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This week’s edition!

Local bicyclist rides from Fort Kent to Kittery

Don Robitaille (Photo by Rachel Morin)

Don Robitaille hears the call of the open road, the lure behind each bend and he just has to hop on his bike to explore. Don celebrated his 86th birthday on August 25 and decided to mark the occasion with a bike ride from Fort Kent to Kittery travelling Route 1 all the way.

He will be riding the new bike he got in May, a blue Felt electric model. He pedals but it has pedal assist. He says he gets power from the battery which goes to the gearbox and he travels twice as fast as he did with his former bike. He recalls decades ago when he logged over 150,000 miles on his old TREK Mountain bike. He has been through many bikes since then and has racked up 2,600 miles on his new bike.

On Labor Day, Don and his wife Jeannine brought his bike to Fort Kent, his starting point. They enjoyed dinner and stayed overnight in a motel. The next morning, Tuesday, after breakfast, Jeannine headed home to Lewiston, and Don set out on Route 1 for Kittery.

No stranger to biking solo, he’s made two long cross-country bike rides to California a half dozen years ago. This one will be different. He will take minimum equipment and supplies and wear a back pack. No saddle bags this time. He plans to cover 40 to 60 miles daily.

It will be more relaxed this time. Don will sight-see and stop at local restaurants and places of interest along his journey. This trip will take 10-14 days or more as he pedals along. Overnights will be at a B & B or motel.

Don has been the oldest rider in the Annual Dempsey Challenge every year since its beginning as noted by Mary Dempsey, Patrick’s sister. He will participate again this year in the October 7-8 Dempsey Challenge.

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