Cycling through summer

OK, I am the first one to admit I have a somewhat fanatical relationship with my bicycle. I’m happy when the last of the snow and ice leaves the roads and I can ride to school each morning. Sometimes, on junkets to Florida during the shortest days of the winter, I’ve been known to pack clothes, a helmet, and shoes so that I am able to rent a bike and ride around in the sunshine. And most recently, along with four other friends from our over-the-hill cycling gang (yes, I used the words ‘gang’ and ‘cycling’ in the same sentence), I rode up to Sunday River to join more than 2,300 other cyclists and ride across the state. I loved every rainy mile of this year’s ride.

0621-Canvas

Just another sunny view to the east. Can you guess the location?

This summer, I’d like to share my adventures on the bike with you and give you a sampling of the view from my somewhat all-too-narrow seat. Nothing extraordinary, just the images, sounds, and smells as I ride through the summer months. Yes, for those who were wondering, there are often some remarkable smells along the way.

The description of the rides for this section of the website will start on the longest day of the year and each day, I hope to ride a bit, and share the beauty our part of the world. During the fall, winter, and spring, I am a teacher and because of the shorter daylight hours and my work schedule, most of my riding is limited. I am often indoors spinning or trying to ride during the twilight, but that all changes when the weather finally breaks. Last year during the Tour de France, I decided to ride along with the peloton, and  each day when the racers took to the streets and mountains of France, I rode along. Well, almost. I knew I couldn’t possibly keep up with their daily mileage, so for me, the prudent thing to do was to try and ride 1/3 of their mileage. Somehow I managed, and after a little more than three weeks, I’d logged close to 800 miles. It worked out to a little more than 35 miles per day. Who knows what this year’s Tour will bring.

The first riding day this summer was a beauty. It was nearly 80 degrees and sunny for most of the afternoon. I left my house and headed toward North Saco and Scarborough (a favorite direction). The back roads between the two cities are a little hilly, usually quiet during the day, but best of all, there are a number of interesting sights along the way. The picture here is from that ride. I couldn’t believe how green this field was and the long grass or hay seemed to sway toward the older farmhouse. Anyway, I hope you like the picture and my somewhat scattered thoughts as we ride together through the summer.

See you on the roads.

David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. As a teacher and writer who’s seen more than half a century of life, I’m astonished by the people I now call neighbors and friends.