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.
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 2020: Katahdin Frontier will be held September 12 – 19, 2020. You can register by clicking here.
Are e-bikes allowed on BikeMaine?
Due to mechanical and logistical constraints, e-bikes are NOT allowed on BikeMaine.
What is Tent & Porter Service?
For an additional fee, you can choose to have a spacious tent set up and waiting for you upon your arrival in each day’s BikeMaine Village, with your luggage delivered to your door and camp chairs ready for you to relax. For single occupancy, the fee is $525, and includes an L.L.Bean tent and one camp chair. For double occupancy, the fee is $600, 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 & breakfasts. Local options for each town are available here. Any transportation required between the BikeMaine Village and off-site 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.
We’ve partnered with the bicycle travel experts at Summer Feet Cycling to offer a hotel package. The package includes accommodations each night and transportation between the lodging and the BikeMaine Village. Head to their website for details.
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.
For more information about BikeMaine, visit our About section.
Can I help out during BikeMaine?
Yes! We couldn’t accomplish BikeMaine without a lot of dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers. It takes a village to maintain our BikeMaine Village. We need volunteers for many tasks, from setting up and breaking down the Village, driving trucks, manning rest stops, keeping riders safe on the route, to merch and beverage brigade. Click here for more information or contact us.
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.
- Read through all of the FAQs. If you still have questions, get in touch!
- Read emails from us! You should be receiving monthly emails with important news and information that you should read in its entirety. Note: if you unsubscribed from BCM or BikeMaine emails at any time in the past, please contact us to resubscribe you or you will miss important information.
- Start following us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube for your daily or weekly dose of #BikeMaine excitement!
- Get outfitted! BikeMaine has a new online store- click here for all new BikeMaine merchandise.
- Start training. Click here to see the example training program designed by our sports therapy partner County Physical Therapy.
- Bring your bike to your local mechanic for a tune-up and spend time getting used to any new gear well before BikeMaine to ensure your max comfort!
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 12.
See “What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?“
I am on the waitlist. What now?
Hold tight. If there are cancellations, the next person on the waitlist will be notified by phone or email as soon as possible.
We are not able to predict when or if this will happen.
What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?
NOTE THAT THE CANCELLATION POLICY FOR 2020 HAS CHANGED: Riders who cancel before March 1, 2020 will be refunded all but $50. Those who cancel between March 1 and July 1, 2020 will be refunded all but $150. Beginning July 1, 2019, 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 six dinners and six breakfasts, and all of the other BikeMaine Village amenities (camping, showers, and 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 early here.
What does my registration fee include?
Your registration fee includes:
- A fun, challenging, and thoroughly handcrafted route with unique stops and attractions along the way each day.
- Three hearty, locally-sourced meals daily. The only exception is 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 for up to two bags, with no one bag weighing more than 35 pounds.
- Full use of the BikeMaine Village, a portable tent city that springs up wherever the tour stops for the night, complete with helpful information folks, mechanics, medical support, hot showers, and restrooms.
- Daily activities and entertainment catered to our riders.
- A gathering place for cyclists to socialize and swap stories from the road.
Do I have to ride the whole week? Is there a shorter option?
BikeMaine no longer offers half-week riding options. If you drop out of the ride early, you are responsible for your own transportation.
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 (expect the occasional potholes and cracks!) There’s 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 2,400 – 3,500 feet per day.
That being said, you may look to rent a bike 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! Stay tuned for more information about where to rent a bike locally to the ride.
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; and replace 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. Our mechanics are fully equipped to help you, but consider the delays that will happen if all riders are in need of a full inspection on day one. Help everyone by helping yourself. If you have any nontraditional wheel spokes that are integrated into the manufacturer’s 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 “rentals”, which gets you a freshly laundered towel each day of BikeMaine, is available for an additional fee of $40 per person. Sign-up here. Additional towels may be available during BikeMaine for daily purchase.
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 and 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 to contact us if you are not receiving our monthly newsletters or you will not receive the handbook. This list is just a suggestion, and keep in mind the weight limit for your two bags includes your tent and sleeping bag. 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 County Physical Therapy, please click here.
If I drive to the start of BikeMaine, what do I do with my car?
BikeMaine has arranged with the city of Old Town 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 purchase a parking pass.
Can I ship my bike?
Yes! For $50.00, Rose Bike in Orono will receive, assemble and deliver your bike to the start. For $50.00, Rose Bike will pick-up, disassemble, re-box and arrange for shipping.
*The cost of shipping is the responsibility of the rider above the costs listed above. Please be sure to make reservations by August 1st. To reserve your spot please contact Rose Bike at (207)866-3525. Please plan to have your bike at Rose’s by September 5th for assembly.
How difficult is the route?
Maine’s terrain is moderately challenging, with rolling hills and few flat stretches. The 2020 daily rides average about 55 miles and just over 17,000 total feet of climbing. 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?
To reach Old Town by car, follow Interstate 95-N, the primary highway in Maine, to Exit 193. For those needing to leave a vehicle for the week, BikeMaine has arranged with the City of Old Town for vehicle parking during the week for a $30 fee. To purchase a parking pass, please click here.
The two major airports that service Maine are the Bangor International Airport, located just 14 miles away from Old Town, and the Portland International Jetport, located 150 miles from Old Town. BikeMaine is offering shuttles from the Portland International Jetport to the start of BikeMaine in Old Town on September 12th, with a return shuttle on September 19th. BikeMaine offers a limited number of seats in a private shuttle to Old Town. Stay tuned for information about the shuttle from Portland to Old Town.
Bus transportation from Boston to Portland and/or Bangor and/or Orono is serviced by Concord Coach Lines. Alternatively, BikeMaine offers a limited number of seats in a private shuttle to Old Town. Stay tuned for information about the shuttle from Portland to Old Town.
Once in Bangor or Orono, you can utilize the Community Connector bus to Old Town, or make alternative bus/taxi arrangements. Please contact bus companies to inquire if your bike can be accomodated.
Transportation on Amtrak can be booked from Boston through to Portland. Once in Portland, there is a BikeMaine shuttle to Old Town, or you can make alternative bus/taxi arrangements. Stay tuned for information about the shuttle from Portland to Old Town. Please contact Amtrak to inquire if your bike can be accomodated.
Shuttles From Portland
Stay tuned for information about transportation when we announce our host communities later this winter.
How can I find out about interest in sharing a ride to Old Town?
BikeMaine offers a Rider Discussion Forum, where riders looking to share a ride can connect.
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 four 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 follow the prompts for the BikeMaine staff so that we can discuss your particular situation and be able to plan accordingly.
Riders can place their CPAP 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 of electronics for a small fee. We recommend investing in a power bank charger for your devices.
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 “thumbs 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 three 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, some amenities will be available for purchase in the BikeMaine Village daily, such as: beer, wine, and other post-ride treats; massages; BikeMaine merchandise and other retail merchandise; 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 and a half of the BikeMaine Village in each host community. Old Town (Gold Star Cleaners), Lincoln (Gold Star Cleaners), Patten (Red Moose), Millinocket (Central Street Laundromat), and Dover-Foxcroft (Foxcroft Laundromat).
Please note that while BikeMaine is willing to make riders aware of these services, BikeMaine makes no representation about the quality of the properties or service provided. Please check store hours and plan accordingly.