Bicycling the St John Valley and beyond

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:28 AM EDT
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FRENCHVILLE, Maine (WAGM) - Two life long friends who share a love of bicycling have had a very busy summer. John Raymond and Phil Roy are familar faces riding the St John Valley Roads. The two returned from a Coast to Coast Bike Ride from San Diego, California to St Augustine, Florida. Over the next two nights I talk to them about their trip and also about their love for riding in Northern Maine and wanting to promote the sport to other people.

(John Raymond):” We traveled all over the country and did the whole country and we both agreed that there are places here that are as good or not better than places we biked across the country. The biking in Aroostook County and in the St John Valley is gorgeous. There’s so many different places so many different road and trails to go that really bring out the beauty of the whole area.”

(Philip Roy):” This area is great because we don’t have that much traffic and I bike towards Long Lake which is beautiful scenery. The roads are nice in that area. The whole Valley is pretty nice.”

The two friends grew up together in Frenchville and now that Roy is fully retired and Raymond is semi-retired, they are spending more time on the roads taking in the scenery and just enjoying what Northern Maine has to offer.

Roy:” Now that I am retired, I have the time. I have been putting in between 35 and 45 miles a day. Since we came back from our trip I am in the better shape and lost a lot of weight. It’s a lot of fun.”

Roy and Raymond would like to see more people take up the sport. They say don’t expect to go on a long ride right away,but work up to it.

Roy:” You got to start off slowly and work your way up. You can’t just start biking 45 miles a day. You have to build your stamina up.”

The lifelong friends love the solitude of a long ride just slowing down taking in the views of the St John Valley and just smell the roses.

Raymond:” I’m a nature guy. Up here we have got it. It’s quiet.”

Biking in the County is still somewhat a secret to other parts of the State, but biking is being promoted and back in 2018 the Maine Bicycle Coalition organized a tour of the County

Raymond:” Maine Coalition of Biking did their five day trip through the County, They couldn’t believe the beauty of it. It really opened their eyes to what is really here. We really love riding around this area, It has been a great opportunity for us to share that today.”

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