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February 2013

National Youth Bike Summit Recap

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

 

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine recently provided a scholarship to Kadin Woolever to attend the National Youth Bike Summit.  Below is the recap of the event provided by Kadin.  Pictures of the event are available here.

——

I am writing to summarize my experience at the National Youth Bike Summit that I had the opportunity to attend on a scholarship from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

At the summit we were greeted by Pasqualina Azzarello, the director of the Recycle A Bicycle program which helps to give bikes to kids who don’t have a way to get them. The former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, Enrique Peñalosa also gave an inspiring speech in which he talked about the importance of having protected bike space in our communities. In Colombia, he was able to make incredible changes, such as a network of bicycle paths and greenways through low-income neighborhoods, and Ciclovia, a Car Free Day. He also talked about how our cities are moving more towards access for cars, and less for people walking or biking. He said, “Cars are a means of social differentiation and exclusion; bicycles integrate people as equals.” He concluded by saying that the best way to gain protected biking and walking space, is to get more people advocating for cycling involved in politics so that we can vote on these issues.

We then were led by marching band (The Rude Mechanical Orchestra) to the New School where I attended workshops on social change, making tool rolls, and a cycling group, Spoke’n Revolution.

In the social change workshop we learned about how to make changes through education, organizing, service, and advocacy. In the tool rolls workshop we sewed cloth in a roll-up pocket where cyclists can hold essential repair and safety tools such as tire levers, tubes, pumps, and patches.

In the last workshop a cycling group for children of color talked to us about their amazing bicycle trips through national parks and along the Lewis and Clark route. This group empowers kids with opportunities for leadership and many of them, who would not otherwise go to college, end up attending.

The National Youth Bike Summit was a great experience for me because it allowed me to see a lot of different aspects of cycling that I had never even considered before. I had always thought of cycling as something that kids all over the world had access to, but seeing many different groups that worked to donate bikes to children in need made me realize that there are lots of kids who do not get to enjoy great things like cycling.

One of the things that I am planning on doing with the skills and ideas that I have learned at the Bike Summit, and through my cycling experience, is to plan a charity bike ride in my community that will help to collect items for a local food bank. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be able to go to this great event.

Sincerely,

Kadin Woolever

Councilor Saddlemire Receives Bicycle Coalition of Maine "Just Do It" Award

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

 

Posted from the Lewiston City Website.

 

City of Lewiston Press Release

Members of the Media: Below please find a press release announcing that Lewiston City Councilor Craig Saddlemire is the recipient of a Bicycle Coalition of Maine “Just Do It” award. Any media coverage that you could render would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dottiepage1image3280 page1image3440

PRESS RELEASE February 20, 2013

************************************ CONTACT:
Dottie Perham-Whittier
Community Relations Coordinator

City of Lewiston
513-3000, X3205
TTY/TDD: 513-3007 www.lewistonmaine.gov ***********************************

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEpage1image6544 page1image6704

LEWISTON: Lewiston City Councilor Craig Saddlemire is the recent recipient of the Just Do It award by the Bicycle Coalition of

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Bike Maine 2013 announces route for inaugural ride (WCSH6 / WLBZ2)

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

 

This article originally appeared on WCSH6.com

 

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Only the hardiest of souls are out biking during these coldest days of winter, but the planning is well underway right now for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s ‘Bike Maine 2013 Inaugural Ride.‘ The 7 day ride will begin and end in Orono, and will feature scenic rides through several communities including Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth. Cyclists will camp each evening in the various communities and enjoy meals prepared by local organizations that use locally sourced foods. Organizers hope the ride will showcase local comunities, and promote healthy lifestyles.

“There are several other successful week long ride programs in other parts of the country and some of our coalition members have been on those rides in other parts of the country, most notably cycle oregon and ride the rockies,” explained Kim Andersen True, the Bike Maine 2013 Ride Director.

The ride will take place from September 7th through the 14th.

For more information, visit https://bikemaine.org

First 7-day BikeMaine tour route unveiled (Bangor Daily News)

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

This article originally appeared on BangorDailyNews.com

First 7-day BikeMaine tour route unveiled

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 06, 2013, at 3:45 p.m.

 

BANGOR, Maine — The Bicycle Coalition of Maine unveiled Wednesday the route of the organization’s first-ever BikeMaine 2013 event, and 350 determined cyclists will spend seven days in September touring several popular destinations in eastern Maine.

The 400-mile tour will start in Orono on Sept. 7, and make overnight stops in Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth before returning to Orono on Sept. 13.

Organizers unveiled the route during a press conference in Bangor on Wednesday afternoon.

“[This] is probably the biggest initiative that we’ve had in 20 years, and we see this extraordinary event as the vehicle that will bring the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s message and mission to all parts of the state, will showcase the fantastic biking that we have in Maine, and will realize the tremendous economic potential of bicycle tourism in Maine,” said Nancy Grant, the executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine during the press conference and reception.

The ride will be open to just 350 cyclists the first year as organizers strive to offer a quality ride for both participants and host communities. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine expects to expand the field to a cap of 2,000 after several “start-up years,” according to a press release announcing the event.

Mark Ishkanian, the vice president of the coalition’s board of directors, said he hopes BikeMaine will double in size in its second year, but said the event’s organizing committee won’t make that commitment until it analyzes the inaugural effort.

“We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew [by allowing too many riders in the field the first year]. We want this event to be successful right off the bat,” Ishkanian said. “We know we’re going to disappoint some people who are excited about the prospect of a seven-day ride. But we ask those folks to have patience with us, because we really want to put together a quality ride and we really think we have to do it in a thoughtful and considerate way.”

Future BikeMaine events will be staged in different parts of the state, with a goal to “explore every corner of Maine and involve many Maine towns as host communities to welcome riders,” Phil Savignano of the Maine Office of Tourism, said in the press release.

Ishkanian said that as the event changes venue from year to year, riders will learn to love sections of the state they may not be familiar with.

“Whether you’re a Mainer riding in this ride but you’ve never been to Aroostook County or Washington County, or whether you’re from out of state and you’ve only been to Portland, this is an opportunity for discovery for riders from wherever, to come to Maine and really visit our state in a way that is personal, and we hope is very affirming,” Ishkanian said. “Because you learn a lot about the state when you’re riding at 10 or 15 mph and you’re meeting people along the way.”

Of the 350 participants, who will pay $875 each to take part in the ride, half will be from outside Maine. That nonresident participation quota was among the terms agreed to when the coalition accepted a $50,000 Maine Office of Tourism grant.

Organizers expect the field to fill up quickly, and said those who were Bicycle Coalition of Maine members as of Dec. 31, 2012 will be allowed to sign up at bikemaine.org beginning at 7 a.m. Feb. 12. Registration to others will open at 7 a.m. Feb. 13.

Called a “400-mile celebration of Maine,” the tour package includes camping facilities (bring your own tent) at each stop, 18 meals, entertainment, and support along the route.

In a packet that answers frequently asked questions, organizers caution that BikeMaine is a challenge that is not suitable for novice cyclists.

“Proper training will involve weekly training distances of 100 to 150 miles and occasional single-day rides of 50 miles or more,” according to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. “This is not the type of event to ride your way into shape.”

The course will provide a challenge for riders not only because of the daily rides of 60 to 70 miles, but because of the terrain that will be covered: Over the course of the week riders will have to conquer climbs totaling more than 24,000 feet in altitude.

After it becomes firmly established and profitable, 60 percent of BikeMaine proceeds will be invested back in host communities in support of local cycling and pedestrian projects, according to the release. The other 40 percent of proceeds will be used by the coalition in support of its mission: To make Maine better for biking.

The route:

• Day 1: Saturday, Sept. 7, Orono to Dover-Foxcroft, 70 miles

• Day 2: Sunday, Sept. 8, Dover-Foxcroft to Belfast, 69 miles

• Day 3: Monday, Sept. 9, Belfast to Castine, 73 miles

• Day 4: Tuesday, Sept. 10, Castine to Bar Harbor, 62 miles

• Day 5: Wednesday, Sept. 11, rest day in Bar Harbor

• Day 6: Thursday, Sept. 12, Bar Harbor to Camp Jordan, Ellsworth, 69 miles

• Day 7: Friday, Sept. 13, Camp Jordan, Ellsworth to Orono, 57 miles

Experienced cyclists will get a test of Maine in September (Portland Press Herald)

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

This article originally appeared in the Portland Press Herald.

 

Experienced cyclists will get a test of Maine in September

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is planning a seven-day event that includes camping out at night.
By Glenn Jordan gjordan@mainetoday.com, Staff Writer

 

Take the Tour de France. Throw in a few staples of Maine summertime — camping, tourism and local foods. The result might look like something the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is planning for September.

BikeMaine is a fully supported seven-day bicycle tour of the state designed for cyclists comfortable with riding 60 to 70 daily miles and camping out at night. The inaugural route will start and finish in Orono, cover 400 miles and 24,000 feet of elevation, and make stops in Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor and Camp Jordan in Ellsworth.

“For our 20th anniversary we wanted to take on a new challenge,” said Kim True, director of the ride. “We think it will be a grand time for our riders and what we’re hoping is that it will be a driver of economic development for our host communities as well.”

True envisions an annual event that grows from 350 riders this year to 600 next year to perhaps 2,000 in the not-too-distant future. No other state in New England hosts such an event, she said. The closest is probably the Bon Ton Roulet, a week-long tour through New York’s Finger Lakes region.

“Each year it will be a different route,” True said. “We’re trying to have it be the second full week of September so we’re not interfering with Labor Day and we’re done before the foliage season gets under way. And there’s nothing like a fresh Maine harvest in September. It’s going to be primarily in-season, local food that people are receiving. I think that’s going to be a big draw.”

Planning for the event has been in the works for a year, True said, jump-started by a $50,000 grant from the Maine Office of Tourism. Half the field is reserved for out-of-state participants. The cap of 350 is designed to ensure a successful experience for the inaugural event.

“Unfortunately there are going to be a lot of disappointed people the first year,” True said. “We regret that, but we thought it best if we could start small and grow this in the right way. There will be plenty of ways to volunteer.”

The cost of the trip is $875, and includes 18 meals, baggage transport, mechanical and medical assistance, and other support.

For those who’d rather not bother with their own tent, a porter service is available for $400 more, and will include a tent, ground cloth, two chairs, and daily set-up and take-down.

“This is not for beginners,” True said. “We have plenty of other rides in the state for those beginners and intermediate riders. We suggest people have at least 1,000 miles (for the year) under their belts before they tackle BikeMaine.”

Coalition members (as of Dec. 31) have a 24-hour window to register for the event before it becomes available to the general public at 7 a.m. Feb. 13. More information is available at bikemaine.org.

“More tourists are coming to explore Maine under their own power — cycling, kayaking, hiking, canoeing — often described as adventure tourism,” said Phil Savignano of the Maine Office of Tourism, in a prepared statement. “BikeMaine will add to our draw as a tremendous outdoor destination. 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.”

The Bicyle Coalition of Maine is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1992 and dedicated to making Maine better for biking.

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

 

Deirdre Fleming: Inaugural BikeMaine should find riders aplenty (Portland Press Herald)

By | BikeMaine

This article originally appeared in the Portland Press Herald.

Deirdre Fleming: Inaugural BikeMaine should find riders aplenty

 

The announcement last week of a seven-day, 400-mile bike trek through Maine this September brings an unproven event to the state at a time when many lack a lot of expendable cash.

But the folks at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine have done their homework, a good three years’ worth. They’ve traveled to other states where such long-distance, mass touring rallies take place. And they remain certain the BikeMaine tour will be an instant draw and eventually grow to 2,000 riders.

All they had to do was look around the country at the competition.

This year, Ohio will celebrate its 25th year hosting the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, billed as “an adventure on two wheels with 2,999 of your closest friends.”

Such tours are about bicycling, but they are just as much about seeing and exploring small towns at a leisurely pace along a beautiful, off-the-beaten-path kind of route.

“I rode in (Ohio’s ride). It was more of a research mission on my part. I was asking people in Ohio what they liked and didn’t like. I asked would they come to something similar in Maine. And I was astounded that the overwhelming response was, yes,” said Kim True, the BikeMaine director.

Registration for the first BikeMaine event opens to the public on Feb. 13 at 7 a.m. at www.bikemaine.org. The ride costs $875 and is expected to sell out, given it has a cap of 350 riders the first year (including 175 from out of state).

The tour will involve a week of pedaling 60 to 70 miles a day up through 24,000 feet of vertical gain. The host towns where riders will camp are Orono, Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth — all communities experienced in welcoming tourists.

The event will move around the state in the years to come, but True believes the first year will do well.

When the Dempsey Challenge was rolled out five years ago, it was unproven whether a day-long cycling fundraiser in Maine could draw thousands of riders from across the country, or even the world.

Yet in 2012, its fourth year, the event attracted 4,294 participants from 33 states and six countries to Lewiston and Auburn to ride. And the year before, 4,177 signed up to ride in the charity event that raises funds for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing.

These are the kind of numbers enjoyed by long-distance bike touring events across the country.

In 2012, Cycle Oregon drew 2,200 participants from 46 states and eight countries.

For 27 years, Colorado has hosted a seven-day trek through the Rocky Mountains that now draws as many as 2,500 cyclists.

Such an event was a natural progression for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which runs the successful Lobster Ride and Lighthouse Ride.

“For the 20th anniversary (of the Coalition) we decided to bring on a new event, a larger event. We had a committee formed in the spring of 2011. We’ve been researching this,” True said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com

Twitter: Flemingpph

BikeMaine Unveils Inaugural Route

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

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.

###

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.

Inaugural BikeMaine Cycling Announcement and Route Unveiling

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Inaugural BikeMaine Cycling Announcement and Route Unveiling
Announcement Tomorrow, 02/6/13, in Bangor

BikeMaine, a seven day, six town, 400 mile mass cycling event — the first of its kind in New England — will unveil the 2013 inaugural route and announce this year’s host communities tomorrow, Feb. 6, in Bangor. The announcement will be made at a 2:00 PM press conference hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Bangor Savings Bank at the G. Clifton Eames Learning Center, 203 Maine Avenue, Bangor.

The media is welcomed and encouraged to attend. Other invited guests include representatives from host communities, sponsors, and partners, local and state officials integral to the success of the Ride, and BikeMaine leadership. Light (and tasty) refreshments follow the announcement.  

TIME: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
LOCATION: G. Clifton Eames Learning Center, 203 Maine Avenue, Bangor