Everyone was up bright and early for a 8:00am mass departure from Orono high school. The ride kicked off with a police escort through Orono and the University of Maine campus, riding on the oldest bicycle path in Maine, before heading out on to the roads that would take them to Dover-Foxcroft.
Every effort was made to arrange good weather, but sometimes, this just doesn’t pan out…
Our riders proved their meddle early, riding through morning rain on the way to a lunch rest stop in Milo. By the time most riders made it to Milo, the skies has cleared up and everyone enjoyed some sunshine. Our lunch was hosted by the good folks at American Legion Post No. 41 and riders were glad to have some hot soup and sandwiches to fuel their afternoon ride.
As Cyclists arrived in Dover-Foxcroft on Sunday afternoon, they were not only greeted by views of the Piscataquis River, but they were followed in with some light rain showers and a bit of wind. The BikeMaine Village at the Kiwanis Park was in full swing with food vendors, local music and a beer garden starting up in the afternoon. The Piscataquis Region YMCA acted as hosts, providing not only their back yard (the Kiwanis Park), but also their showers, pool, massage and most importantly, cell phone charging stations! During the afternoon, we heard also from a number of speakers, including: Bucky Owen, from the Nature Conservancy, the game warden and representatives from Dover-Foxcroft.
As afternoon turned to evening, riders hopped on school buses (the seats are higher than they used to be) and head off to the Foxcroft Academy campus for dinner. In addition to serving as the local high school for Dover-Foxcroft, Foxcroft Academy is also home to almost 100 international students. The evening began with hors d’oeuvres prepared by Foxcroft Academy’s international students. Riders were treated to delicious venison stew and amazingly tasty side dishers, and, since Dover-Foxcroft is home of the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival , the riders will enjoy locally baked whoopie pies for dessert!
As the sun set (beautifully), riders headed back to the BikeMaine Village where a bonfire was started by the local Boy Scout Troupe, the beer garden served up some brews, and folks settled in for the night. Riders were also treated to a night of comedy from “unofficial” Maine Guide Willey Phinedit with many stories about the North Maine Woods.
As riders drifted to sleep, they were already thinking about the challenging, but rewarding day of cycling ahead…