Have you ever heard of the Penobscot Expedition, one of the biggest naval disasters in American history? It happened right here, between Bangor and Castine, during the Revolutionary War. The entire American fleet — 44 ships — was destroyed.
This event and other bits of Bangor history were explored during the eighth annual Bangor Alleycat bicycle race on Nov. 4, in which cyclists pedaled to 11 checkpoints throughout the city to complete history-related tasks.
“It was the worst naval defeat in the US history before Pearl Harbor,” Liam Riordan said about the Penobscot Expedition. Lead organizer of this year’s race, Riordan is a history professor at the University of Maine, so it’s no surprise he infused the event with bits and pieces of the past.
Not your typical bike race, alleycat races have no set route. Instead, they have checkpoints, locations listed on a manifest that is handed to participants just prior to the race. The racers then use their knowledge of the area to map out what they believe is the best route to hit all checkpoints.
Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...
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