Riders woke up to sunny skies after a day of rain and set off on the final ride of BikeMaine. The route took them by many ponds and lakes and also along the section of Route 9 more commonly referred to as “The Airline.” Route 9 runs continuously (though a bit circuitously) from the New Hampshire border in southwestern Maine to Calais, in the northeastern section which borders Canada. The portion of Route 9 from Bangor to Calais is called The Airline, but it has nothing to do with planes or air travel. Years before the Wright Brothers, the term “airline” was a reference to a short-cut between two distant points.
The morning rest stop at the tiny Beech Hill School on the shores of Beech Hill Pond in Otis. Beech Hill School has about 100 students, pre-K through 8th grade, and serves Otis and Mariaville children.
As riders cruised into Old Town, they joined up with the University of Maine bike path (the correct section this time) and rode to the UMaine campus where they came upon a surprise. All riders finished the ride cycling through the mouth of the UMaine Black Bear, receiving their medal on the other side.
Participants joined together for one final meal, a lunch hosted by the University. Riders enjoyed a slideshow featuring pictures from this year’s ride.
As riders said goodbye to each other, many could be heard saying, “see you next year…”