I took another foray into bicycling improvisation today. I was all set to ride with the Bubbas tonight, as I try to do most every Tuesday and Thursday nights, however, this week, it’s officially dark when we ride, so I depend on the assistance of couple of high intensity lighting systems- one on my helmet and the other on my handlebar to illuminate the muddy, rooted, and rocky terrain of the Rockland Bog.
However, we have this unique situation here today. It’s peak Fall foliage season, and the Maine Foliage Report notes that the world-class views from Mounts Battie and Megunticook will be at peak for just three more days. Those views are of the baby blue Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the most dazzling display of reds, yellows, and orange leaves that I remember in quite some time. Like this:
At 3 PM I headed out the door on my fat-tire Pugsley, grunted my way up the always challenging climb up Moody Mountain, and then turned into the forest. Surprise #1 was the recently bush-hogged logging road off French Road South. After sliding under the gate, waist-high crop of weeds that had been there the last time I went up were trimmed close to the ground.The traveling was so much easier, but the climb resumed. At the high point I detoured onto a nearly indistinguishable thread of a trail that then linked me to a snowmobile trail that wound its way through my friend Steve’s land. I followed this trail surrounded by the splendor of red, yellow and orange all around me and under my four inch wide tires. I kept my hands off the brakes and had quite a light show that rushed by my peripheral vision. I was riding inspired, and cleared a rocky section- a devastated stream bed that had been churned up by a four-wheeled drive truck a long time ago. I had NEVER been able to do this section until today. Later I lifted the front wheel of the Pugs, and ran up the steep side of another quickly running stream. I decided to extend the ride by detouring to the high point of a huge blueberry field where I could look out at the Atlantic. On the way down I cleared a section of trail where the path left a woods road, ran over a stone wall, and snuck back to High Street, where I rode another mile back to the house.
Here’s the ride, thanks to Strava: