This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News.
If you’re an avid cyclist who has been considering spending the second week of September with hundreds of others who share your passion for the sport, your time is running out.
Brian Allenby, the communications director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said the deadline for entry into BikeMaine 2013 is looming, and prospective riders should plan to enter by June 14.
BikeMaine 2013 is a 400-mile tour that will take riders across Eastern Maine over a seven-day span. The tour begins and ends in Orono, but overnight stops in Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth are planned.
Allenby said that some riders have told him they thought they had no chance of getting into the first-time ride.
“There’s still room on the ride,” Allenby said. “Initially there was a lot of hype about it and a lot of folks thought it sold out immediately. There’s been a great response, but we’re lucky enough to have a few spots available and we’re looking to fill these up by June 14.”
While in each town, participants will be treated to meals featuring locally grown or produced products.
While Bicycle Coalition of Maine officials have cautioned prospective participants that BikeMaine 2013 shouldn’t be taken lightly — covering 400 miles in a week requires more than a basic level of fitness — Allenby said entrants needn’t be avid racers or top-notch endurance athletes to enjoy the ride.
“I think it’s important to reiterate that you don’t have to be a superman to ride this ride,” Allenby said. “If you’re a fit rider with some training this summer, you’ll be able to do it.”
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has put a few training hints and guidelines on its website, which will help guide participants through pre-ride training.
“It gives a month-by-month breakdown of how much riding you should be doing,” Allenby said.
Allenby said more in-depth training guides will be posted to the site as the ride approaches.
This year organizers have capped the field of riders at 350; the entry fee is $875.
Billed as a “400-mile celebration of Maine,” the tour includes camping at each site, along with 18 meals, entertainment and support along the route.
And Allenby said Bicycle Coalition of Maine officials have already heard from communities that might be interested in getting involved with future BikeMaine events.
“When we’re in other parts of the state working on other portions of the coalition programming, we’ve had people ask what it takes to be a BikeMaine community,” he said.
Saturday, Sept. 7, Arrive in Orono
Day 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Orono to Dover-Foxcroft, 70 miles
Day 2: Monday, Sept. 9, Dover-Foxcroft to Belfast, 69 miles.
Day 3: Tuesday, Sept. 10, Belfast to Castine, 73 miles.
Day 4: Wednesday, Sept. 11, Castine to Bar Harbor, 62 miles.
Day 5: Thursday, Sept. 12, rest day in Bar Harbor.
Day 6: Friday, Sept. 13, Bar Harbor to Camp Jordan, Ellsworth, 69 miles.
Day 7: Saturday, Sept. 14, Camp Jordan, Ellsworth, to Orono, 57 miles.
Editor’s ote: BDN Maine is a sponsor of BikeMaine 2013.