BikeMaine Unveils Inaugural Route

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kim True
BikeMaine Ride Director
Cell Phone: 207-400-2500
Email: kim@bikemaine.com   

BikeMaine 7-Day Cycling Event Unveils Inaugural Route
First in New England, BikeMaine Expects to Boost Tourism

February 6, 2013, Bangor, ME – BikeMaine, a seven-day, 400 mile rolling celebration of Maine debuting September 7-14, unveiled its inaugural bicycle route today. The loop route, which begins and ends in Orono, will see cyclists camping in the following host communities: Orono, Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor (two nights) and Camp Jordan (Ellsworth). Limited to 350 riders in the first year, half from out-of-state, the event is expected to grow to about 2,000 riders after the startup years, offering an economic boost to host communities supporting the ride. Each year, the route will visit a different part of Maine with new host communities. BikeMaine is the latest and most ambitious undertaking of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to promote and celebrate safe cycling events and pedestrian initiatives.

Large week-long, supported, endurance cycling events are well established and very successful in other parts of the United States, some generating more than $5 million annually in state economic benefit. BikeMaine is the first such event in New England. The inaugural route is designed for fit and experienced cyclists who will pedal 60 to 70 miles each day and climb more than 24,000 feet in elevation.  Along the way, cyclists will discover Maine’s history, culture, and people with the assistance and encouragement of host community organizations and residents.

“BikeMaine will showcase the great riding found here but it is more than just a bicycle ride – it’s a celebration of Maine communities and exploration of our great state,” said Mark Ishkanian, BikeMaine Ride Committee Chair.

Cyclists will camp each evening in a different host community, eating meals prepared by community organizations serving seasonal, locally sourced foods. Wherever possible, support services, provisions, entertainment, and meals will be secured from host communities to benefit the local economy.In addition, once the ride attains profitability after its startup years, 60% of BikeMaine net proceeds will be invested back in host communities in support of local cycling and pedestrian projects.  Remaining proceeds will be used by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine in support of its mission to make Maine better for biking.

“We’re really excited to be an inaugural BikeMaine host community,” said Jack Clukey, Dover-Foxcroft’s Town Manager.  ”This ride gives us the opportunity to host cyclists, help our businesses, support our long term community improvement projects, and promote a healthy active community through walking, biking, and other fitness activities.”

BikeMaine, in support of its mission to promote bicycling, healthy lifestyles and economic development, is proud to have the early and enthusiastic backing of founding sponsors L.L. Bean and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine. Contributing sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, the Maine Tourism Association, Poland Spring and Rinck Advertising.  Start-up grant funding has been generously provided by the Maine Office of Tourism, Betterment Foundation, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Horizon Foundation Inc., and Quimby Family Foundation. Key BikeMaine partnerships include the Maine Downtown Center, The Nature Conservancy, University of Southern Maine, Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

“More tourists are coming to explore Maine under their own power – cycling, kayaking, hiking, canoeing, often described as adventure tourism, and BikeMaine will add to our draw as a tremendous outdoor destination,” said Phil Savignano, Maine Office of Tourism. “Over the years, BikeMaine will explore every corner of Maine and involve many Maine towns as host communities to welcome riders. This is a real winner for Maine.”

Registration for BikeMaine 2013 is limited to 350 riders to insure a well supported, quality first year experience for riders and host communities. Registration (at www.bikemaine.org) opens to Bicycle Coalition of Maine members at 7:00 AM on February 12 and to the general public at 7:00 AMon February 13. The ride is expected to sell out.

Cost is $875 per rider and includes 18 meals, ample beverages and snacks, baggage transport, mechanical and medical support, if needed, and a camping site that includes showers, restrooms, daily entertainment, and food vendors.

BikeMaine is one of several annual cycling events produced by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a Maine not-for-profit dedicated to “making Maine a better place to bicycle.” Founded in 1992, the Coalition offices are located in Portland at 34 Preble Street.

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For additional information on the BikeMaine 2013 route, detailed maps, host community descriptions, registration guidance, and responses to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) visit the BikeMaine website at www.bikemaine.org.

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