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Pedal panel position

I received an email the other day and this is what it said: "This is to officially notify you that on Jan. 11, 2021, you were re-appointed to the Hallowell Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee." Heck, no one even asked if I still wanted to be on this particular panel.

I love the city I live in and, quite honestly, I probably cycle way more miles than anyone else who lives in Hallowell. So I guess it makes sense to serve in some capacity. Issues we've dealt with in the past have included the very poor condition of many of the community's sidewalks, being a part of the downtown renovations concerning traffic, and offering advice on intersections, as far as visual safety for both walkers and cyclists.

Truth be told, I've been a little hesitant in getting too involved, mostly because of my other commitments. But if I'm staying on this committee, I've got to change to a higher gear. I just have to head down to City Hall and get sworn in.

Fat biking in Maine

Recently, I came across an article that mentioned Maine as one of eight states in the nation for being a great place for fat biking. I thought that was pretty cool.

Longer days and a long shadow in January in Maine.

Among the reasons for picking the Pine Tree State were the number of ski resorts that offer trails and rentals for fat bikes, plus the hugely popular Maine Huts & Trails system. Other top states cited in the story included Alaska, Colorado, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Sorry, I cannot remember the other two.

While one can go fat biking on any kind of terrain or conditions, it's really more fun in the snow. But there has been a real absence of the white stuff in Maine so far this new year. I took my blue Specialized Fatboy out a couple of times early in January on the Kennebec River Rail Trail. But because the roads are bare, I've mostly been cruising on them with my Specialized Crux cyclocross bike.

That two-wheeled machine is especially good for this time of year — with its 38 mm tires — providing more contact with the road surface, just in case you run into debris or the occasional patch of ice. It's one of my favorite bikes.

There may be no snow, or at least very little of it, but the temperatures are definitely on the coldish side of the thermometer. The high during my ride yesterday was 24 degrees, with a "feels like" reading of 17. It's so frigid that my bike computers don't even want to work, so I have to depend on my Garmin vivoactive 3 watch and its GPS gadgetry to keep track of my mileage and other statistics.

We're two-thirds through the month and I've already registered more than 350 miles, which is pretty darn good — and quite frankly — unusual for January. And I know my cycling buddy, Jon, also has been piling up the miles down in the Brunswick area. Anyway, whether you cycle outdoors or inside on a trainer, have fun and be safe.

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