There were a bunch of first-time Week-A-Year riders on this trip — Chris and Don, Kate and Tina, Emily and Aaron. Clive. And Ash.
Ash, one of the two Maine residents on this trip, rode the entire route on a mountain bike — and took the road the first two days, rather than the Down East Sunrise Trail. Being a Down Easter, he’s already ridden a lot of that trail and figures he can do more whenever he wants. Hills were tougher than for those of us on road bikes, but he wasn’t the only one who walked a few of them.
He rode in regular shorts, no padding hidden underneath. Seven days and 350-plus miles? That can be painful.
We were in awe that he has built his own log cabin, beginning with felling the trees himself and turning them into logs. The cabin has solar power and well water but lacks every modern convenience — making it too rugged for Alan, our mechanic who dreams of being off the grid as long as he can still somehow run Netflix.
Ash has a deep interest in caring for the land — he built and maintains trails in his area. He’s ready to share it through a primitive campsite he has built on his property for cyclists.
When Clive spotted outdoor cookers near homes on Day 2, Ash explained they are outdoor wood-burning furnaces. People use them to heat water that runs through their homes and radiates heat. Of course I then had to start looking too. Clive spotted plenty of shed-like buildings with a smokestack that houses furnaces — and even a furnace for sale for $900 — but I never saw a one.
I’d include a link to his local newspaper’s article about him and this ride, but I can’t find it.