It was beginning to sink in that we might not be able to participate in organized ride from Bar Harbor to Boston. I truly believe that my beneficiaries do incredible work to help keep our world healthy and sustainable. I am blown away by the donations from my friends and family members and inspired by all of the other climate ride participates who received some type of donation.
It was hard when we didn’t reach our fundraising goal by the deadline. We traveled far, spreading the word and advocating for Climate Ride and our beneficiaries, excited to participate. That night, we camped on the back property of a goat farm Bed & Breakfast, Fern Hill Farm. It was a nice evening, a lovely farm, and we enjoyed coffee in the morning and bought goats milk cheese for lunch.
The next day we crossed the Kennebec River and stopped for lunch with Earlhamite and former Bike Indiana rider, Taylor Boucher. We enjoyed catching up and after a tough conversation with Climate Ride staff, she invited us to stay overnight. She introduced us her co-workers at Camp Kieve-Wavus and we enjoyed a nice evening catching up.
After receiving a 3-day extension, we continued fiercely to contact people asking for donations, explaining our cause and reason for participating in the ride. In Camden, we received a call from the Climate Ride manager informing us that we needed to pay the remaining balance ourselves or drop out of the ride. After many attempts to negotiate, we decided participating was not feasible in our best interest. Luckily, the money donated could still go toward beneficiaries if we changed our status to an Independent Challenge. We completed a bike ride, fully self-supported, and met amazing people. We road on our terms, coming and going according to our wants, needs, and interactions with others. We challenged our bodies by riding through mountains and hot temperatures. We advocated for our beneficiaries and exchanged knowledge with locals about the environment, climate change, and active transportation.
We stopped crossing the bridge over the Passagassawakeag River to take a picture of the beautiful evening. We asked a woman to take our picture and after conversation discovered that she was the daughter of the owner of Young’s Lobster Pound. We had been told a few days prior that Young’s in Belfast had the best lobster in Maine and we had been dreaming about it ever since. That evening we enjoyed a picnic with fresh lobster cooked in filtered salt water. It was late and we were full and tired. Mrs. Young was nice enough to let us camp for the night in their picnic area that evening. We got a fresh start the next day and road along the busy, but scenic Route 1.
We reached Bar Harbor early the next morning, somewhat bummed, but with a renewed sense of spirit and feeling of accomplishment. It was bittersweet making it to the end of this grand adventure. Part of me felt ready for a regular shower and a day without sweating profusely. The other part of me had gotten used to the rhythm of the pedals and the adventures of the ride. I didn’t meet my goals exactly. I reached my fundraising goal after the deadline for the ride and was a few days off my 30-day ride goal from Indiana to Maine. So what. I met wonderful people along the way with interesting and unique stories. I developed a love for touring and gained confidence in a new way of traveling and experiencing life. I am grateful to have been able to share the places and memories along the road with Alvin. I foresee more bicycle tours in our future.
After much debate on what to do with the spare time, we started to come up with a plan. We rented a tiny card that barely managed to fit all of our things in and drove to Ithaca. From Ithaca, we picked up Fitz Roy in Vermont and drove back to Lake George. From the Adirondack Mountains, we went to Queens to visit the Socci’s again on our way to Montauk. In Montauk we enjoyed relaxing on the beach and walking around town. We camped and had fires on the beach. The revised plan couldn’t have been more perfect, although we were disappointed not to see my family in Boston, Massachusetts.
Now off to more adventures…