The workshop at Bath Cycle & Ski is an actual garage, attached to the foyer storefront of a carved up Victorian in Woolwich, ME. In it, there’s a ramp featuring a black mat with holes punched out and filled with beer bottle caps. The ceiling is covered with bike wheels, stickers and tools. As the shop’s owners reorganize the space to accommodate the seasonal ski business, the shop’s immaculate record collection is nestled under mechanic Jesse Pilgrim’s workbench. He’s worked here for years.

When I asked him to describe the variety of people who frequent the place, he explained, “We get all kinds here.” For example, a local farmer looking for help fixing his garden cart. 
Forrest Carver, one of the co-owners of the store, recalled a customer with a very different experience than most who frequent the bike joint. 

“We got this customer named Ken. I don’t think he can read, I don’t even know if he has power in his house. He’s just a clam-digger; he’s been doing that for 60 years. He pays us in clams.”
Pilgrim explained his clientele as widely varied. 

“We have this one group of doctors who will ride and they’re some of the coolest customers we have.”

The common trait among all of Pilgrim’s customers is that they appreciate bikes and the people who fix them. 

“On one day, I could be working on a Huffy, a bike that isn’t necessarily worth getting right again. Or, I could be working on a $6,000 bike,” he said.  “The most common bike you see here is your basic hybrid, bikes that are meant for getting from A to B.”

“Find your outlet and don’t let the winter get you down,” Pilgrim advised. He shared his own approach, something that works for a lot of the people he runs into at Bath Cycle and Ski. “Finding time to do anything is tough, obviously, but you’ll lead a lot better life if you actually get out and enjoy nature as much as you can. It definitely helps a whole lot, and bikes are a great way to see a lot of nature in a really short amount of time.”

He referenced some communities that use music to escape the boredom of northern winters. “The highest per capita of fiddlers in the world is on this island in Canada. That’s their outlet. Music is a good way to get out.” 

Pilgrim used to take part in Portland’s music scene, and played in the same venue as Lady Lamb (a Brunswick musician) during her start there. Today, he’s a husband busy with errands, though he’ll always have a special connection to Maine. 

 “You get to see stuff that people never get to see and it’s just in your backyard.”  

The Brunswick Commons and the Phippsburg Land Trust nature preserves are some of his favorite spots in the area. 

“You’ll never run out of cool things to do in Maine if you love the outdoors,” he said.