So tragic

I ran into my friend Colin earlier this week at the bike shop. He's the dude I did the Northwoods Gravel Grind with last year.

He came in for some needed repairs after competing in last weekend's Vermont Overland gravel road race. A 59-mile event, with nearly 7,000 feet of climbing. That's right ... 7,000. He said it was nasty with all the relentless hills. Unfortunately, a 33-year-old Kenyan professional cyclist named Suleiman Kangangi died during the same contest after a high-speed crash.

While I'm in no way comparing my minor mishap in last September's Rangeley competition to the tragic accident in Vermont, it does get one's attention. Regrettably, injuries — and even death — can be part of the deal when you participate in such affairs. It's just so sad when it happens.

August amounts

My cycling effort in August was a vast improvement over July. For the eighth month of the year, I went for a ride 26 out of the 31 days. Three bikes joined the pedal party: my Specialized Crux gravel/cyclocross bike, and my Trek 2.3 and Trek Domane road machines, with the last two during the majority of the work.

My little legs produced 690 miles in August.

So far, for the 2022 cycling season, I have spun my wheels a total of 4,609 miles and ridden a bike 174 days — out of 242.

Trail in summer

I got to thinking that the majority of my cycling-related photos along the Kennebec River Rail Trail — which is the concluding section for most of my rides — are taken during the winter months and usually showcasing my Specialized fat bike. So I offer two images that I took this week.

The picture located below shows cribwork structures filled with rocks — referred to as piers. They are relics from the logging days. The piers linked booms that kept logs destined for a mill in the proper channel.

In 1971, under pressure from environmentalists, the Maine Legislature passed a law forbidding log drives after 1976. The last log drive in North America occurred on the Kennebec River on November 15, 1976.

Bike bits ...

— That time of year has arrived when my tires turn into nutcrackers ... the acorns are here! The fruit of oak trees are littering my roads and trails.

— I shaved off another five seconds in this week's time trial, as I continue to prepare for the 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) road race at the upcoming Maine Senior Games in Brunswick. My time was 36:56; the best so far. My colleagues at the bike shop keep saying I'm going to kick butt, but I don't think that's going to happen. Stay safe!

Cribwork structures — called piers — on the Kennebec River.

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