(ORONO, Maine) July 7, 2021 – The Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Orono Brewing Company, and the Maine Discovery Museum are teaming up to bring an Earn-A-Bike program to the Bangor region, and they’re kicking it off with a unique fundraiser ride.
Dubbed “One Bike Can…”, the fundraiser will feature Orono Brewing Company (OBC) co-founder Abe Furth riding his mountain bike from Maine to Washington, D.C. in October 2021 in an effort to get bikes into the hands of people who can’t afford them.
“As an avid cyclist and believer in the benefits of bicycling for exercise, recreation, and transportation, I want to share these benefits with people who wouldn’t otherwise have access,” Furth said.
Funds raised will go directly to the launch of the new program, which is based on the highly successful “Bikes for All Mainers” earn-a-bike program that the Bicycle Coalition of Maine helped launch in Portland in 2014, and continues to support. Some fundraising dollars will also
ensure the continued success of the Portland program, which continues to expand every year, but still garners a lengthy waitlist.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to partner with both Orono Brewing and the Maine Discovery Museum to bring this popular program to Mainers in the Bangor region,” said Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Jean Sideris.
The earn-a-bike program will teach basic bike mechanic skills and traffic safety skills, and provides graduating students with a fully refurbished bicycle and new helmet, lock, safety lights, and at-home repair kit.
“For many participants, their new bicycles will also be their main form of transportation,” Furth says. “Or their new bicycles will simply become a source of recreation and fun!”
Originally called “Bikes for New Mainers,” with the program geared toward immigrants and refugees, it was opened up to all Mainers in 2016, and the name was changed to “Bikes for All Mainers.” That same year, the Bikes for All Mainers operations were handed over to the Portland Gear Hub, who has continued to evolve the program to meet the specific needs of the audience in Portland. To date, the Bikes for All Mainers program has served hundreds of students in the greater Portland area.
Interested supporters can visit bikemaine.org/earn-a-bike-program for more info and to donate, or they can mail checks to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at 38 Diamond Street, Portland, ME 04101 with “One Bike Can…” in the memo line.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Since 1992, the BCM has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation, and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation, and recreation. For more information, visit bikemaine.org.