a $5 minimum to use a card because I prefer to use my card rather than getting change from using cash. To say the least, I was surprised when the bill was less than $3.00 (and it had been a large pizza slice). I wish the cost of our other meals had surprised me the same way.
After eating and cleaning my glasses – yes, a futile act – I figured I mught as well get started on the last 20 or so miles. While it was still raining, the intensity had diminished significantly and finally got to be light enough that I stopped to remount the Garmin.
Ale caught me about 10 miles from the finish and I took the opportunity to down a half bottle of Pelligrino and exchange the rain jacket for a wind breaker since it had stopped raining. Not that the rain jacket had lived up to its name when it was raining.
The last 10 miles were fun and there were even a few times when I would push part way up an incline, a marked contrast from my typical slow spin in a low gear. I hope I can do more of that as the ride progresses.
So, another day of no cramps and improving legs. And no complaining about the heat.
After Ale and I had dinner at Belfast harbor and were looking across a large river whose name I won’t even attempt that empties into the ocean not far from here, Ale said that she didn’t want to leave this state. Having been on the previous 2 rides, Ale has now seen more of our country’s states than have most Americans and her conclusion is that Maine is her favorite of all. It certainly is beautiful. Because I didn’t yesterday, I will include some photos of Bar Harbor to help substantiate that claim.
So, day 5 is now in the books – 52 miles, 2,450 feet, with 3 more ride days before we get to Boston where we will spend an R&R day. I have to admit that I’m not looking forward to tomorrow’s 77 miles and 2,200 feet. Not a killer, by any means. But I have been a bit wimpy so far. But, as I have said, just keep on pedaling.
I look forward to hearing from some of you. With special thanks to Sandi, Annie, Karen and Sal for your comments.