Kenneth Cyr sits in front of the Hampton Inn in Saco on Saturday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

SACO — When Kenneth Cyr told his wife Theresa that he was going to bicycle about 500 miles from their home in St. Agatha to Old Orchard Beach, she knew he’d go through with it.

“I wasn’t surprised. It was one more thing that Ken wanted to do,” she said Saturday morning outside the Hampton Inn in Saco, where she had driven down the night before to drive him, his bicycle and his gear home.

Kenneth, 51, a road construction and maintenance superintendent with Irving Woodlands, is the kind of guy who likes to keep life interesting, and enjoys activities like scuba diving and dog sledding.

His philosophy of life is not only live life to the fullest, but don’t wait until you retire to do those bucket-list activities because you might not have the health or finances to do them.

His advice to others: “Take on a challenge or that thing that you’ve had in the back of your mind. Just do it, it’s that simple.”

When Kenneth was planning his bicycle trek, he set a goal of going to Old Orchard Beach, as he has family who live in the area. He thought about taking the ride in May, but then he heard about the Great Cycle Challenge, which was happening in June.

Participants in the Great Cycle Challenge set a personal goal of how many miles they aim to ride in the month of June. Participants raise money through sponsorships, with funds going to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

Kenneth challenged himself to 600 miles this month and planned to continue riding after he got back home. As of Sunday he had raised over $1,200.

Kenneth set out on his journey Sunday, June 9, and pulling a trailer with about 40 pounds of gear he headed south on Route 1. He stayed in motels along the way, and made sure to stop at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias and L.L. Bean in Freeport.

His longest ride was 115 miles, and after stopping early in Freeport on Thursday due to the weather, his 33 mile trek on Friday to his destination, Old Orchard Beach, was the shortest.

“Just enough to warm up my legs,” said Kenneth.

He kept in touch with Theresa along the way, who gave updates to their friends on social media. A few friends — an ex-coworker and a couple of old classmates — who lived along the route met up with him along the way to say hello and give their support.

Kenneth has been biking for several years, and has participated in the three day, 180-mile Trek Across Maine and other bicycle rides.

Kenneth Cyr’s bicycle and trailer parked outside the L.L. Bean store in Freeport. COURTESY PHOTO/Submitted by Kenneth Cyr

This latest journey was by far Kenneth’s longest. He said with the long winter he had only been able to do a couple of rides to prepare before departing on Sunday.

“Basically, I broke myself in on the ride,” Kenneth said.

Saturday morning, the skin on his tanned arms was peeling a bit and his legs were covered with bites from the black flies that swarmed on him at one point along the way as soon as he stopped peddling, but he seemed full of energy.

“I’m actually good, I’d bike today,” he said. “When I look back at it now, it’s no big deal. I’m always doing something. I’m always active.”

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

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