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Shortly after completing the Trek Across Maine, I was involved in another group bike ride, one which I recently mentioned here. The Down Cellah Classic is one of the rides comprising the Maine Gravel Series, which is hosted by Josh Robeson of Ghost Cat Bags and Derek Veilleux.

The ride began at Lake Saint George and soon abruptly turned onto Bollin Hill, a grueling climb on a dirt road. After the climb came an even worse descent on steep and treacherous trails that left my hands aching from gripping the brakes. A short incline later we reached a cabin that was fortunately supplying water, and turned back onto gravel roads for a spell.

The ride then wound its way toward Palermo through the forest and over a road ironically named “Level Hill” (there was nothing level about anything on this ride). The route was often both difficult to locate and even harder to traverse, but that makes it all the more fun.

After yet another hill in the town of Freedom, we met my fellow columnist Tyler Hadyniak of Freedom, who was mowing a section of his lawn to make things easier for the cyclists. We returned to a forest trail for some time then emerged to soon find ourselves climbing the infamous Burnham Hill. Not long after this ascent we reached the ride’s rest stop in front of the Montville Grange Hall, and had a much-needed opportunity to get food and water, before setting off once more.

The ride finished by coming up through Liberty Village and turning onto Pinnacle Road. A final grueling trail section took us back to the lake and though I got a flat tire just a mile from the finish, we were able to repair it and complete the ride.

Though not especially long, at 43 miles, the Down Cellah Classic is an extremely difficult ride on account of the terrain. I would recommend it to lovers of extreme sports and seekers of transcendent pain. Thank you to Josh and Derek for organizing this terrific experience.

Notices

Montville Roll-off Weekend will be on the 9th and 10th of July, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. See the Montville Transfer Station Page to find what will be accepted.

Liberty Library will host a craft sale on July 23 and 24 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. If you would like to donate any items, please do so by July 22.