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Ride Report (Sorry, no pix) Graham Lake, Maine


phpaul
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Graham Lake is a long, narrow lake situated between Ellsworth and Bangor, Maine.  At a rough guess the straight line distance from the Southern-most end to the Northern-most is something more than 10 miles.  It lies in a Southwest to Northeast orientation.  The Northern end touches the beginning of the central Maine highlands.
 
Maine Route 180 goes up the West side of the lake, Route 179 goes up the East side.  Route 180 and 179 both begin in Ellsworth and terminate about 10 miles apart on US Route 9, known locally as "The Airline".  The Airline unofficially marks the border where "Northern Maine" begins.
 
Both 179 and 180 are in very good condition, lightly traveled and for the most part lightly populated.   Lots of curves, mostly sweepers with a few tight ones, lots of hills and many magnificent views.  Getting there from where I live is a tad boring and at the moment a bit of a pain in the butt due to tourist traffic and road construction. 
 
But once you get on 180, it is just glorious.  Today was absolutely perfect for the ride, mid-70's, wall-to-wall sunshine and a nice breeze.  The sort of  Maine Summer day the tourist bureau would like you to believe happens every day.
 
Most of the route is posted at 45mph, and I actually DID 45 in a couple of spots where there were some houses clustered together.  The rest of the time was 60-70 which was a very comfortable cruise, just fast enough to make the curves fun, slow enough to allow for those "shit!" moments.  Very little traffic, I saw less than a dozen cars the whole route (not counting Route 9 which is a major East-West artery).
 
The FJ performed flawlessly.  The seat was noticeably more comfy since I raised it to the high slot (tho still far from perfect).  I'm torn about the windshield.  There is some buffeting (I'm 5-11) but at the speeds I ride, it's really not objectionable.  I do think a full-face helmet is in my near future, the 3/4 is just too noisy even with ear plugs.
 
Only other note:  I caught my shoelace in that silly peg feeler on the left side again.  They'll be coming off right after supper...
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  • 3 years later...

Got a note that roadrash83 liked this post which brought it back to my attention.

Oddly enough I made a portion of that ride again today, 3 years and a few days from the original post.

Unfortunately, in that time the roads have deteriorated to the point that it's actually painful to ride them.  Route 9 is still good, but 179, 180 and 181 are falling apart.  Just the facts of life for secondary roads in Maine.  Winter frost raises hell with them.  They'll repave them again in a year or two and all will be well for a couple years, but right now they've been crossed off my list.

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 Same crap happens to some of my favorite roads along the Delaware river in Pennsylvania. 3 years is the max and in year the roads are done they are awesome by year 3 it's dodge the pot holes that would at the least bend your rims. These are not really secondary roads and we sure don't get the weather you do up there.

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He who dies with the most toys wins.

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