Bike Touring in Coastal Maine

Maine has been named the second most bike-friendly state in America -- and for good reason. A biking tour is a fantastic way to see coastal Maine.

Bicycle Friendly Brunswick, Maine

Brunswick, incorporated in 1739, calls itself a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” and indeed, its bike paths were well-marked. We arrived early enough to have lunch at Wild Oats Bakery & Café, one of our dining highlights during the week, with an outstanding prepared salad bar and fair trade coffees. Wild Oats is a locally-owned, from-scratch bakery, deli and cafe in the heart of the shop-lined college town atmosphere. I’m still savoring the superb chicken salad sandwich I had. After strolling around, we visited Sea Dog Brewery, nicely set right on the water. With a typical lively brewpub atmosphere, we celebrated our first day’s cycling with a Sea Dog beer and fish and chips, followed by a stroll back to our inn in the moonlight.

Next day was our most difficult day, so we set out early. We had 40 miles of hills, with a large part of the day spent on U.S. Route 1 (12 miles at one point,) a busy road with some very narrow shoulders and cars and trucks whizzing by at 60 miles an hour.

At one point, feeling a bit lost, without cell phone coverage and dense forests on both sides, we finally saw a strawberry farm stand on the other side of the highway. With trepidation, one of our group dashed across the highway, and asked the kindly, toothless old codger manning the stand if we were anywhere near our lunch destination, Wiscasset. “’Bout eight miles up,” he mumbled. “You be careful now!”

The line for lobster roll at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset
The line for lobster roll at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset. Photo by Mark Rush Photography

Red’s Eats in Wiscasset

Out of all the multitude of lobster shacks, Red’s Eats in Wiscasset is, for some reason, the most famous. Its lines and prices attest to its renown, with glowing reviews in publications worldwide. After watching auto traffic building for some time, (we were passing cars, and a motorcyclist joked to us that it wasn’t fair that we passed him,) we saw that there was no accident, nor train – we were just approaching Red’s Eats.

We waited over an hour to buy our rolls (these were over $20 each – yes, very delicious and stuffed with lobster, but you can judge for yourself whether it’s worth the wait and price. After all, fresh sweet Maine lobster all comes from the same place, and hot dog buns are hot dog buns! Don’t hate me, Red’s Eats fans!)

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