Day 16
Another good day of touring, although not as good as the previous two days. I ate a minimal 'continental' breakfast before connecting to the net this morning (the net connection seems faster in the morning) and still managed to get out of Dover by 8:45. I rode route 4 to Berwick where I had an excellent breakfast at the country store/cafe at the intersection of 4 and 9. Great place!

I was delayed a bit in getting there by my third flat tire. This one I should have avoided. Not too long after crossing into Maine four miles northeast of Dover, I heard a clicking sound coming from my rear wheel. I stopped, inspected both tires, couldn't find anything, and rode on wondering what was clicking. About half a mile later my rear tire was flat. I had inspected it, but only from one side and the piece of wire that caused the flat was lodged in the other side. I accidentally dislodged the wire before marking where the puncture was so I ended up having to remove the rear wheel and replace the tube because I couldn't locate the puncture. Then, while working to get the tire reseated on its rim ( a problem with Top Touring tires and my rims), I sort of tacoed the rim! It snapped back, but it ain't as true as it once was. After all of the above 'misfortune', my shifting, which had been problematic on the smallest two cogs, is now working great. Life is like that.

After breakfast, I rode to Wells for my first look at the Atlantic. Hmm, this is not like the Pacific where the beach is public property. Here I got to glimpse the ocean in the distance, but that was about it. I rode north on US 1 (no too bad) and then to Kennebunkport on 9. Still no more than a glimpse of the ocean. Oh well, I did find a neat Franciscan Monastery which was open to the public and right on the ocean. I still didn't get to actually see the ocean, but I could smell it and the there was a great outdoor grotto/chapel, complete with a relic from Lourdes, that I did get to see and to photograph.

Giving up on seeing the Atlantic for today. I rode in to Kennebunk on 35 (a nice ride) and continued east following the AC route which makes a wide loop around Portland. This does waste a good number of miles, but Portland doesn't look to be easy to ride through and the AC route is mostly nicely rural. I was rained on a bit near Sebago Lake and had the experience of riding over a wet metal grate bridge. If I had seen it coming I would have walked it. I just pretended I was riding on ice, because that is about what it felt like.

Some of this days ride is rather boring. Another part has the steepest hills I have encountered since I rode the AC route through Christiansburg VA last summer. They must go out of their was to find such nasty hills! I didn't walk these, but it was damn close on the worst one. I figure AC wants to teach us humility with 20% + grades.

10 miles or so after those hills, AC route comes into Freeport on the north end of town. Unfortunately the motels, all three of em', are located at the south end. I stopped at a store as I entered town and ended up visiting for half an hour with a fellow who lives (was born and raised in a fishing village that no longer exists) here but travels the area as a refrigeration technician. I learned a lot about Maine, but first I learned where the motels were.

Riding through town was like riding through a high class outlet mall. Obviously Freeport serves as a shopping center for tourists. It isn't tacky and there are several places here I'd like to shop - Brookstone and Delorme are both centered here, as, of course, is LL Bean.

My motel is cute (little cabins) and very pleasant and reasonably cheap ($53 with the infamous continental breakfast). No phones or AC, but there are screens on the windows and a good window fan. AC is truly silly here. The east coast is having a heat wave and I get cold riding my bike! Highs have been in the 70s. Cooler near the beach. Summer, oh yeah, that's that hot spell of a few days around the forth of July.

Tomorrow I ride north towards Bar Harbor. It is still 150 miles away, so I won't make it in one day (not without a hell of a tail wind!) but I'll try to get to near Searsport. Tomorrow night may be my last night for 800 number net access for a while, so I'll also try to get a motel room with a phone.

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