That was the theme of a meeting held June 15 to plan for the development, promotion and management of long-term bicycle tourism opportunities in the Bold Coast region.
Hosted by the Washington County Council of Governments, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism, the meeting included 17 participants representing Washington County communities and organizations. The group plans to build on the fact that BikeMaine 2016 will bring 400 riders and 75 support personnel to the Bold Coast Sept. 10-17. The event will allow businesses and community organizations in the area to identify ways to serve bicycle tourists in the future.
“We are being offered this opportunity that is unique,” said Crystal Hitchings, regional planner and grant administrator for the Washington County Council of Governments and DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism. “If we are successful, it will be a model for the bicycle coalition to use throughout the state.”
BikeMaine was started in 2013 by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit founded in 1992 to make Maine a better place for bicycling and walking. Each year, the event organizers choose a course somewhere in Maine for the one-week tour, traditionally starting the Saturday after Labor Day.