Founded in 2012, BikeMaine was organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, an advocacy group that has led the effort to make Maine better for biking and walking since 1992. BikeMaine was founded to promote the state as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities. The inaugural BikeMaine event was held in September 2013 and attracted 251 riders from 37 states and Canadian provinces and generated an estimated $235,000 in direct economic impact.
Wherever possible, purchased resources required for riders are Maine-sourced within host communities or businesses along the route. The economic boost to host community businesses and community organizations from riders, volunteers, and family members can be significant, as are the continuing benefits from increased community visibility. In 2017, BikeMaine’s total direct economic impact from the event to date grew to an estimated $2.3 million. Proceeds from the event support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and its local cycling and pedestrian initiatives.
Following the completion of BikeMaine’s three-year start-up phase, BikeMaine awarded its first grant in support of biking infrastructure to the City of Gardner, BikeMaine 2014 host community, in 2016. Gardiner is using the $12,300 grant to attract matching funds to complete a connector trail from its downtown to the Kennebec River Trail. The second round of grants were awarded in 2017: $2,705 to Bath (2014 Host Community) and $4,000 to Washington County Council of Governments (2016 Region).
Bath used the funding to construct a “pump” track in a vacant lot between Bath Middle School and the Bath Skate Park. A “pump” track is a small, looping course of banked turns and other features, designed to be ridden without pedaling. Instead, riders gain momentum by “pumping” with up and down movements on the bicycle. The track has been equipped with 30 high-quality bicycles and helmets, as well as tools and supplies for maintenance.
Washington County Council of Governments is using the funding to place public bicycle repair tool kits at automobile service stations along the Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway, a new, world-class, 300-mile, bicycle route that winds through 30 communities from the Schoodic Peninsula to Eastport, and connects via the East Coast Greenway and US Bicycle Route 1 to Calais and the Canadian Maritimes.
BikeMaine is hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and operates under the direction of a Ride Director and volunteer Ride Committee. Most importantly, it is fueled by an army of volunteers, many from host communities and communities interested in becoming host communities in the future. You can learn more about the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, staff, and staff support here. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please click here.
Ride Director, MaryBeth Luce
MaryBeth was born and raised in western Maine. After attending college in Indiana, working in Connecticut, and spending time in Colorado, she moved back to Maine with her husband in 2006 to raise their family here. MaryBeth started with the Coalition as the Office Administrator in February 2016. In December 2017, she transitioned into the role of Ride Director, putting into action the decade of event management experience she brings with her.
Event Coordinator, Will Elting
Will has always loved adventures outdoors, whether it’s hiking New Hampshire’s 4,000 footers, sailing the coast of the Baja peninsula, or cycling the length of the Erie Canal in his home state of New York. He has a BS in Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism from Unity College, a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from USM, and a decade of experience working with recreation focused nonprofits. He and his wife Emily live on Portland’s Munjoy Hill, where they can frequently be seen riding their tandem bike.
Volunteer Coordinator, Liz Hall
Liz is the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Development Director, and has the honor of serving as the volunteer coordinator for the BikeMaine ride each year! Liz hails originally from Vermont, and after a stint in Washington, DC, has loved settling into her new home in Maine and discovering so many amazing places to ride and people to befriend throughout the state. During BikeMaine, you’ll find Liz dancing around the BikeMaine Village, lending a hand wherever needed, and working to make BikeMaine the best experience imaginable for our amazing volunteers!
The Board of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine appointed Coalition members to serve on the BikeMaine Ride Committee, which began meeting in December 2011.
Ride Committee Members include:
- Tina West, Chair: Yarmouth
- Margaret Bean, Vice Chair: Belgrade
- Aaron Bishop, Treasurer: Falmouth
- Pam Fischer: New Gloucester
- Phil Coffin: Portland
- John Williams: Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director
- Rick McGinley: Falmouth
- Larry Rubinstein: Scarborough
- Alicia Heyburn: Brunswick
- Jeremy Lindberg: Freeport
- Emily Elting: Portland
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