On Pedal Patrol

It's such a good feeling to be on the right side of the law again. Just weeks after nearly being thrown in jail — OK, so I'm exaggerating just a bit — for illegally going around a vehicle (July 16 posting "Guilty ... as charged"), I had the opportunity to be of service to the Hallowell Police Department. The same public safety agency that nabbed me! Let me explain.


Helping out the "boys in blue."

I was out riding the other day, when all of a sudden my quiet surroundings were disrupted by a screaming siren. Coming into view, the loud noise was from a Hallowell squad car, hightailing it down the country road away from me and then disappearing around a curve.


A couple of minutes later, another Hallowell cruiser — an unmarked version — was on the scene and driving toward my position. The officer signaled for me to stop. I'm thinking ... what did I do wrong now? Instead, and to my great relief, the policeman wondered if I'd seen a gray pickup carrying two mini-bikes. I replied, "No, sir. But I'll keep an eye out for them." He gave me a thumbs up, said thank you, and then hit the gas.


For the next little while, Hallowell's finest were going up and down the road searching for, I think the right parlance is, the "person of interest." The excitement finally concluded, and my ride resumed its muted motion. I guess you could say Patrick's Pedal Patrol, at your service.


Tamer trail


The same day I’ll be toiling in the western mountains of Maine at the Northwood Gravel Grind, there will be a ride — much tamer in nature — that everyone is invited to participate in.


As part of the annual Celebrate Bowdoinham event, cyclists of all abilities have an opportunity for a guided bike tour along the future Merrymeeting Trail. It takes place on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.


According to the Merrymeeting Trailblazers, the ride begins at the Phillip Mailly Waterfront Park in Bowdoinham. The route will proceed through farmland along the shores of Merrymeeting Bay, pass historic houses in Richmond, and turn around at Fort Richmond Waterfront Park. There will be frequent stops, with a leisurely pace.


The entire journey will be on paved roads, so road bikes are recommended. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes also are welcome. The total distance is 18 miles, with a turn-back option for a 10-mile pedal.


In addition to the ride, Merrymeeting Trailblazers will have an informational table set up in the waterfront park. The ride and table are part of the Celebrate Bowdoinham gathering, which runs all day. There will be vendors — farms, nonprofits, local businesses — offering goods and activities throughout the day.


So if you’re not going to hang out with me in Rangeley, please head over to Bowdoinham for what sounds like a fun experience.


'Thought for the day'


"The bicycle ran with special ease at dusk, the tire emitting a kind of whisper as it palpated each rise and dip in the hard earth along the edge of the road." — Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-American novelist and poet


From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)

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