Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Portland to Portsmouth by Bike | Day 1

One of the most adventurous trips Amanda and I have taken to date was a bike ride from Portland, ME to Portsmouth, NH over Labor Day weekend in September of 2010.  We covered over 100-miles of coastal Maine during our 2-day ride and fell in love with cycling in a completely new way. We outfitted Theodore and Caroline (that's right, our bikes have names :) ) with bike racks and panniers, prayed for good weather, and set off on the one-way Amtrak from Boston to Portland on Friday night. I've been to Portland a couple of times as a teenager, but we were excited to explore the city together and see what the hipstery, foodie hype was all about. Dinner at Caiola's was fantastic: the bruschetta dish featured the chicken of the woods - that mushroom cap looking growth you see on trees. It was delicious, and, true to its name, resembled chicken. The cannelloni and paella were also incredibly tasty.

We spent the night in Portland. After a hearty breakfast the next morning and frolicking around town a bit, we headed out on the first long leg of the ride. The ~40 mile trek on Saturday was the more challenging of the two days, with a lot of up-hills and not-so-amazing scenery. Part of it is my fault as I mismanaged our expectations with the following logic: we'll be biking right along the coast, it cannot possibly be that hilly. Epic fail. My lightweight road bike made the experience bearable, but Amanda's 7-speed steel-frame comfort cruiser almost made her cry on a couple of occasions. A special mention goes to the hill that we climbed, only to realize we were going the wrong way. I take the blame for that one... We did find a neat path built along an abandoned railroad tack. Part of a national effort to convert unused railroads to bike and recreation trails, the Scarborough-Saco Trail had some amazing natural scenery.


These figures were made from foil wrappers used at Ohno Cafe to wrap bagels and the such. I made Amanda her own foil figure!

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