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BikeMaine 2017 is Sold Out!

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

The “Pathway to the Peaks” Tour Through Western and Central Maine, Limited to 400 Riders, Has Reached Capacity but Volunteers Are Still Welcome
March 21, 2017 – (PORTLAND, Maine) – The fifth annual BikeMaine ride has sold out and is no longer accepting registrations from prospective riders, although people interested in volunteering in some capacity are still welcome to sign on, the event’s organizers announced today.
“BikeMaine is an opportunity to showcase the splendor and natural beauty of this region of Maine, along with the people and culture, and it’s become one of the most popular rides in the state,” BikeMaine Event Director Zach Schmesser said. “It’s a very special ride, and we’re proud to work alongside the people who live and work in the BikeMaine communities and our sponsors to create one of the best biking experiences that can be had anywhere in the world.”
BikeMaine is a fully-supported, seven-day cycling tour organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield as the presenting sponsor.
“Clearly this is a very special ride, showcasing why we are so fortunate to work and live here in Maine. We’re proud to again be the presenting sponsor of this event, which is a great combination of our focus on fitness and commitment to the communities we serve,” said Dan Corcoran, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. “We wish all the riders the best and welcome all of those who will come from out of state to experience all the great things Maine’s communities and people have to offer.”
The Coalition is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Formed in 1992, the Coalition continues to lead the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement.
This year’s ride, dubbed, “Pathway to the Peaks,” will be held from September 9-16 and make stops in Skowhegan, Pittsfield, Kingfield, Rangeley, Hartford and Farmington. Participation is limited to 400 riders. Approximately two-thirds of BikeMaine riders are from out of state, with 20 percent reporting they have never been to Maine.
Schmesser said that even though registration for BikeMaine riders is full, people can still participate as a volunteer.
“Volunteers are every bit as important to BikeMaine as the riders, and we know our volunteers have just as much fun as the participants riding the route each day. They help with all aspects of the ride,” Schmesser said. “If you missed out on registering as a rider, you can still enjoy all that BikeMaine has to offer by volunteering.”
Prospective volunteers can sign up online at the BikeMaine website:
Since 2013, BikeMaine has pumped nearly $1.7 million into the local economies of the regions where past events were located. Last year’s sold-out ride in Downeast Maine contributed $626,000 in direct economic impact, including $400,000 spent by riders during the ride, and $226,000 spent by the Coalition to produce the event, which includes most meals for the participants. Whenever possible, food is purchased from Maine farms, fishermen and lobstermen, highlighting Maine products and local services, Schmesser said.
The BikeMaine daily schedule is developed to allow riders to enjoy a carefully curated ride each morning, while leaving time to explore the hospitable and welcoming host communities each afternoon. Many local businesses, lodging establishments, bars, restaurants and gift shops in the past have reported record sales around BikeMaine’s visit to their communities.
About BikeMaine
Founded in 2012, BikeMaine is a fully-supported, seven-day cycling tour organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The tour takes a different course every year. Routes traverse uncrowded back roads, looping through small towns and scenic areas along the coast and inland. The event was founded to promote the state as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities. Proceeds from the tour go to support bicycle advocacy in Maine. To learn more, visit
About the Bicycle Coalition of Maine
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Since 1992, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation, and recreation.  For more information:

The future is in good hands

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared in the Ellsworth American
Dear Editor:
People like to complain about young folks. But during and after BikeMaine’s visit to Lubec I received a lovely surprise. We had youngsters from the Lubec Consolidated School, the Campobello Island Consolidated School and the Cobscook Community High School Program helping throughout the BikeMaine Village — some with luggage and setting up and taking down tents, others with serving meals, and, of course, some as greeters and cheerleaders as the riders arrived.
Adults riding with BikeMaine as well as locals working with the students took the time to tell me how wonderful the youngsters were — polite, respectful and always helpful. Watching their joy while setting up or taking down the tents, carrying luggage, serving dinner and breakfast and interacting with the riders showed what an asset they are to our communities. I send all the students who helped us a heartfelt thumbs-up for their wonderful contribution to BikeMaine’s visit to Lubec!
Ruta Jordans

City of Gardiner receives grant from Bicycle Coalition of Maine

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared on
GARDINER, Maine — The city of Gardiner is proud to announce it will receive a $12,300 challenge grant from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to support the community’s ongoing bicycle and pedestrian projects, including the extension of the Cobbossee Trail.
This is the first of a series of annual grants, funded by proceeds from the Coalition’s weeklong BikeMaine bicycle tour, that will focus on promoting bicycle and pedestrian safety and infrastructure in past BikeMaine host communities.
After an in-depth review of previous BikeMaine communities, the Coalition decided to award this year’s grant to Gardiner to support the expansion of its Cobbossee Corridor. In 2014, Gardiner played host to more than 300 BikeMaine riders, staff and volunteers, closing Water Street for an intimate meal showcasing the culinary expertise of area restaurants, food from local farms, and providing camping in the scenic Waterfront Park.
During a City Council meeting on Aug. 24, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will formally award the grant to representatives from the city of Gardiner.
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BikeMaine grant one of several Gardiner officials are set to accept Wednesday

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared on
Two years ago, Gardiner hosted a dinner for BikeMaine, and now the nonprofit that held the event is repaying the hospitality.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has announced it’s making a $12,300 challenge grant to the city to support its bicycle and pedestrian projects, which includes extension of the Cobbossee Trail.

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By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

Originally posted on
We plucked a narrow-eyed racing cyclist out of retirement and dropped him into the “vacation on two wheels” that is BikeMaine. Can he learn to relax and enjoy the ride?
By Jim Butler
Photographed by Andrew Hetherington


Every epic bike ride really begins the night before, with one all-important preparation. No, not the carbo-loading pasta dinner (though that isn’t a bad idea). It begins with the shave.
Yessir, you’ve got to make those legs smooth for the long road ahead. When you’re a washed-up old racer like me, such habits die hard. So the evening before I take to the saddle for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s seven-day BikeMaine ride, I give myself the full razor treatment. Why? Well, if you crash, you lose less skin (and if you don’t crash once in a while, I’ve always said, you’re not riding hard enough). Plus, at least some studies indicate there’s an aerodynamic benefit. I guess it makes post-ride rubdowns easier too. Okay, I might be grasping at straws here — maybe it’s just an affectation, a sign of full-on competitive cycling geekdom. If so, I plead guilty as charged.
Click here for more.

BikeMaine and Bold Coast Coffee Launch Hot & Cold Partnership

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News
“Pedaling Coffee, Cycling, and Maine Economic Development”
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Bold Coast Coffee have teamed up for a unique initiative designed to promote BikeMaine 2016, support the non-profit’s mission, and to heighten awareness of Downeast Maine’s Bold Coast region.
The program kicks off with the launch of a signature coffee, roasted and blended especially for cyclists and other sport enthusiasts. Fifty cents from every bag sold will go directly to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and all of the Bold Coast Coffee varieties will have a “BikeMaine Official Coffee” sticker affixed to the package to call attention to the event, as well as the organization.
Additionally, the specially hand-crafted brew will be served exclusively to the 400 riders participating in the annual seven-day adventure as they make their way from Winter Harbor to Eastport and back again this September 10-17.

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“BikeMaine is more than a cycling tour, it’s an exploration of Maine’s people, places, culture and food,” said BikeMaine Event Director, Zach Schmesser. “Partnering with Bold Coast Coffee is a great example of what this event strives to do, highlighting and bringing attention to all the great things that are happening in the State of Maine.”
“We’re passionate about the Bold Coast, and we’re passionate about coffee,” said Troy Quimby, Bold Coast Coffee founder and CEO. “Bicycling is such a dynamic and personal way to truly experience the region. When the Coalition announced that this year’s ride would be ‘Discover The Bold Coast’, we just knew it was something we wanted to support.”
The blend, part of their “Single-Origin Americas Series”, is a combination of Costa Rican, Mexican and Guatemalan beans with a unique range of roast profiles. It is especially crafted for both hot and cold brew. “We had to balance the elevated caffeine of a medium roast with the weight of a darker roast,” explained roaster Taylor Ackley. “It had to start fast and clean in your mouth, and yet hang around for a while, like the house guest you really don’t want to leave. And cold coffee, whether traditionally hot brewed and iced, or cold brewed, is exploding,” he added. “This blend is ideally curated for both methods, which is something quite new for the industry”.
“If cyclists like one thing, it’s good coffee,” said Nancy Grant, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. “We are thrilled to partner with Bold Coast Coffee to share their special “Cyclists Blend” with our BikeMaine riders and are incredibly grateful that Bold Coast Coffee is donating a portion of the proceeds to support our mission to make Maine better for bicycling.”
“Cycling and coffee have long enjoyed a favored relationship,” BCC Director of Marketing, Bill Kitchen said. “This just made sense. We are able to share our coffee and our region, while promoting cycling and recreational tourism.”
The showcase blend begins to roll out this week and will be available at retail outlets, gift shops, bike shops, and markets throughout the state, as well as online at
BikeMaine 2016 takes place September 10-17 along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. Cyclists will travel an average of 55 miles per day for a total of 354 miles and almost 20,000 feet of elevation gain. Riders will overnight in six host communities including Winter Harbor, Millbridge, Jonesport, Machias, Lubec and Eastport.
BikeMaine is an event offered by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit organization with more than 5,000 members working to make Maine better through biking and walking. Over the past three years, BikeMaine has brought in over $1m in revenue to the state.
Bold Coast Coffee is a small-batch specialty coffee roaster based in East Machias, Maine. Established in 2014, BCC crafts Maine Roasted™ single-origin coffees that are served and sold throughout New England and online.
For more information contact:
Bill Kitchen – and 774.364.2518
Zach Schmesser – and 207.623.4511

BikeMaine 2019

Bold Coast sees chance to make region bicycle tourism destination

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared on

MACHIAS, Maine — Bicycling means business.
That was the theme of a meeting held June 15 to plan for the development, promotion and management of long-term bicycle tourism opportunities in the Bold Coast region.
Hosted by the Washington County Council of Governments, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism, the meeting included 17 participants representing Washington County communities and organizations. The group plans to build on the fact that BikeMaine 2016 will bring 400 riders and 75 support personnel to the Bold Coast Sept. 10-17. The event will allow businesses and community organizations in the area to identify ways to serve bicycle tourists in the future.
“We are being offered this opportunity that is unique,” said Crystal Hitchings, regional planner and grant administrator for the Washington County Council of Governments and DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism. “If we are successful, it will be a model for the bicycle coalition to use throughout the state.”
BikeMaine was started in 2013 by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit founded in 1992 to make Maine a better place for bicycling and walking. Each year, the event organizers choose a course somewhere in Maine for the one-week tour, traditionally starting the Saturday after Labor Day.
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Mainers Urged to Dust Off Their Bikes

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared on

It’s National Bike Month, and Mainers have the chance to help their children learn the rules of the road and also dust off their own bikes. (Mike Clifford)

AUGUSTA, Maine – It’s National Bike Month, an opportunity for Mainers to support a fun and environmentally friendly way to get around.
Brian Allenby, communications director with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, says there are plenty of reasons for Mainers to dust off their bikes and get back on the road for this national evemt that promotes the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike.
“Especially in Maine, the weather is finally getting nice,” he states. “Great time to think about commuting, start thinking about how you are going to ride over the summer.”
One of the biggest Bike Month events in Maine happens on May 20. It’s called
Beers and Gears night at the Portland Museum of Art. It will take a detour from the usual and offer free valet parking for those arriving by bike.
There also will be a bike rodeo this weekend sponsored by the Bangor Police Department.
“So, they’ll actually set up a whole course in a parking lot,” Allenby points out. “They’ll line it as if it’s a set of streets with signage and everything, and the kids go through the course, learn about following the rules of the road, learn about following signage and learn about hand signals when they are turning – and also learn bike handling. ”
For those not rushing to cross the finish line, there also is a Slow Ride planned by Lunar Cycling Bangor on May 14.

BikeMaine announces 2016 route and host communities

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

Brian Allenby
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Communications Director

BikeMaine announces 2016 route and host communities

Bicycle tour has brought over $1.0 million to Maine

Portland, ME, February 4, 2016 – On Thursday night, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine revealed the route and host communities of the fourth annual BikeMaine tour. The week-long ride will cover 350 miles along the “Bold Coast” of Maine, exploring Washington and Hancock Counties. The event will take place from September 10-17, 2016 and allows riders to explore the people, places, culture, and food of Maine. In the past three years, BikeMaine has delivered over $1 million in direct economic impact to different regions of the state through rider spending as well as the sourcing of local products and services for the ride.
Each year, BikeMaine chooses a different route and a new part of the state to explore. Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Nancy Grant offered, “We are incredibly excited to explore yet another amazing region of our state on two wheels. Leveraging the power of bicycling to drive awareness and economic growth is a core part of the Coalition’s mission.”
BikeMaine 2016 will showcase communities along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, which extends across Washington and Hancock Counties. BikeMaine perfectly aligns with a years-long regional effort to shine light on the unique and little-known natural and cultural assets that characterize this region. The Coalition is collaborating with Washington County Council of Governments and Bold Coast communities to turn BikeMaine 2016 into a sustainable, permanent bike route after the September 2016 event is over. Read More

BikeMaine to tour beaches, towns and mountains in September (KeepMECurrent)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News
BikeMaine – the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s fully supported, weeklong cycling tour through some of the state’s most idyllic locales – returns in mid-September for its third annual go-round. Riders of all skill levels are signing up, each bringing his or her unique story to tell around the proverbial fire.
Westbrooker Eric Schwibs, 52, is a long-term cancer survivor out to thrive.
“I had some real physical challenges during and after treatment,” he says. “I like to show others that you can indeed bounce back fully after diagnosis and treatment.”
Cycling brought Scarborough’s Justin Ladd, 33, together with his soulmate.
“My wife and got ‘reunited’ – we used to date, in middle school – through biking events like the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Lobster Ride and the Trek Across Maine.”
Pam Fischer, 57 of New Gloucester, is not riding BikeMaine this year, but volunteering.
“My husband and I make it an annual weeklong volunteer vacation,” she says. “We are part of the village team, setting up and dismantling the mobile ‘tent city’ each day.”
Both Fischer and her husband have additional duties – all of which they relish.
“We do whatever it takes to ensure our riders have an amazing experience. We have a blast.
“Service work is important to me,” Fischer says, “and what could be better than volunteering at an event that brings a crowd of fascinating people to the beautiful backroads and small towns of Maine?”
Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk will host this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 12-19. But a long list of communities can expect the riders to pass through as they wend their way across the landscape.
The 2015 BikeMaine route rolls first through the Berwicks on its way to Biddeford and Saco before cutting inland to skirt through Hollis and Steep Falls as it sidles up the western edge of Sebago Lake toward the New Hampshire border.
It circles around to head south around Gilead, where it enters the White Mountains National Forest; it takes a short hop north again at Fryeburg, then angles homeward for the last time, passing by Pleasant Mountain and through Hiram, Cornish, Limerick and Lyman before arriving at the coast in Kennebunk.
The last day of the event tracks mostly along the coast, reaching Ogunquit and York Harbor, then Kittery once more. The total distance is 349 miles, though additional 15-mile loops are available on three days. Registration remains open – for now.
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