Westbrooker Eric Schwibs, 52, is a long-term cancer survivor out to thrive.
“I had some real physical challenges during and after treatment,” he says. “I like to show others that you can indeed bounce back fully after diagnosis and treatment.”
Cycling brought Scarborough’s Justin Ladd, 33, together with his soulmate.
“My wife and got ‘reunited’ – we used to date, in middle school – through biking events like the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Lobster Ride and the Trek Across Maine.”
Pam Fischer, 57 of New Gloucester, is not riding BikeMaine this year, but volunteering.
“My husband and I make it an annual weeklong volunteer vacation,” she says. “We are part of the village team, setting up and dismantling the mobile ‘tent city’ each day.”
Both Fischer and her husband have additional duties – all of which they relish.
“We do whatever it takes to ensure our riders have an amazing experience. We have a blast.
“Service work is important to me,” Fischer says, “and what could be better than volunteering at an event that brings a crowd of fascinating people to the beautiful backroads and small towns of Maine?”
Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk will host this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 12-19. But a long list of communities can expect the riders to pass through as they wend their way across the landscape.
The 2015 BikeMaine route rolls first through the Berwicks on its way to Biddeford and Saco before cutting inland to skirt through Hollis and Steep Falls as it sidles up the western edge of Sebago Lake toward the New Hampshire border.
It circles around to head south around Gilead, where it enters the White Mountains National Forest; it takes a short hop north again at Fryeburg, then angles homeward for the last time, passing by Pleasant Mountain and through Hiram, Cornish, Limerick and Lyman before arriving at the coast in Kennebunk.
The last day of the event tracks mostly along the coast, reaching Ogunquit and York Harbor, then Kittery once more. The total distance is 349 miles, though additional 15-mile loops are available on three days. Registration remains open – for now.
“What we’re trying to do is develop bicycle tourism in the state and to economically impact small communities that don’t usually get that tourism,” BikeMaine Ride Director Kim Anderson True said. “We’re trying to educate communities about how to continue to attract cyclists.”
Each year, BikeMaine takes riders to different regions of Maine. This year’s host communities, where riders will camp, are Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk, respectively. Each day, participants will pedal an average of 55 miles, with optional 10- to 15-mile loops along the way for those looking to lengthen the ride.
Registration is nearly full, with only a few slots left as of Aug. 25.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Lauri Boxer-Macomber, attorney at law, and James Tassé, assistant director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, are both members of the coalition’s Bicycle Law Enforcement Collaborative.
The recent tragic and avoidable deaths of two pedestrians in Maine remind us that safety on Maine’s public ways is something we all need to work toward.
Regardless of whether we are operating a logging truck, walking with our children, jogging with our dogs, driving to the dentist, hauling our boats to camp or commuting to work on our bicycles, we are all part of how Maine law defines “traffic.” As such, we all have important obligations to understand the rules of the road and the rights and duties owed to ourselves and other traffic.
Bicycle Coalition of Maine Watching
Latest Pedestrian and Motorist Crashes
Both of these crashes occurred on roads without sidewalks, once again illustrating the need for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure on our roadways. According to the Federal Highway Administration, providing walkways separated from the travel lanes could help to prevent up to 88 percent of pedestrian deaths that occur when the pedestrian is walking in the road.
These latest incidents in Maine also highlight again the need for all motorists to be alert for other users at all times and places, to obey local speed limits, and never to drive distracted or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This incident is also a reminder for all pedestrians and bicycles to use extra care to be visible, and to follow best practices and law for roadway safety.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will continue to monitor the circumstances surrounding these cases in search of information that will improve roadway safety for all users.
This article originally appeared on MPBN.net
Where are the best places to bike ride in Maine? Are towns and communities seeing an economic impact from the number of bikers drawn to the state each summer? We talk pedal power on today’s show.
Kim True – Ride Director of Bike Maine
Nancy Grant – Exective Dir. of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine
John Grenier – owner of Rainbow Bicycle in Lewiston
Robin Zinchuk – Bethel Camber of Commerce
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