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BikeMaine

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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BikeMaine expected to draw 350 cyclists for weeklong ride (BDN)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News.
 

Posted Aug. 26, 2015, at 12:48 p.m.

The third annual BikeMaine, a weeklong ride organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, is set for Sept. 12-19, and it is expected to be the biggest one yet. During the 349-mile tour, an estimated 350 cyclists will pedal throughout southern and western Maine, camping at communities along the way.
“What we’re trying to do is develop bicycle tourism in the state and to economically impact small communities that don’t usually get that tourism,” BikeMaine Ride Director Kim Anderson True said. “We’re trying to educate communities about how to continue to attract cyclists.”
Each year, BikeMaine takes riders to different regions of Maine. This year’s host communities, where riders will camp, are Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk, respectively. Each day, participants will pedal an average of 55 miles, with optional 10- to 15-mile loops along the way for those looking to lengthen the ride.
Registration is nearly full, with only a few slots left as of Aug. 25.
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Bicycling in Maine (MPBN – Audio)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

This article originally appeared on MPBN.net
Where are the best places to bike ride in Maine?  Are towns and communities seeing an economic impact from the number of bikers drawn to the state each summer?  We talk pedal power on today’s show.
Guests:
Kim True – Ride Director of Bike Maine
Nancy Grant – Exective Dir. of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine
John Grenier – owner of Rainbow Bicycle in Lewiston
Robin Zinchuk – Bethel Camber of Commerce
Click here to listen now

BikeMaine 2014 generated $395,000 for local communities (Lewiston Sun Journal)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
PORTLAND —  The second annual BikeMaine seven-day bicycle ride contributed an estimated $395,000 in direct economic benefits to the communities along its route.
The ride, produced by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, attracted 258 participants from more than 38 states, provinces and countries. Cyclists pedaled 350 miles from September 7 to 13 and stayed overnight in the communities of Westbrook, Norway, Winthrop, Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor and Bath before returning to finish with a farewell luncheon on the IDEXX campus in Westbrook.
“Having 300 BikeMaine riders and volunteers in town provided a tremendous financial boost to our shops, restaurants and inns during what’s normally a quiet weekday in September,” said Boothbay Harbor’s town manager, Tom Woodin. “The event provided numerous opportunities for Boothbay Harbor’s merchants. Local service organizations were able to raise much needed funds as well. It was a big win for the community.”
After completing each day’s ride, cyclists camped in a mobile BikeMaine village, erected in community parks or athletic fields, and enjoyed meals featuring local foods provided by area service organizations.
Entertainment was provided each evening, featuring some of Maine’s best bands and comedy performers. Whenever possible, ride organizers bought food from Maine farms and lobstermen, highlighted Maine products, and secured local services.
In addition to the products and services procured by BikeMaine in each community, participants spent, on average, more than $1,000 per rider during the week on food, lodging, shopping and transportation. More than 63 percent of riders were from out of state.
The ride also generated funds for local nonprofit organizations. Riders and volunteers contributed over $2,500 to benefit groups like the Westbrook Community Center, the YMCA Camp of Maine, and The Nature Conservancy, and BikeMaine donated unused food supplies to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.
“Our goal this year was to build on the incredible success of our inaugural ride,” said Nancy Grant, Bicycle Coalition executive director. “Through BikeMaine, we give back to local communities, bringing bicycle tourism to parts of the state that don’t often see many cyclists.”
Along with the 258 riders, 48 weeklong volunteers, more than 250 local community day volunteers, and seven Bicycle Coalition of Maine staff members participated in the event.
Planning for the 2015 BikeMaine ride, which is slated for September 12-19, is already underway. The 2015 route will be announced on Feb. 4. Registration for BikeMaine 2015 is open at ride.bikemaine.org.

For many travelers, eco-tourism is giving way to ‘altru-tourism’

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

GARDINER, Maine — Paul Guthrie had spent some previous vacations on a medical mission to Africa and providing relief in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch.
So before he joined a seven-day, 410-mile bike ride through inland and coastal Maine, he made sure the money he paid for it would benefit the towns along the route.

If eco-tourism means doing no harm, the next step for Guthrie and a surge of vacationers like him is to do some good. And while there’s no consensus about what catchy name to give it — “Voluntourism”? “Altru-tourism”? — the idea is taking off with families and baby boomers who have free time and disposable income.
“They’re more independent, they can book their own travel much more easily, and they’re looking for different types of experiences,” said Jan Louise Jones, a professor of travel and tourism at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, who studies this phenomenon. “And they’re becoming hyper-aware of where their money is going.”
Guthrie and about 260 other mostly 50-something cyclists from 34 states and five countries paid $875 apiece to ride and camp through Maine as part of BikeMaine, organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The proceeds are split between the nonprofit coalition’s advocacy work and civic groups in the towns along the route.
Food for the meals largely comes from local farms, and the travelers spread their wealth at farmers’ markets and small-town shops. They stop at elementary schools to speak with students, some of whom also follow the ride on social media to learn about the state’s geography. Still other students from an alternative-education program come along to learn about and provide bicycle repairs and tuneups.
But a principal purpose is to provide a boost to the economy, especially in hard-up inland towns, said Nancy Grant, the cycling coalition’s executive director.
“It’s sort of that value-added piece, that you get to take a bike ride in a beautiful place but you’re part of this bigger thing, which is trying to help the state,” Grant said at a lunch break on the ride. “It makes you feel like you’re not just being self-indulgent.”
In few places was that as clear as in Gardiner, a onetime mill town of about 5,800 on the Kennebec River on the outskirts of Augusta that is struggling to revitalize a historic main street whose red brick buildings are as vacant as they are picturesque.
“This will have a great effect on our economy,” said Thom Harnett, Gardiner’s mayor, as the riders settled into their tent city in a newly redeveloped park beside the river and as local volunteers set up tables to serve them dinner down the middle of Water Street. “There’s a lot of eyeballs seeing our beautiful city that may not have seen it.”
The flutter of welcoming banners and the bustle of the BikeMaine camp brought the sleepy neighborhood to life as Harnett pointed to a stately but abandoned 19th-century riverside brick building he said the city hopes to someday convert into a boutique hotel — perhaps, he said, only half joking, where some of the cyclists might stay on a return visit.
“This type of tourism, if done well, really helps communities,” Jones said. “It’s not only a better experience for the tourists, but for the communities themselves.”
The people who do it, however, insist the pleasure is all theirs.

The Bicycle Coaltion of Maine organized Bike Maine’s ride, including a stop in Gardiner and a big spread by local cooks.

MARK VOGELZANG

The Bicycle Coaltion of Maine organized Bike Maine’s ride, including a stop in Gardiner and a big spread by local cooks.

“You come away feeling more fulfilled, and so blessed,” said Karen Knuepfer of York, Pa., as she hung some clothes out to dry on the Gardiner riverfront after a hard day’s ride. “You can really make a difference,” said Michelle Manion, another rider and an environmental consultant who lives in Arlington. “You also roll into these tiny towns and you get to chat with people you wouldn’t encounter in a million years.”
Ray Watkins and his wife, Helga, of North Weymouth, have volunteered to clean up national parks and wildlife areas on their vacations — in one instance, helping clear a 3-mile stretch of trail in Arizona by moving giant boulders with a rudimentary winch.
“The payback is that we’ve already enjoyed the parks and here’s an opportunity for us to give back without committing to a 40-hour week,” Watkins said.
More than 246,000 people like the Watkinses last year donated a record 6.7 million hours to the National Park Service, spokeswoman Kathy Kupper said.
“Every one of them pretty much says they get more out of it than they give,” Kupper said. “They love that they can match their talents to the parks, and feel useful.”
It’s not only parks that are taking advantage of this unbridled enthusiasm. So are other nonprofits and private companies that are promoting “giving back” vacations.
Vacationers who book with Seattle-based African Safari Co., for instance, help researchers implant locator devices in the horns of rare black rhinoceroses to track poachers who kill the rhinos for the valuable material, and some of the money they spend on their trips helps pay for medical clinics and schools near the lodges where they stay.
“You do it because you realize how fortunate you are to be able to afford vacations like this, and the least you can do is give a little back,” said Lois Friedland, who traveled with the company to the Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia and gathered more than 100 flash drives when she got home to donate to a school she visited that had 300 students but only three computers. “It gives you a more in-depth idea of what people need. It’s richer. We spent three hours going through the schools, talking to the teachers.”
Watertown-based Thomson Safaris gives back, too, co-owner Judi Wineland said, by hiring locals for its African trips and supporting schools and other local causes.
“If you look at what’s happening with mantras out there right now like ‘buy local,’ people are becoming much more sophisticated about where and how they’re investing their money” — including when they’re on vacation — Wineland said.
The Sierra and Appalachian Mountain clubs also offer the chance for travelers to help maintain their trails and wilderness lands while they’re on vacation in New England, Hawaii, St. John, and other places; so popular has this become that the Boston-based Appalachian Mountain Club now has a waiting list for it, spokesman Rob Burbank said.
Even the Ritz-Carlton hotels now have “give-back getaways” for guests: In Boston, they can help out at a soup kitchen at the Arlington Street Church, in Washington they can spruce up the grounds around the Lincoln Memorial, and in Grand Cayman they can work with an organization trying to preserve the endangered blue iguana.
“We’re definitely seeing the millennial generation — not just from a traveler standpoint, but from an employee standpoint — wanting to be a force for good,” said Sue Stephenson, who runs the hotels’ program. “Even if guests can’t participate, they like to know about these opportunities, and maybe think about helping the next time they visit.”

Jon Marcus can be reached at jon@mysecretboston.com.

Be our guest – Westbrook welcomes BikeMaine with park festivities (Westbrook American Journal)

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

This article originally appeared on KeepMECurrent.com

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014

WESTBROOK – For Westbrook, chosen as this year’s host city for BikeMaine 2014, a weeklong trek around the state, the event is another chance to bring in people who are largely unfamiliar with the city and display what it has to offer.
City officials haven’t shied away from the opportunity. On Saturday, Sept. 6, some 300 cyclists will descend upon Riverbank Park, where they will camp for the night, to prepare for “Pedaling the Waterways,” which will take riders a minimum of 348 miles past notable bodies of water such as Sebago Lake, Great Pond in the Belgrade Lakes region, and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean.
Since it was announced in February that Westbrook would act as host community, meaning the trek will also end in the city on Sept. 13, City Clerk Lynda Adams has been preparing for the event, which includes organizing meals and entertainment for the large crowd. One activity, however, has some people worried – closing a portion of Main Street for five hours Saturday afternoon.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the closure of Main Street between Bridge and Pleasant streets. The closing, not often popular with downtown merchants, will take place from noon-5:30 p.m., and was requested by event organizers, the Bike Coalition of Maine.
BikeMaine comes just two weeks after an outdoor obstacle course event known as Tough Mudder, which is expected to bring some 15,000 people into Westbrook. That event, to be held this weekend at Sunset Ridge Golf Links, will also attract a crowd largely unfamiliar with Westbrook.
During the council meeting Monday, Adams said the road closure coinciding with the BikeMaine event is a way to increase awareness of the “walkability and bikeability of our city.”
Known as “open street” events, which have become popular in municipalities both on a local and national level, Adams said, coalition members came to the city with the idea.
Abby King, of the Bike Coalition of Maine, said Monday that the open street event, especially intertwined with an already high-profile athletic event, can bring promotion to streets “as a place that can invite and encourage people to use them for biking and walking and not just driving their cars.”
“This open streets idea really came about because of the power of active transportation, to engage community members with each other and expose them to local businesses that are within biking or walking distance of their house,” she said, adding that it also promotes healthy exercise.
King said that the coalition, along with partners in a group known as Public Health in Transportation, will handle all logistical aspects of the event, except for the street closure itself.
“We’ll be doing all the promotion, newsletters, and programming along the event,” she said.
She said that along Main Street there will be a range of physical activities for all ages, including hula-hooping, a bike safety rodeo, and Zumba and yoga classes.
“Everything and anything you can think of that you could do in that type of street space if there weren’t cars blocking your way,” she said.
King gave councilors Monday a list of 38 downtown businesses that she had asked to support the event. Of the 38, 20 gave a notice of support, but many of those businesses are closed Saturdays.
Andrew Warren and his wife Corey DiGirolamo, the owners of Catbird Creamery on Main Street, said Wednesday that they’re looking forward to a different type of event downtown, but said they’re a little concerned for new customers finding their store on a day that is normally busy. However, the couple said they hope that the event will attract enough people to Main Street that it won’t matter.
James Tranchemontagne, the owner of Frog & Turtle restaurant, said in his response that he “was not against it,” but was concerned a poor turnout could look bad for Westbrook events in general.
Jaime Parker, director of Portland Trails, said Monday that the open-street event would be another way Westbrook can display the downtown area as a “hub” for active living and recreation.
“We think it can let people see the downtown in a different way, and sort of celebrate the community,” he said.
Portland Trails will be on hand during the event to promote its work in the city, where the organization is working to extend two separate river trails from Portland into Westbrook, eventually to connect to the riverwalk.
Bruce Wallingford, owner of Ernie’s Cycle Shop on Conant Street, also spoke at the meeting Monday to express his strong support.
Adams said Monday that Saturday’s festivities will include a parade down Main Street, traveling from Vallee Square to Riverbank Park at 5 p.m.
“The park will be closed to the public during the day of Sept. 6 to set up for Bike Maine, but they are welcome to come to the park after the parade,” Adams said, referring to Westbrook residents.
She added that the evening will include food vendors and some additional vendors from the park’s Maine Market, and will be headlined with a performance by the band North of Nashville, which will perform from 7:30-9 p.m. Adams said the event is open to the public.
Sunday at 8 a.m., the official start of BikeMaine begins for the riders with a ribbon cutting. According to Adams, the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. She said the riders will travel down Main Street toward Gorham and will be led by a police escort. The road will only be closed temporarily while the riders go along the route.
Adams added that at least half of the riders participating are from out of state, with some traveling from as far away as Japan and Australia.
She said BikeMaine organizers “want to leave a lasting impression with people who have never been to Maine before,” and that Westbrook wants to accomplish that same goal.
Cyclists will return the following Saturday, when there will be a traditional barbecue for the returning bikers, marking the end of the event.

BikeMaine returns to pedal the state’s waterways (KeepMECurrent.com)

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 9:49 am

BikeMaine 2014 – a weeklong tour that’ll take riders roughly 350 miles – kicks off on Sept. 6 in Westbrook, heading northwest.
The 275-strong group will cover 59 miles their first day, swinging up the west side of Sebago Lake, through Standish, Naples and Casco before stopping off for the night in Norway. From there, they’ll turn east, take a northward loop, then dive south again, traveling along the coast before ultimately returning to their start point.
Chris and Dave Beneman, of Scarborough, took part in BikeMaine last year and will do so again this year. “We’ve been on a variety of bike trips, and were excited about a weeklong trip here in Maine. Early September is such a beautiful time of year,” Chris Beneman says.
Kim True, ride director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which orchestrates the event, worked with an event coordinator and a volunteer committee composed of 10 additional coalition members to hash out all the details.
The committee begins by picking a region of the state to explore. They next select a layover community – where the group will stay for two nights, not just one, and have an unstructured day, during which riders can take part in various activities, biking and otherwise. Once that’s settled on, they have a scaffold off which to build.
“We work with the Maine Downtown Network,” True says, “to identify potential host communities that have vibrant downtowns, places of historical and cultural interest, the organizational capacity to feed and entertain over 300 people and the willingness to work together to showcase the best the community has to offer.”
In general, True finds candidate towns are exclusively accommodating. Even given the challenges associated with a sudden influx of hundreds of athletes, all carrying gear and accompanied by support staff, municipalities recognize the economic and PR benefits of welcoming the BikeMainers.
Most riders tent out, but there’s no requirement to do so. Other riders make their own arrangements to stay in hotels, and the coalition is partnering with Summerfeet to offer a hotel service. Summerfeet makes all the hotel arrangements and provides transportation between the BikeMaine village and the hotel.
Hot showers are available as well. Last year, BikeMaine relied on local schools, but not all could handle the BikerMainers’ hot water needs. So, this year, the coalition has leased a 16-stall mobile shower truck from New England Mobile Showers to travel with them all week.
“Every town is different,” Beneman observes. “[And biking] gives us the chance to slow down, see things at bicycle speed and interact with the residents. People we meet in towns and along the ride are very friendly. There’s a lot of local history, and BikeMaine does a great job of pointing out things to see and planning activities along the way – going up the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory last year was one of the highlights.”
These goodies come at a cost, of course: each rider pays $875 up front to register. That fee may seem steep, but riders clearly get a great deal for their money: 18 meals, including a lobster bake, access to the BikeMaine Village and its amenities, luggage transport, a fully supported route with maps and rest-stops, nightly entertainment, a T-shirt and the opportunity to explore a long list of communities in a unique fashion.
“We feel it’s a very good value,” Beneman says. “It’s pretty all-inclusive.”
“This year, we’re bringing along some Westbrook High School students who are enrolled in the school’s WRENCH program to assist with camp setup and minor bike repairs,” True says. In addition, 20 volunteers travel with the pack to erect and strike the BikeMaine Village and drive the luggage and supply trucks, and 25 more post route signs, establish rest stops with snacks and drinks, operate HAM radios and provide medical care.
A hard day’s ride is a hard day’s ride, no matter how much roadside support riders receive, so those nights of relaxation are important. Professionals from the host communities offer massage, yoga, and locally concocted libations. This year’s entertainment includes various musical performers, a contra dance, and a night of comedy. Acts include North of Nashville (Westbrook), Bold Riley (Norway), the Gawler Family Band (Winthrop) and more.
The coalition doesn’t consciously pick a theme for the tour; it just so happens that sometimes a theme emerges on its own, a la “Pedaling the Waterways.” Three of this year’s six “BikeMaine Villages” are located on water, and the course itself looks out over some of Maine’s most scenic freshwater and saltwater vistas, including Androscoggin Lake, the Kennebec River, and the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
“When we were sketching the route, it became clear that every day, the route was following, skirting and crossing multiple bodies of water,” True says.
This is only the event’s second year, but it’s already turned into a sizeable affair. Last year’s 251 riders has jumped to 275 in 2014, for instance. Many participants hail from Maine, of course, but many more, in fact, come from beyond our borders.
“Two-thirds of our riders from out of state,” True says. “They’re coming from 34 states and Canadian provinces, as well as from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.” Participation by Mainers themselves is actually down this year.
The coalition would’ve capped registration around 350, so they fell shy of their limit, but are OK with even, if modest, growth.
“We want the event to grow at a measured pace,” True says, “to ensure that we have the necessary systems and support in place. We continually assess feedback from our riders, volunteers, host communities, partners and sponsors to make sure we’re producing a high-quality event.”
The coalition, a nonprofit boasting about 5,000 members, aims simply to make Maine better for biking and walking. True sees progress toward this goal accelerating in the future.
“BikeMaine is still in its startup phase,” she says. “We expect to turn a profit next year, at which time 40 percent of the proceeds will be used to support the coalition’s programming and 60 percent will be returned to the host communities in form of grants to support their biking and walking initiatives.
“From the very beginning, however, we’ve assisted local service organizations with fundraising by having them provide services for a fee to our riders. We also partner with nonprofits throughout the state to assist them in furthering their missions, such as with the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets.”
Importantly, BikeMaine is not a race.
“Everyone rides at their own pace,” Beneman says. “We ride in small clusters most of the time. Sometimes we move along at a pretty good clip; other times we might be more leisurely, chatting with other riders if we are on a quiet country road.”

BikeMaine Scholarship Winners Announced

By | BikeMaine, Featured Posts

photo2The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is proud to announce that Coalition members Victor Langelo and Nicole Anderson have each won a half-week BikeMaine Scholarship.  We’re looking forward to riding with you both!

Victor loves riding in Maine and is a tremendous proponent of bicycling.   He lives in Topsham and is trained as a Bicycle Coalition of Maine advocate thorough our Community Spokes program.  He organized the Brunswick-Topsham Trail Coalition working with snowmobile riders, hikers and bicyclists, has done significant fundraising for a local trail segment that will eventually help connect to the existing Brunswick-Topsham Trail, and volunteers and rides regularly with the Merrymeeting Wheelers (he won their “golden sprocket” award last year). He’s a stalwart on the Merrymeeting Trail committee, and has twice led rides from Gardiner to Bath to familiarize people with this possible future trail, and to promote the trail to local businesses along the way.

imageNikki is 29 years old and a resident of Portland.  She is a year round bike commuter, member of the Portland bicycle pedestrian advocacy group and Meetup bike ride leader in Portland. She usually does a bike tour each year with her husband, but could not afford to do so this year as they are preparing to buy their first home.

Our thanks to  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine  for allowing us to recognize these two very active members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for their passionate commitment and great work, with a scholarship to ride a half-week of BikeMane 2014.

Ride director turns BikeMaine into economic tour de force (PPH)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News

This article originally appeared on pressherald.com

Kim True says last year’s weeklong tour left $235,000 in the communities it passed through.

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY STAFF WRITER
emurphy@pressherald.com | 207-791-6465
Kim True took a sharp career turn about three years ago, trading in a lawyer’s briefcase for the saddle of a bicycle. After practicing law in Portland for more than 25 years, True became the ride director for BikeMaine, which offers a 350-mile-plus bicycle tour of Maine. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine sponsors many one-day rides, but formed BikeMaine to develop a longer tour. The second BikeMaine will be held in September and offers an eight-day tour of a stretch of Maine, including the Sebago Lake region, Androscoggin and Kennebec counties down to Boothbay Harbor and along the coast back to Westbrook. The ride costs $875, including meals; options like tent setup or a lodging options are available for additional fees. True said the ride has the potential to bring economic growth to small towns not normally on the path of tourists.
Click here to read more…

BikeMaine Route Connecting Communities (WCSH6)

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

This story originally appeared on WCSH6.com
 

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The six communities hosting riders in the 2nd annual BikeMaine Ride were announced earlier this year. Now a team of volunteers and staff with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine are hitting the road to finalize the route connecting all the stops during the week-long journey.

“The greatest fun in all of this is going to these different communities and discovering parts of Maine that I have never been to, and I have lived in this state more than 50 years,” exclaimed Kim True, BikeMaine‘s ride director.

“We want to make sure every mile, every inch of the route is ridden,” she explained.

They are making sure each turn is mapped in advance, and that any hazards that could impact the safety of cyclists are noted so their instructions and warnings for riders are ready in advance of the 350-mile ride.

“There are a lot of beautiful places in Maine, and our challenge is to find those quiet roads that are less busy, good pavement, and great scenery,” stated Mark Ishkanian, a volunteer member of the Coalition’s board who had the difficult duty of riding part of the route on the Boothbay Harbor peninsula.

Boothbay Harbor town manager Tom Woodin says his community is excited to host the 350 riders and showcase what the region has to offer.

“I’m always looking for ways to bring business to town and highlight the town and sponsor the town, and what better way than having 300 bikers come into town and entertain them for a day and a half,” he said.

BikeMaine will kick off in Westbrook on September 6th and snake its way along several waterways in southern, central and coastal Maine for a week.