Tag Archives: Park Loop Road

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise – 9/1/2009

The last time we ventured to Cadillac Mountain for sunrise it was all fogged in. This time we were hoping for a better result.

We got up at 4:45 to hit the road from our rooms by 5am. It was a chilly morning but nothing compared to the top of the mountain with a stiff northerly breeze. Brrrrrrr.

I wasn’t sure that we were going to see the sunrise with the cloud cover on the horizon but it finally happened and we caught some of it on camera.

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I can’t believe that there were more out of state plates on most of the vehicles; I only saw a couple of Maine plates.

After sunrise we decided to ride around the Park Loop Road for a little sight seeing:

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(This is actually a photo we took. It looks just like some of the postcards or promo pictures you might see of Acadia.)

Then it was off to our favorite place for breakfast:

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On our way home we detoured down Somes Sound:

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Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

I have a friend who has an older Lemond steel framed bike. She’s been thinking about a new bike for a while and finally decided that this would be the year.

Tracey is an avid cyclist. I met her late summer of 2006 at a club group ride and we have been friends ever since.

Tracey has always thought her bike was “good enough” for the riding she did and she’s absolutely right. However, because of her level of cycling, at some point her bike became her limiting factor.

Of course there is so much buzz about carbon and she thought that’s probably the way she’d want to go. So she set off to try a few bikes within her price range.

About a month ago a local bike shop recently had an open house and Giant was there for people to test ride bikes. She tried one after a pretty hard effort that morning and wasn’t really sold on it. It’s not that she didn’t like it, it was just hard to tell during the short ride she did on it.

This weekend she had an opportunity to check out another bike shop in town, Cyclemania. Now, when I was looking for an upgrade to my downtube shifting bike I checked out many shops including Cyclemania. The nice thing about this shop is that they’ll let you take a bike out for the day to ride it.  They are very trusting that way and I bet they sell a great deal of bikes because you are able to really run the bike through it’s paces and not just ride it around a parking lot.

So that’s exactly what she did.

One of the owners set her up on a sweet Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5.

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She came by our house to show it to us. It really was a sweet looking bike with a massive downtube and molded/sculpted seat and chain stays. I was impressed.

Obviously she was too because we received a phone call a few hours from her announcing she bought the bike.

She bought it just in time for a trip to Bar Harbor with us next weekend. She’ll be flying around the Park Loop Road next weekend for sure!

Cadillac Challenge Century

The Cadillac Challenge Century has to be the hilliest century in Maine. Loon Echo says they are the hilliest, or toughest, not sure which. However, this one has to top that. I’ve done both. This ones worse. I mean better!

I heard someone say, there wasn’t one flat section on the route. It was either up or down, but nothing flat.

The day started off sunny, cloud free, a little chilly, but it was warming up very quickly by the time we started.

I’m not sure how many riders participated. It had to have been 200-300 riders. My husband took pictures at the pre-ride meeting. Riders to left of him; riders to the right of him.

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We organized for a quick group photo before hitting the road.

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Some of us chose the 72-mile (metric century) option instead of the 100-mile (century) option. My husband was the club’s official sag wagon we thought it would be best to have him be at the split for each route. There was a convenience store there, which worked well for a potty break.

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Then we parted ways with my husband. He followed the majority of the group through the next three stops. The 72-mile group was on their own. The rest stops weren’t that far apart so it wasn’t much of an issue.

I made our group pose for a photo at our first rest stop in Northeast Harbor. It was a spectacular place.

Right after we left the rest stop, I started to experience cramps on the first climb. I almost had to get off and walk. They seemed to subside so I kept going.

On a climb several miles later, more cramps. It wasn’t even a significant climb. It was, however, long. So I walked it. Shamefully. If the cramps get too severe I can’t get off the bike, let alone stand up, so dismounting would be next to impossible. Falling over would be the only option.

Fall over I did. Though it was later in the ride. We had to stop in the middle of an intersection for a car. I thought Tracey was going to go but she did the right thing and stopped. When I clicked out (by turning my heel in, not out, which is different from what most riders do) I caught my heel on my wheel and came to a dead stop. After flailing to remove my other foot, to no avail, I fell over. Darn! My new bike!!

Luckily the bike and my body were okay. A little bruised but okay.

The last part of the ride is on the park loop road in Acadia National Park. It’s newly paved with mostly two lanes of one-way traffic with scenic views of the ocean. It’s the quintessential bike lane. Surprisingly, even during prime leaf peeping season, there wasn’t that much traffic. It was heaven.

The twinges of cramps never fully went away. I took the easy route up Cadillac Mountain – in the passenger’s seat of our car. I was there for a group photo with those that were left at the top.

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My day was over. 60 long, hilly miles.

I still feel guilty about not climbing Cadillac. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. We plan to make this ride an annual event for the club and next year I’m going to be better prepared and ascend it, on two wheels, not four.