Bike Maine 2019 Coastal Connections logo
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FAQs

Below we’ve addressed some questions you may have. It’s also possible you have questions we haven’t addressed, and if so, please contact us and we’ll do our best to get you the information you need.

About BikeMaine

How many cyclists will be on the BikeMaine ride?

BikeMaine is limited to 450 riders. We keep it small for a number of reasons, including our goal of creating an intimate quality experience, and making sure we don’t overwhelm our host communities.

What are the dates for BikeMaine? How do I register?

BikeMaine 2019: Coastal Connections will be held September 7 – 14, 2019.

The 2019 event is sold out. If you wish to be added to the wait list, please send your name, email address, and phone number to ride@bikemaine.org.

 

What is Tent & Porter Service?

For an additional fee, you can choose to have a spacious tent for two set up and waiting for you upon your arrival in each day’s BikeMaine Village, with your luggage delivered to your door and two camp chairs ready for you to relax. The fee is $500for single occupancy, an additional $50 for double occupancy, and includes an L.L.Bean tent, and two camp chairs. You’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag and pad.

What are the sleeping accommodations? What if I don’t like to camp?

Cyclists can opt to bring and set up their own tent, or they can utilize the convenient Tent & Porter service for an additional fee.

Riders can also make their own arrangements to stay in nearby hotels or bed and breakfasts, and local options for each town have been provided on the 2019 Lodging Page. Any transportation required between the BikeMaine Village and offsite lodging will need to to be worked out between you and your lodging management. Riders who elect to spend a night outside of the BikeMaine Village are responsible for their own luggage; BikeMaine does not have the capacity to monitor luggage overnight.

For a complete worry-free experience, you can let bike travel specialist Summer Feet make all of your lodging accommodations. Summer Feet offers a BikeMaine lodging package that includes accommodations and transportation between the BikeMaine Village and the lodging property.

Please note that while BikeMaine is willing to make riders aware of non-camping lodging options, BikeMaine makes no representation about the quality of the properties or service provided.

What is BikeMaine’s purpose?

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  Maine as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities. Proceeds from the event support BikeMaine host communities and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 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.

 

Registration

I just registered and am so excited! Now what?

Thanks for registering to ride BikeMaine with us! You should have received an automated receipt of your BikeMaine registration “order” emailed to the address you included in your registration. If you did not, please email us or call 207-623-4511.

Next steps?

  1. Read through all of the FAQs. If you still have questions, be in touch!
  2. Read emails from us! You should be receiving monthly emails with news and information that you should read in their entirety.
  3. Check us out and start following us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube for your daily or weekly dose of #BikeMaine excitement!
  4. Get outfitted! BikeMaine merchandise  is available for purchase now.
  5. Start training. See the example training program designed by our sports therapy partner OA Centers for Orthopaedics, a Division of Spectrum Medical Group, please click here.

I can no longer ride. Can I transfer my registration to someone else?

No. Registration is not transferable, and  you will  be asked to show a photo ID when you check in on September 7th.  

See “What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?

I am on the wait-list. What now?

Hold tight. If there are cancellations, the next person on the wait-list will be notified by phone or email as soon as possible.

We are not able to predict when or if this will happen.

Want to make sure that you are signed up for BikeMaine? Mark your calendar – Registration for the 2020 ride will open in September.

What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?

In the event that you have to cancel your registration, there will be a sliding scale for refunds. Riders who cancel before June 1st will be refunded all but $50. Those who cancel between June 1 and July 31st will be refunded all but $150. Beginning August 1, no refunds will be granted, regardless of the reason for cancellation.

To protect yourself from unexpected disruptions in your BikeMaine plans, we suggest that you consider travel insurance. Here is an example of a travel policy that is available.

Can a non-rider come with me?

Yes. Many riders have family and friends who wish to share the experience of the event but prefer to ride from village to village in their own car rather than on a bicycle. For these folks, we have the Rider Guest Program. The fee is $700, which includes 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts, and all of the other BikeMaine Village amenities (camping, showers, entertainment). Rider Guests are asked not to drive the same route the riders take each day. BikeMaine will provide alternative driving directions for Rider Guests. Space for rider guests is limited, so register here early.

What does my registration fee include?

Your registration fee includes:

  • 3 hearty,  locally-sourced  meals each day, with the exception that riders are on their own for  dinner, breakfast, and lunch when we are in the layover community, where there is a wide array of restaurants and markets available
  • Well-stocked rest stops for recharging and refueling
  • Friendly course support that includes maps, a signed route, support vehicles, and mechanical and medical assistance, if needed
  • Luggage transport (up to 2 bags, with no one bag weighing over 35 pounds)
  • Full use of the BikeMaine Village, a portable tent city that springs up wherever the tour stops for the night
  • Hot showers on site
  • Restrooms
  • Daily entertainment
  • Bike mechanics, and medical and information tents
  • A gathering place for cyclists to socialize and swap stories from the road
  • A BikeMaine t-shirt

Do I have to ride the whole week? Is there a shorter option?

BikeMaine no longer offers half-week riding options. BikeMaine 2019 is sold out. If you wish to be added to the wait list, please  send your name, email address, and phone number to ride@bikemaine.org.

 

Preparing for the Ride

What kind of bicycle do I need to ride BikeMaine?

One in good working condition! Most riders will ride road bikes with drop-style curved handlebars, but touring or hybrid bikes with straight bars are just fine, too, as are recumbents and tandems. What’s most important is that you’re comfortable and that your bike will hold up through multiple days of riding.

If you are in the market for a bike, we encourage you to visit a bike shop in your area and explain that, during BikeMaine, the bike will  be used for riding an average of 55  miles a day on paved Maine roads (translation: expect the occasional potholes and cracks).   No need to carry luggage (as baggage service is included in your registration), but the bike should be light enough that you can be comfortable climbing about 2500-4000 feet a day.

That being said you may look to rent a bike in the area and not worry about  bringing (or shipping) your own bike with you, and that is perfectly fine. You know your body and how you will adjust to a new bicycle better than we do!

PREPARE YOUR BIKE: If you are bringing your own bike, please please please have it inspected at your local bike shop. This will reduce the chances of having mechanical problems along the route. A tune-up is a must whether you do it yourself or have a mechanic do it for you. We (and the past BikeMaine bike mechanics) strongly encourage you to schedule a Professional Bike Tune-up and have your mechanic inspect the bike thoroughly, clean and re-grease all cable pinch bolts, saddle rail clamp and bolts, and the seat-post collar bolts, replacing worn out parts if necessary. If your shop has or can order your bike’s specific rear derailleur hanger, buy one as a spare and bring it with you. If you have any nontraditional wheel spokes that are integrated into the manufacturers hub and rims, it never hurts to have those on hand for the bike mechanics  to install, if need be. We want you and your bike to ride the whole route!

Do you offer towel service?

Yes. Towel service, which gets you a freshly laundered towel each day of BikeMaine, is available for an additional fee of $40 per person. Sign-up  for towel service by August 1st.

How serious is the weight limit for bags? Can I bring two bags instead of one?

Each rider may bring no more than two bags (duffle or cargo bags are ideal). No one bag may exceed 35 pounds. This weight limit includes your tent and sleeping bag. The weight restriction is in consideration of the volunteers who must handle the luggage. Please take the time to weigh your bag(s) and pack accordingly. All luggage will be weighed at check-in and any single bag weighing more than 35 pounds will need to be adjusted. No exceptions.

In the event of rainy weather, your luggage may sit uncovered outdoors for some period of time (while we will do what we can to keep luggage dry, we cannot guarantee that luggage won’t get wet). We highly recommend that you use waterproof luggage or bring heavy duty trash bags to wrap your luggage if rain is in the forecast. Past riders recommend using ziplock bags for items inside your luggage, and lining the inside of your bags with heavy duty trash bags for extra protection, to ensure your possessions remain dry.

What do I need to bring?

Needs and wants are different and this is a good opportunity to create the distinction. To assist with your packing, we’ve created a packing list that will be available when the Rider Handbook is published later this spring. Remember that this list is just a suggestion, and keep in mind the weight  limit for your 2 bags, including tent and sleeping bag, when packing. No one bag may weigh more than 35 pounds. All bags will be weighed at check-in and any bag exceeding the 35 pound weight limit will need to be adjusted. No exceptions.

What training should I do before the event?

For a program designed by our sports therapy partner OA Centers for Orthopaedics, a Division of Spectrum Medical Group, please click here.

How can I find out about interest in sharing ride to Waterville?

BikeMaine offers a Rider Discussion Forum where riders looking to share a ride can connect.

If I drive to the start of BikeMaine, what do I do with my car?

BikeMaine has arranged with the city of Waterville  for on-site vehicle parking during the week for a $30 fee. This money offsets any costs associated with parking, with the remainder going to the host community.  Click here to pay for parking.  

Additionally, please print, fill out and bring this  Vehicle Parking Release and Waiver for Liability and Indemnity Agreement  with you.

Can I ship my bike?

Yes. Stay tuned for details. 

How difficult is the route?

Maine’s terrain is moderately challenging, with rolling hills and few flat stretches. 2019 daily rides average about 55 miles, with the shortest ride being 45 miles and the longest being about 68 miles. A rider can elect to extend the day’s riding with an approximately 15-mile marked loop at the end of some of the days’ routes. There is a layover day during the week when riders can rest, explore on foot, or put on some extra bike miles. With a good training plan in place, cyclists can meet the challenge. BikeMaine cyclists have ranged in age from 10 years old to 81 years young!

 

Getting to the Start

How do I get to the start of BikeMaine?

BikeMaine 2019 starts at the BikeMaine Village located at Head of Falls Park in Waterville, Maine. Waterville is located approximately 75 miles north of Portland.

By Car

To reach Waterville by car, follow Interstate 95, the primary highway in Maine, to Exit 127.

For those needing to leave a vehicle for the week, BikeMaine has arranged with the City of Waterville for on-site vehicle parking during the week for a $25 fee. This money offsets any costs associated with parking, with any excess being allocated to a local non-profit.

By Air

The two major airports that service Maine are the Portland International Jetport, located 75 miles from Waterville, and the Bangor International Airport, located 56 miles away.

BikeMaine is offering shuttles from the Portland International Jetport to the start of BikeMaine in Waterville on September 7, with a return shuttle on September 14. Please see Shuttles Between Portland or Bangor and Waterville, below, for information about the shuttle service.

By Bus

Bus transportation from Boston to Portland and/or Waterville is serviced by Concord Coach Lines. Once in Portland or Bangor, there is a BikeMaine shuttle to Waterville. Please see Shuttles Between Portland or Bangor and Waterville, below, for information about the shuttle.

By Train

Transportation on Amtrak can be booked from Boston through to Portland. Once in Portland, there is a BikeMaine shuttle to Waterville. Please see Shuttles Between Portland or Bangor and Waterville, below, for information about the shuttle.

Shuttles Between Portland and Waterville

There will be a shuttle service available for BikeMaine 2019, leaving from the Hilton Garden Inn, and the Portland International Jetport. The shuttle we depart at approximately 11:00 am on September 7th, and provide transport to the BikeMaine village at Head of Falls Park in Waterville, approximately 75 miles away.

The shuttle will provide transport from the BikeMaine village in Waterville back to Portland on September 14th, departing at approximately 4:00 pm. The cost of the shuttle is $150, round trip. Riders requesting shuttle service must notify BikeMaine by August 1st. Specific details about shuttle pick-up and drop-off times will be provided following the close of the shuttle request period on August 1.

During the Ride

What if someone needs to reach me in an emergency?

In extreme emergencies, family members can contact a rider by calling the Maine State Police in Augusta at 1-800-452-4664. Please ask them to send an urgent message to BikeMaine officials. Keep in mind that it may take up to 4 hours to locate a rider and relay a message.

Will you transport my medical device?

Yes. BikeMaine will transport necessary medical devices. Please email or call 207-623-4511 and ask for the BikeMaine staff so that we can discuss your particular situation and be able to plan accordingly.

Riders can place their C-PAP machine or other medical device in the designated container at the BikeMaine Information Booth before 8:30 a.m. each day and pick it up in the next host community between 3:00 – 6:30 p.m. from the designated container at the Information Booth.

Please note that BikeMaine offers this service as a courtesy and does not assume responsibility for any device.

Will I have phone/e-mail access during the ride? Will there be a way for me to charge electronic devices?

No promises here. We’re traveling in rural sections of the state where signals can be intermittent. There’s better opportunity for connectivity in host communities, but again, no guarantees. In each host community, a service organization will offer an on-site charging station for electronics for a small fee.

What happens if I can’t finish the day’s ride?

Each cyclist is expected to ride from one host community to the next. There are support vehicles on the course each day, but they are not intended to be a shuttle service. They are available to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or physical injury. The vans also have extra water and snacks, if needed. If at any time you need assistance, signal a support vehicle with a €œthumbs down€ hand gesture. If you do get in a support vehicle, you will be transported to the next rest stop, and eventually to the next BikeMaine Village. Support vehicles usually wait until they are full before heading to the Village.

Do I need to finish riding each day by a specific time?

Route support services are available only during course hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. BikeMaine riders still on the route at 4:30 p.m. will be offered a ride to the day’s destination. BikeMaine can only provide route support to participants who are riding on the established route during the time the route is open.

How much money should I expect to spend?

While there are not many times you will need to spend money along the way, there are plenty of opportunities when you may want to spend money. You will need to purchase the first 3 meals when we are in the layover community, where there are a variety of restaurants and markets to satisfy a range of tastes and budgets. As for wants, consider the following extras: pre-breakfast coffee and end of the day beer, wine, or other treats; massages; BikeMaine merchandise and other retail purchases; equipment repair; cell phone charging; local attractions; and for those who seek assistance in carrying luggage from the truck to the tent site, contributions to the local service organization that helps you (a $2 tip per bag is recommended).

ATMs are available in most host communities, but not necessarily near the Village sites. Stopping at an ATM along the route if needed or carrying cash is a good idea.

What if I wake up and I don’t feel able to ride?

There will be a support vehicle available each morning to transport cyclists from site to site if a cyclist is experiencing illness or injury. You will need a medical note to ride in this vehicle, which you can get at the Medical Tent. Bring the form to the Information Tent before 8:00 a.m. to sign-up for the transport.

What types of food do you serve?

BikeMaine, in partnership with the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, prides itself on using locally grown, in-season food at all its meals. When registering, riders are asked to select an omnivore or vegetarian menu. At each meal, two main dishes are served – one with meat and one without. A variety of salads and side dishes also are offered. While many of the dishes offered may be gluten free, we cannot certify that they are completely free of all traces of gluten. Please contact the Ride Director if you have questions about handling food allergies.

Does every town have a laundromat?

Laundromats are located within a mile of the BikeMaine Village in Waterville, Damariscotta (Day 2), Rockland (Day 3 & 4), and Belfast (Day6). There will be no laundry service readily availible in Hope, at Alford Lake Camp (Day 1), so please plan accordingly.

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