FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
BikeMaine announces 2014 route and host communities
Bicycle event to bring tourism dollars to Maine
Portland, ME, February 4, 2014 – Maine is in the grip of winter but the state’s newest bicycle ride is already gearing up for its second edition. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s week-long BikeMaine ride is a seven day, 350 mile event that explores the people, places, culture, landscape and food of Maine and will take place September 6-13.
This year’s ride, entitled “BikeMaine 2014: Pedaling the Waterways,” will build on the success of last year’s inaugural ride, and will feature host communities in western, central and coastal Maine. The loop route will begin and end in Westbrook, and will include the following host communities: Norway, Winthrop Center (State YMCA Camp of Maine), Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor (two nights) and Bath. During the seven-day event, bicyclists will ride along rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and the Maine coast. Three of the six overnight campsites are located next to a body of water.
The year’s ride will be limited to 350 riders, with half coming from out-of-state. Last year’s inaugural ride attracted 251 attendees from thirty-six states and provinces. BikeMaine is expected to continue to grow each year, offering an economic boost to host communities along the route. Last year, the event had an estimated economic impact of $235,000. Large week-long, supported, endurance cycling events are well established and very successful in other parts of the United States, some generating more than $5 million annually in state economic benefit.
“BikeMaine 2014 is purposefully being kept to 350 to ensure a, well supported, quality experience for riders and host communities,” said BikeMaine Ride Director Kim True. The cost is $875 per rider and includes 18 meals made from locally sourced, seasonal foods, ample beverages and snacks, baggage transport, mechanical and medical support and a camping site that includes showers, restrooms, and evening entertainment.
Registration at ride.bikemaine.org is currently open and the ride is expected to sell out.
The 2014 route will see participants pedaling 55 to 62 miles each day (with daily options for increased mileage) and climb more than 23,000 feet in cumulative elevation. Along the way, cyclists will discover Maine’s history, culture, people, and food with the assistance and encouragement of host community organizations and residents.
Each year, BikeMaine chooses a different route and a new part of the state to explore. “A key goal of BikeMaine is for riders to discover every corner of our state and celebrate the great riding found throughout Maine,” said BikeMaine Ride Chair Mark Ishkanian.
Cyclists will camp in a different host community each evening, eating meals prepared by local organizations. Wherever possible, support services, provisions, entertainment, and meals will be secured from host communities in an effort to benefit the local economy.
“Our community is proud to host BikeMaine,” said Patrick Wright, Executive Director of Gardiner Main Street and Gardiner’s Town Coordinator for BikeMaine. ”This ride gives us the opportunity to showcase our businesses and organizations, support our long term community improvement projects, and promote cycling as a healthy, family activity.”
BikeMaine, in support of its mission to promote bicycling, healthy lifestyles and economic development, is proud to have founding sponsors L.L.Bean and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine on board again this year. Additional sponsors include The Bank of Maine, the Maine Tourism Association, Idexx, and Poland Spring.
“At The Bank of Maine, we know the value of a healthy and active lifestyle,” said John Everets, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for The Bank of Maine. “Biking is a great way to stay active and explore the beauty of Maine. We are delighted to be able to partner with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for the Bike Maine 2014 event.”
Grant funding for BikeMaine 2014 generously has been provided by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Quimby Family Foundation, The Betterment Fund and Davis Conservation Foundation. Key BikeMaine partnerships include the Maine Downtown Center, The Nature Conservancy, and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Media partners include WCSH6 / WLBZ2, MaineToday Media and Maine Magazine.
BikeMaine is the newest event produced by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The Coalition is the statewide voice of cyclists. Since 1992, the organization has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement.
For additional information on the BikeMaine 2014 route, detailed maps, host community descriptions, registration guidance, and responses to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) visit the BikeMaine website at www.bikemaine.org.