We have already walked on this trail a few times, but yesterday was the first time we rode our bikes on the Narrow Gauge Pathway up near Sugarloaf Mountain. I’m happy to report that our ride was just as enjoyable as our walks have been. The trail is smooth, fairly long and it even has a few offshoots for the adventurous riders among us. Those offshoots are more for mountain biking and they range in levels of complexity. Some are easygoing and straightforward while others are much more technical for the advanced rider. Since we are merely casual riders, we stuck to the beginner trails. More on that below.
I was forced to drive the truck up to the trails yesterday. I didn’t want to do that because it gets something horrible like eight miles to the gallon as far as fuel efficiency goes. Surprisingly, I used less than a quarter tank of diesel for the whole trip. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The reason I had to drive the truck was because I haven’t been able to find any decent bike racks for the car. The ones available online are very flimsy looking and I’m not in the mood to spend a lot of money for a rack made specifically for the model of car we own. Every time I do that, less than a year goes by and I get rid of whatever vehicle it was I just “customized.” I hate it when that happens. No matter. I’ll just drive the truck when we want to ride the bikes. We don’t do these things all that often anyway.
We arrived at the parking lot that sits approximately 1.3 miles east of the trail head near Sugarloaf. I know this distance because there are marker signs all over the place. After I unloaded the bikes, I had a few photos taken of me so I could remember the moment whenever I reread this post. This is the best photo by far.
By the way, since I already took so many pictures the last time we visited this area, I really didn’t take too many this time. Also, it’s sort of difficult to do that sort of thing while riding a bike.
Anyway, here’s a photo of my bike. I’ve had this thing since I was living in Binghamton, NY while going to college in 1996. I bought it when I first arrived, for something like $300 and it’s been everywhere I have since. It’s a perfectly good bicycle. So good, in fact, that I made a few upgrades to it. As you might be able to see in the photo, I added those additional handlebars that face towards the front tire. I also switched out the tiny, extremely painful little seat that comes with these types of bikes for a larger, more cushioned version. Finally, I pulled off the knobby tires and replaced them with some plump road tires. I probably ride on the road more than anything else and I never saw a need for too much tread.
Notice how it doesn’t have any shocks or anything like that. I don’t need them because I ride old school.
The weather was perfect yesterday. It wasn’t too hot at around 73 and not too cool during midday. Later on, I had to put a sweatshirt on, but that’s why they’re made. I’m sure you agree when I say that autumn weather is the best because you can still wear shorts, but it’s just cool enough to pull a hoodie over your head. No sweat. That’s what I like the best.
As we were riding towards Sugarloaf, I noticed a tower at the top of the mountain peeking through the trees. I decided to grab a photo of it.
As you can see, the leaves are somewhat changing. There’s still a lot of green out there, but fall is definitely here. As we were riding through the trails, we saw a lot of leaves falling from the trees. It was very nice.
This pathway is full of wooden bridges and beautiful twists and turns. Sometimes, it’s best to take a break for some photos.
Along the primary rail trail, as I mentioned above, are offshoot trails that offer a bit of variety for riders of all skill levels. One trail called “Grassy Loops” is for beginners. The nicest thing about this particular trail is that it’s very smooth and is more open than some of the others. It’s almost as if someone mowed the grass along its entire length.
While the ride along this path was very peaceful, and I know this is awful to think of, but I kept telling myself how I could really tear this sucker up if I was riding a motocross bike. It had the perfect soft and fluffy dirt to spit out from behind while slamming through some gears. Okay, enough of that. I was merely daydreaming.
Some of the most beautiful sections of the trail are those that hug the Carrabassett River. We made it down to one such area and decided that we had traveled far enough. Since it was our turn around spot, we rested for a while and grabbed a few more photos.
The edges were rocky and steep, but I still made my way down to the water for a photo. It’s just something I need to do every time I visit this area.
Since I didn’t want to duplicate other photos I already took too much, I decided to stop taking pictures at this spot.
After our ride, we stopped off at Longfellows in Kingfield for a nice lunch/dinner. After that, we made a quick visit to Wire Bridge in New Portland. This is just something that needs to be done every so often. It’s the perfect monument to photograph and it’s a pretty cool place to hang out as well. Since I don’t want to bore you with these photos because I already took so many, I’ll just post a few here.
Now that I look at the old photos compared to the new ones, I can see that the new ones look a lot better. That’s most likely due to the time of day these were taken. Closer to dusk is always better for photography. I’ll show you a few more.
If you’d like to see a video of me driving across this bridge, you can do that in this post. Just scroll down a little to get to the actual video.
I have a huge surprise for you. Since it’s the end of the post, I suppose I should share a few photos from the end of our day. As we were driving home, we passed by a field with a fairly good number of red deer in it. When I noticed this, I quickly pulled over and we both began taking mad pictures. Here are two of the best that I was able to get. Check out this big boy. The first is a huge male walking away from me.
And this next one is the money shot. I got him looking right at me.
Now that’s what I’m talking about! How cool is that?
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any comments, please leave them down below. I always reply. Thanks for reading!