Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Riding the Mt Desert Island carriage trails

Today we needed to be in Bangor in the morning so we decided to take the trikes down to Acadia National Park afterwards. We’ve been to the park before but never on the carriage trails so we asked at the ranger office which loop had the least climb, the response was the Jordan Pond loop and going CCW offered less steepness but longer climbs. Just driving through Acadia is a joy, you can hardly turn your head without seeing another spectacular view. It was a clear day so there were more long views than you could shake a stick at.
The carriage trails are a crushed gravel, chip stone, surface so lack of suspension in the trikes is obvious. But they are smooth enough at slower speeds. The ranger had recommended at least a hybrid bike but our trikes with 1.5 inch wide road tires had no problem but then we don’t have to worry about balancing . On some of the steeper climbs I could feel the rear tire slipping a little and could see Donna’s tire slip. I think if I were riding these trails routinely I’d opt for the widest tire with more grip and less pressure.
Much of the loop is just wooded and just as boredom starts to set in we’re treated to views of Bubble Pond. Next came Eagle Lake views and riding very close to it’s crystal clear water. Then we turned south to Jordan Pond. By this time we had been climbing for what seemed like most of the ride, the result was that our first views of Jordan Pond we were a hundred feet above. These last 2 miles we’re a pretty easy coast mostly back down to the Jordan Pond parking area. On this coast I hit my max of the day 19.5-mph. There were other areas that had steeper descents but rough trail, blind corners, other bikes, horses, and horse drawn carts kept the speed down.
No pictures though, left the camera at home. Just gives us another excuse to go back. We’re looking forward to exploring other trails and from the wiggles on the map they look to have serious climbing involved.

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