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October's odometer

The month of October is a time of transition. Early on, the days are warm and comfortable for cycling. At the end, there is a definite chill in the air, calling for more clothing coverage so one can still experience the freedom of riding a bicycle.

Looking back, I would classify my time on the saddle as a so-so enterprise in October. Because of more rain visiting our state — indeed, it has been a wet year — I only managed to hop on a two-wheeled machine 26 out of the month's 31 days. For a total of 646 miles.

The bikes utilized in October included my three Trek road beasts, the 2.3 aluminum, along with the 2017 and 2023 Domanes. I also spent a day on the trails around Brunswick with my friend Jon, so my Trek Fuel mountain bike received a strenuous workout — as well as myself.

Obviously, the highlight of the tenth month was my opportunity to capture my second gold medal in the Maine Senior Games. In reviewing the times for my age bracket (70-to-74), I completed the 12.4-mile cycling course in 36 minutes and 35 seconds. Second through fifth-place times were as follows: 37:40, 37:42, 44:04, and 46:29.

So what about the 2023 season, thus far? I have climbed aboard one of my trusted steeds a total of 261 times. I have missed 44 days of riding. And I have amassed 6,662 miles, needing just 459 more to match my personal high of 7,121 miles that was accomplished last year.

I'm striving for 8,000 miles for this year. Hopefully, the cycling gods are on my side.

In closing ...

The welcome signs greeting folks as they enter the great state of Maine carry the message "The Way Life Should Be." It's our official slogan. Well, that was shattered for all of us on October 25 with the killing of 18 people. A senseless act on so many levels.

Going forward, I tried keeping to my normal routine, which included going for my daily bicycle ride. I was a bit surprised when several family members and friends suggested I not go for a pedal when we Mainers were told to shelter in place during the manhunt. Truth be told, it did feel weird as I cruised along the country roads — not knowing where the suspect might be hiding. Even though I was 20-some miles from where this tragic event occurred.

Now, my life is back the way it should be. But it will never be the same for the victims and their families. I just hope this doesn't happen again in our beloved state. Stay safe!

Nothing better than an autumn ride along the mighty Kennebec River.

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