The Windup - Bar Harbor to Boston - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2023 to July 8, 2023

The Windup

The Windup

The Introduction tells a tale of roadblocks and detours that left precious little time before embarking at PDX and flying to JFK. The reservation to New York and return from Boston were made a month in advance with our riding plans for the Route Vert 8n Quebec. Fedex bike boxes and packing stuff were in the garage. At PDX minus 24 hours the bikes were packed and TSA ready. All three bikes had gravel tires mounted for Quebec and I left them on in lue of remounting road tires. (Six brand new Continental 4-Season road tires were on my shelf, still in their yellow and black Conti boxes.) Time was being triaged and maybe we would do a bit of gravel riding to justify these fat, noisy, slow tires and at the least, the ride should be more comfortable. A tire and general gear performance summary will come at the end of the journal. Bike boxes and panniers were loaded up and we were officially on tour. 

TSA loved that we hadn’t stuffed the bike boxes full to the max weight limit. I’ve watched the agents inspect bikes and I make an effort to simplify the process and layout in packing the bikes. I always draw a big arrow with a note to TSA to open that side of the box. It makes life easier for rushed agents and hopefully reduces the chances of damaging the bikes. 

First stop Brooklyn, NY to visit with Po and Jen. This was our first post covid trip to NYC. The Guggenheim and other museums were visited. Swimming at Rockaway Beach. Got drenched by a thunder shower in Central Park at the free to the performance of Hamlet - excellent modern adaptation. Tickets are given out by lottery, which we lost, but standing in line in Central Park tickets were available for us and many others. While waiting we ate bánh mi ,Vietnamese sandwiches, Po brought them using his inborn NYC culinary direction finder. 

The windup continued to search for a way to Bar Harbor. Amtrak could only get the three of us plus our bicycles to Boston. Buses would take us north with layovers and significant time on the road, and MJ's had hesitance to ride the bus, I’m empathetic to her concerns. On my “Coal Train” ride from Gillette, WY to Longview, WA during the windup the bus broke down in Butte, MT. Sitting around waiting several hours for a new bus to arrive it was hard to miss that three of the passengers were wearing ankle bracelets. My advice on Greyhound is to sit as far forward and close to the driver as possible. The law seems to fade as one moves to the rear of the bus. My other bus travels have been on Amtrak buses and they have all been very pleasant.

Poking around air travel at first didn’t look all that promising. There were no Bangor bound planes big enough to carry the bikes, which narrowed it down to PWM (Portland). Most of the flights to Portland on big planes involved very long layovers in places like Atlanta, GA. MJ finally found an early bird United Airlines 737 leaving a day later than planned for non stop JFK to PWM. Early morning Portland arrival, a hotel near the Concord Bus Terminal left time to explore the city's waterfront and the Maine Historical Society, which also houses the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project and is next door to the childhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This made for interesting displays and cultural interactions.

The next morning it was a few blocks by the Clarion Airport Hotel shuttle to the Concord Bus Line Transport Center and onward to Bangor. The passengers seemed mostly commuters from the biggest city, Portland at 75,000 to the second biggest city, Bangor at 35,000. Maine is rural, very rural. MJ's bus concerns were totally allayed.

I asked the crew several times for photo documentation of assembling the bikes but there are none. Perhaps Walton took a picture but that's a story for latter.

There’s more windup tale to tell. MJ hiked down the road looking for takeout for our dinner. At the fast food restaurant the man standing in line behind her paid for our dinner. As Walton and I finished assembling, a Concord security official arrived, went into the building and came out with ice cold bottled water and showed us where to recycle the bike boxes. 

Then on the road, one right turn and a couple of miles to the Howard Johnson. Our bike tour was on the road to Bar Harbor.

* * *

"The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. "

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Another icon for liberty on the warf in the touristy part of Portland.
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Clarion Airport Hotel $$$$ Portland, Maine.
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Strapped down again going to Newark, NJ and flying to Portland, Maine. Selfie by Po
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Icon for the Huddle Masses and Liberty. Photo by MJ
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4th of July in NYC. Photo by MJ
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Balcony breakfast with Jen and Po on the 8th floor.
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First morning wake up view from the 12th floor as mason were busy repointing the brickwork.
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JFK @ 2:00 am on our to Brooklyn.
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After getting to PDX 1 1/2 hour early Alaska informed us there is a 3 hour delay. A slow pitch!
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Andrea BrownWait. PDX is the Portland, Oregon airport. Did I miss something?
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9 months ago
Packing up
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4-Seasons are my favorite road tire be it day rides, commuting or long distance touring. Have yet to have a flat on tour.
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Stacking up for the drive to the airport.
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Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
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Robert EwingAndrea, sorry for confusion. Cycleblaze seems a simple to use site but to a simpleton like me it's a challenge. Took me 2 days to post pictures after hours of failed attempts. Then uploading pics from my phone, MJ's phone and our tablet has made a chronological jumble . So we flew from PDX to JFK & then to PWM Maine. And finally a bus ride to Bangor BGR. It's starting to get easier with time. Keep the cards and letters coming.
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9 months ago
Andrea BrownTo Robert EwingOh, of course! I realized after a little research that you're based in the PNW and you actually went through PDX. Okay, back to our program. Carry on!
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8 months ago