Fini - 12X26 - CycleBlaze

September 22, 2021


Well today was the final day of this adventure.  When we awoke and headed to breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen (I'm not making this up) it was drizzling.  As we ate it began to rain.  Our plans have been for Laura and me to ride the final 20 miles together.  We looked at each other and agreed we were going to finish it today...rain or shine.  That phrase...rain or shine...immediately recalled a memory of four guys on an early spring canoe trip in Jackman, Maine many years ago.  The forecast called for the possibility of rain and we agreed we were doing this...rain or shine.  I awoke before sunrise and went out to check the weather.  When I returned I repeated the mantra...rain or shine.  I received a hearty YES.  In fact it was snowing lightly...but off we went.

Thankfully, no snow today.  By the time we packed the bikes on the truck, the rain had stopped and it was clearing.  By the time we arrived at the shuttle rendezvous, it was partly sunny.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had arranged with Maura At Your Service to shuttle us from Gorham to the Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary in Jefferson.  We are so pleased with Maura.  If Laura and I  need a shuttle for a local adventure we will not hesitate to call Maura.  She was more than willing to take our picture as we began our last day on the trail.

I wouldn't want to ride with anyone else on this day.
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I have ridden the Presidential Rail Trail several times but Laura hadn't had the pleasure and I definitely wanted her to share this with me.  One of the highlights is just 1.5 miles from the start.

Cherry Pond
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Many of the rail trails I rode on this trip also serve as snowmobile trails in the winter.  In many instances it's the fees paid by snowmobilers that are the primary source of revenue for the maintenance of these trails.  Cyclists in many ways get a free ride.  The Presidential Rail Trail has a few different looks and feels over the course of its 20+ miles but it is not unusual for it look like a good old fashioned single track.

Sometimes it looks more like a hiking trail.
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There are also times when it broadens and feels more like a woods road.

Four miles from the finish and Laura smells the barn!
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And one final river crossing.

Moose River.
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Overall, it was a short ride and I was so glad I could finish in my home state with the love of my life.

1,119 miles. Ready for a cold beer and sleeping in my own bed.
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As I mentioned early in this blog, this is not the first long trip I have had the pleasure of doing.  It has been without a doubt the most challenging logistically.  12X26 would have been completely impossible without Laura.  I would generally drive to the day's starting point but it was then left in Laura's hands to get to the day's end point.  I need to emphasize that this was often a challenge.  Either the pre-ride research was faulty, trail websites provided incomplete information, or GPS threw its hands up!  In hindsight riding was easy, shuttling was hard.  I am soooo appreciative of Laura helping me fulfill this goal.

Shuttler Extraordinaire!
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When we finished in Gorham we high fived due to our good rain.  We packed up the bikes and headed south for the 30 minute drive home. Not 15 minutes down the road, it began to rain and has been raining since.  Sometimes it is definitely better to be lucky than good.

As we drove home Laura asked me "What's Next?"  I thought for a moment and suggested a multi-day ride where someone else takes care of moving our bags for inn to inn.  Looks like Canada 2022.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

Today's ride: 22 miles (35 km)
Total: 22 miles (35 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Terry MitchellWell done, Ray & Laura!
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4 weeks ago
Susan RodriguesExtraordinary!
You both should be extremely proud of this accomplishment.
I am in awe of both of you. 💜
It’s been a pleasure reading the blog and seeing all the amazing sights which would have been missed if not walking/ biking on these trails.
Thank you for sharing this journey….but as they say…there is no place like home!
Rest, relax and enjoy home for awhile. I’m sure your next adventure is not far away.
Lol Susan.
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4 weeks ago
Marilyn HarveyWhat a great ending to an amazing adventure. Despite the various challenges, you and Laura GOT IT DONE!
As a reader, I was interested to learn about areas of the heartland with which I was completely unfamiliar.
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3 weeks ago