River runs through it

Because of the miserable road conditions of late, my fat bike and I have been spending quite a bit of time together. And that means cruising alongside the Kennebec River, one of the crown jewels of Maine. And the waterway that runs through my hometown of Hallowell.

Today's photo was snapped while standing atop its frozen surface. For someone who regularly arose at 4 a.m. to arrive at work on time, capturing the image just before 7 a.m. — while now in retirement — seemed a tad early. But with warming temperatures expected by mid-morning on this particular day, I wanted to ride before the rail trail turned into a mushy mess.

Considered one of the major rivers in the Pine Tree State — along with the St. John, Androscoggin, and Penobscot — the Kennebec is 170 miles long. Its source is Moosehead Lake, second-largest in New England, and it empties into the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic Ocean. The river's name is Algonquian for "long, quiet water."

One interesting historical fact about the Kennebec is that Benedict Arnold travelled up the river during his expedition to capture Quebec City in 1775, an attempt that failed. While pushing the pedals on one of my more frequent road riding routes, I can gaze across the Kennebec River and actually see the location — the Major Reuben Colburn House in Pittston — where the bateaux for Arnold's Continental Army troops were built. Just as I've said several times in the past, it's amazing where a bicycle ride can take you.

And thus ends today's "History from a Bike" lesson. Stay safe!

'Thought for the day'

"Most bicyclists in New York City obey instinct far more than they obey the traffic laws, which is to say that they run red lights, go the wrong way on one-way streets, violate crosswalks, and terrify innocents, because it just seems easier that way. Cycling in the city, and particularly in midtown, is anarchy without malice." — author unknown

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

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