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My Name is Mike McDermott, and I am very excited to have won the Portland Press Herald’s BikeMaine 2014 contest and to have this chance at what sounds like an incredible cycling experience. When I saw the announcement of the contest on twitter it seemed like such a long-shot, but it sounded so cool I just had to enter. It is hard to believe now that the ride is just a few days away.
A little about me: I’ve lived in Maine now for about 25 years, but I grew up in Hawaii, with a bout of grad school in Boston in between. People always ask “How does a guy from Hawaii end up in Maine?” The short answer is “I married a girl from Bath” so it probably isn’t surprising that I currently live in Bath, but lived in Portland for quite a few years before that. I’m a librarian – I work in the library at Bowdoin College where I focus mostly on electronic resources, digital projects, e-books, online database – all that fun stuff. Before Bowdoin I was a Reference Librarian at USM.
For many summers I’ve ridden my bike back and forth from Bath to Brunswick for work. It is a great commute, with many beautiful views of the New Meadows and Androscoggin rivers, but it is the same ride and the same views every day. I’ve often fantasized about doing a long, multi‐day ride, riding on new roads past new scenery, camping out, getting up and riding some more. It seems like it would be a great way to see the state. But I don’t know that I would have ever gotten myself organized enough to pull off such an expedition.
I’ve had a great summer looking forward to the trip. I’ve been adding extra miles to my commute, and going out for longer training rides to make sure I can keep up. I’ve looked at the map of the trip countless times.
Thanks again to the Portland Press Herald for sponsoring the contest that has put me on this road, and to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for organizing the event.