July 10-12 (First flat tire and first border crossing)

 Monday, July 10th

Not long into my ride, I came to Brunswick, Maine and simultaneously received a Facebook message from my Aunt Karen, who was coaching a lacrosse camp at Bowdoin College. I took a minor detour to say hi to her and requested she inform the rest of my family that I am, indeed, alive.

I stopped at the bike shop in Brunswick as well, Center Street Cycles, because my rear wheel was still having to be adjusted multiple times a day. This was both a time consuming and frustrating process. The guys at the shop used 5 minute epoxy to glue the trailer hitch to the physical frame of the ogre and hopefully alleviate the pressure the trailer was applying to the axle of my wheel. 

I also started to develop a chronic pain in the outside ligament of my right knee. It was pretty bad, but I found if I could hold out long enough, the ligament would stretch out and the pain became manageable. A friend gave me suggestions for stretches that could alleviate some of the pain.

 

Wednesday, July 12th

I woke up after a restful evening and night to notice that my trailer looked somewhat unbalanced. I had my first flat tire. I kept myself calm with mantras of "you got this," and "this is what we trained for." It was 6 in the morning. I had not had any coffee. People's lives were at stake here. The danger became even graver when I discovered the source of the flat tire was a thumb tack. THERE HAD BEEN A THUMB TACK IN THE ROAD BETWEEN A PLAYGROUND AND A BEACH. You see I had heard the tire go flat the previous afternoon when I rode into the campground, but since all my tires still looked fine I had discounted the noise I had heard. It took all night for the slowly leaking air to completely leave the tire. I also discovered that my patch kit had gotten wet at some point, and was therefore useless, so I had to change the tube instead of patching the one already in the tire. Turns out, the trailer tires are actually pretty easy to change; it only took me about 20 minutes. I set off after a much-needed cup of coffee, determined to spend the following night in New Hampshire. 

I planned to stop for lunch in a town along the way, but regardless of what the map shows, wherever "Sweden" and "Lovelle" are hiding, I did not find them. As a result, it was 3pm before I was able to stop for lunch. I was in the town of Fryeburg, Maine, the last town before the New Hampshire border. The restaurant I went to was having .89 cent wing night so I ordered 10. (it was 3pm, after all, and I was pretty hungry) Little did I know, their "wings" were a drumstick and wing still attached, so in my eyes what the waitress brought me was actually 20 wings. 20 gigantic wings. Sitting on the back deck with Dobby, I ate as much as I could, with the exception of leaving some room for their homemade blueberry pie because... biking is hard.  As I ate, I watched some suspiciously dark clouds approach.  The woman sitting at the table next to mine offered to let me camp in her field, but she lived back the way I had come and I had already set my heart on making it to New Hampshire. I took the rest of the wings to go, putting the to - go container in a plastic bag so I could put it in my osprey pack. As I was packing up Dobby and the Ogre, the skies opened up. I went a few hundred yards down the street, then pulled under an overhang to see if the storm would pass quickly. A couple on a motorcycle pulled up next to me to shelter from the deluge as well. They told me about their trip across all lower 48 states by motorcycle. 

When the rain lightened, I headed out, crossing the state border amid light rain and thunder.

We have traveled 340 miles to date.