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Brunswick buddies

Jon on one of the excellent trails in Brunswick, Maine.

I was born a Michigander, but I suppose you could now call me a Mileage Maineiac as I pile up the long bicycle rides here in the Pine Tree State. Striving for 7,000 miles for the second straight season.

But going a lengthy distance doesn't always have to be the main objective, as a recent pedal in Brunswick demonstrated to me. This particular ride only covered just over eleven miles, but it was one of my most enjoyable outings of the year. And here's why.

For one thing, I had the opportunity to discover entirely new terrain — at least for me — as the journey meandered through wooded trails at Bowdoin College, the Town Commons, and the boundary area of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Secondly, I always welcome the chance to saddle up on something other than one of my road machines. The beast of choice on this day was my Trek Fuel EX 5 trail bike. I must admit it was covered in dust from being in the basement for far too long, but it felt great riding it again as the Schwalbe-brand knobby tires rolled easily over tree roots, small rocks, and the endless surfaces covered in pine needles and fallen leaves.

However, the best part was finally going for a spin with my usual cycling partner, Jon. The two of us have literally ridden thousands of miles together over the years. But because of his mending from recent surgeries and other issues, this was our first bike-bonding experience of the 2022 season. Simply put, it was really nice cruising with Jon again. Many may think no big deal, but when you normally ride share with someone probably a hundred times per year, well ...

I have a Trek coffee mug — have I ever told you I cannot stand the inky brew — with slogan phrasing on it that reads, "Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good." I think the Wisconsin-based bicycle company should have added, "Never cycle alone (if you can help it)." I've always said riding with others is what makes cycling so much more pleasurable. Out of 217 rides so far this season, I have only done nine with other people — and three of those were events. That's pitiful! So that is why smashing the pedals with Jon was so meaningful.

And for a dude just beginning to ride regularly again, Jon was flying on his brand-new Borealis carbon-fiber fat bike.

Blasting along the trails, I felt a little jealous of those who get to ride in the Brunswick area on a consistent basis. To have the option of going road or off-road riding — close to home — is a big plus as far as I'm concerned. Believe me, I won't be taking my bike rack off the car just yet ... I'm going back for more. With my good friend Jon. Stay safe!

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