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Citing Concerns For Rider Safety, Bicycle Coalition of Maine Cancels 2018 Maine Lobster Ride

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

Forecasts Calling for Heavy Rains, High Winds, Low Visibility and an Increasing Chance of Lightning Forced the Difficult Decision

July 20, 2018 – (PORTLAND, Maine) – Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the riders who signed up to participate in this year’s Maine Lobster Ride, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s ride.
“We’ve been watching the forecasts closely, hoping that conditions would improve, but instead they’ve gone the other way,” Coalition Executive Director John Williams said. “We cannot, in good conscience, put riders in harm’s way and that’s what we’d be doing if we went ahead with the Lobster Ride, given the forecasts.”
This year’s Maine Lobster Ride – which was to be the final Lobster Ride hosted by the Coalition – was scheduled for Sunday, July 22, at the Camden Snow Bowl, with the first riders departing at 7 a.m. The National Weather Service forecast is predicting heavy rains with the strong likelihood of a thunderstorm for Sunday.
Camden/Rockport Police Chief Randy Gagne called the decision to cancel difficult to make, but one that he fully supports.
“The safety of all riders is the top priority,” Gagne said. “The potential for accidents would increase with the inclement weather. Visibility would be severely limited for both bicyclist and the motoring public. I believe fully this is the right call.”
Nonetheless, Williams said, the decision was not easily made.
“We were looking forward to ending our participation in the Lobster Ride on a high note,” Williams said, “but the safety of the riders is absolutely our highest concern and we simply cannot afford to ignore these warnings and hope things blow over. It’s a difficult decision, but based on the facts that we have in front of us, one that we have to make.”

2018 Maine Women's Ride – Sunday, June 10, 2018 – Freeport, Maine

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

On Sunday, June 10, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine hosted the 2018 Maine Women’s Ride.
The weather was fantastic. The rides were amazing. The food was great, and the power of nearly 600 women and girls riding en masse was in full effect.
Photographer Bill Muldoon, who’s also a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors, documented the event and was kind enough to share his images with us.
 

This will be the last year the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will host the Maine Women's Ride and the Maine Lobster Ride

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

Perhaps you’ve heard that this is the last year that the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will hold the women’s ride.
That is true.

When we founded the Maine Women’s Ride 17 years ago, there were relatively few opportunities to participate in organized road rides in our state. Today, that landscape is very different, and in that sense Maine is measurably much better for bicycling today that it was. On any given summer weekend there are now several riding events.
So, we have decided to say goodbye to the Maine Womens’ Ride and the Maine Lobster Ride, and refocus our efforts wholeheartedly on how best to deliver on our mission for as many people, in as many parts of the state, as possible. We will have a presence at many other events statewide, and will continue to hold our signature event, BikeMaine. We will also recommit to our role as the leading advocacy and education organization for biking and walking in Maine.
While the Bicycle Coalition will no longer be holding the Women’s Ride, we recognize that there are still few events that are women-centric. We are looking at other opportunities to promote riding for women and children, including working with others who might be willing to host a women-only event in future years, with our help. If you would like to learn more, or offer your thoughts, please email us at info@bikemaine.org.

If you’ve been thinking that this is the year you’re going to ride the Maine Women’s Ride, register now. The final BCM Maine Women’s Ride is just around the corner – Sunday, June 10, in Freeport, Maine – so there’s still time to sign on. Come ride with us, and help us make our final Women’s Ride the best one ever.

We also need volunteers to help us make the final ride a success. We need help in every area, including:

  • Pre-event setup
  • Route setters
  • SAG vehicle drivers
  • Ride leaders
  • Rest stop attendants

Volunteers at the Women’s Ride get a cool t-shirt, free lunch, coffee, and the satisfaction of actively supporting this amazing event.
Whether you’re riding or volunteering, the Women’s Ride is always a lot of fun for everybody. Sign up here to volunteer! And if you have friends who might enjoy the experience, please forward this link to them.

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast: National Bike Month, East Coast Greenway, Maine Women's Ride, and the New England BikeWalk Summit

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts, Podcast

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast hosts Frank Gallagher (left) and Kierie Piccininni behind the mics at a recent recording session.

The long-anticipated second episode of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast is now available.
In this episode, hosts Kierie Piccininni and Frank Gallagher talk Maine Women’s Ride, National Bike Month, the New England Bike/Walk Summit, the East Coast Greenway and the Maine Women’s Ride.
You can subscribe to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, or any other fine podcast delivery app. Of course, you can always find it right here on the Coalition web site.
And if you’ve got an idea for a topic you’d like to hear explored on the Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast, let us know.
Thanks for listening!

Sell Your Quality Used Bicycle at the Great Maine Bike Swap on April 22!

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts


The often imitated, never duplicated Great Maine Bike Swap is coming to the University of Southern Maine‘s Portland campus on Sunday, April 22, from 10am-1pm! If you’ve got a bicycle to sell, our Great Maine Bike Swap is the easiest and best way to sell it. You can also sell or donate the bicycles you have around the house and garage that no longer see use but might be a better fit for someone who could really use it.

The Great Maine Bike Swap
Sunday, April 22 | 10am-1pm
University of Southern Maine – Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex
Admission is $5 (cash only), free for USM and UMaine students!

If you have quality, used bike to sell, the Swap is a great way to get it in front of hundreds of eager buyers! For more information about how to price your bike and boost its chances of selling, check out our Seller’s Guide and get all the details about registering your bike.
The Swap offers a quick and easy online registration system. After you’ve registered your bike online, drop it off on Saturday, April 21, between 3pm and 6pm at the USM Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex. There’s a $5 registration fee per bike and, when it sells, a 15 percent commission to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
IMPORTANT: Unsold bikes must be picked up between 1:45pm and 3pm on Sunday, April 22, or they will be donated to the Coalition.
QUESTIONS? If you’ve got questions or you don’t receive a confirmation email after you register your bike for sale, contact Event Manager Rob Mueller at rob@bikemaine.org, or call (207) 623-4511. For more information, visit MaineSwap.com.

It's Official – BikeMaine 2018 Is Coming to Presque Isle, Caribou, Madawaska, Fort Kent, and St. Agatha

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

 
For months, people have been asking: where, exactly, is BikeMaine 2018 going this year?
Now, it can be told. BikeMaine 2018 is going to Aroostook County, with stops at Host Communities in Presque Isle, Caribou, Madawaska, Fort Kent, and St. Agatha.
“This year’s BikeMaine route will take riders through some of Maine’s most beautiful country,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director John Williams said. “It showcases the splendor and natural beauty of northern Maine. It’s going to be a very special ride.”
We revealed the specifics of the route on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Sargent Family Community Center in Presque Isle as part of our Kickoff 2018 party, and we livestreamed the announcement on our Facebook page.  We also presented our annual Bicycle Coalition of Maine awards, which go to the people and organizations who really distinguished themselves in pursuit of making Maine better for biking and walking.
The folks from the Maine Beer Company were on hand, pouring their awesome brews, and we also drew the winners of the 2018 Super Raffle, featuring a grand prize of a six-day cycling adventure in Sicily, courtesy of Ciclismo Classico. Other lucky winners walked – or rode, as the case may be – away with a free registration for BikeMaine 2018, a new Trek Domane AL 2 road bike from Cyclemania, a Trek Marlin 4 mountain bike from Rainbow Bicycle, and a Coalition swag bag, stuffed full of cool Coalition apparel and gear.
BikeMaine is a weeklong celebration of Maine’s people, places, food, and culture. The 2018 ride, dubbed, “Acadia in the St. John Valley – La Terre Entre Deux,” will be held from Sept. 8-15. Participation is limited to 450 riders, who will cover an average of 55 miles per day and a total of approximately 350 miles by the end of the week.
BikeMaine 2018 provides riders the opportunity for a two-nation vacation, as the route travels along the US-Canada border and riders spend two nights in both Madawaska and Fort Kent. As the heart of Acadian culture in Maine, the St. John Valley boasts sprawling farmland, breathtaking vistas, and an unforgettable culinary experience. Presque Isle will serve as the starting and ending point of the tour.
“We’re excited to be in Aroostook County, and we’re proud to showcase everything that makes northern Maine so special,” BikeMaine Ride Director MaryBeth Luce said.
Since its inception, BikeMaine has pumped nearly $2.3 million into Maine’s local economy. Last year’s ride alone accounted for $660,000 in direct economic impact, including $262,000 spent by the Coalition to produce the event and approximately $398,000 spent by riders beyond registration fees.
BikeMaine is proud to have the support of L.L. Bean, Maine Beer Company, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield in Maine, Cono Sur Vineyard and Winery, S. W. Collins, and Pineland Farms Natural Meats, as well as many other valued partners.
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 ride.bikemaine.org.
 
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: bikemaine.org.

Thanks To Everyone Who Made The 2017 Great Maine Bike Swap A Huge Success!

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

There were more than 1,000 bicycles available at the Great Maine Bike Swap on Sunday, April 23, at the University of Southern Maine. (Photo by Vivian Gallagher)

Another Great Maine Bike Swap is in the books.
We’re crunching the numbers now, and we’ll have some statistics to share shortly, but as we work our way through the receipts, one thing is clear: the event was an enormous success!
A big thank you to everyone who helped: all the volunteers who worked so hard to create the best possible experience, our amazing sponsors – WCLZ, Noyes, Hall & Allan, Ransom Consulting, Inc., the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, GA Gear, USM, AAA Northern New England, Arcadia, the Gorham Grind, and Leonardo’s Pizza – everyone who signed up to sell a bike, and last but certainly not least, everyone who turned out on Sunday to buy a bike.
If you’re interested, we got some great coverage from Maine media: WCSH-TV6, WMTW-TV8, and the Portland Press Herald all did stories.
There’s a great take on the Swap at a blog called Utilitarian Bicycles, too. If you’ve got a minute, check it out. If you’re reading this, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Announces Annual Award Winners

By | Coalition News, Events

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has announced the winners of its 2017 Annual Awards, honoring eight Maine individuals and organizations for their commitment to making Maine better for biking and walking in 2016.
“Each of these winners exemplifies what is best about cycling in Maine,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Nancy Grant said. “Their commitment to their communities, and to making Maine a safer and better place for both cyclists and walkers should not only be recognized, but celebrated. We are proud to honor their efforts.”
This year’s award winners are:

  • Crystal Hitchings: Sally Jacobs Community Spokesperson Award – named after the legendary bicycle advocate from Orono and awarded to a local advocate who has made a significant difference to biking and walking in his or her community. Hitchings received the award for her work on the new Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway, a pilot project that could become a model for developing Scenic Bikeways across the state.
  • Kris Clark: Jeff Miller Spirit of Cycling Award – honoring the first executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and awarded to a Mainer who demonstrates Jeff’s joy in all aspects of biking, Clark received the award for his years of work with the Community Cycling Club of Portland and his continuing support of area bike-related non-profit organizations.
  • Anne Douglass: Next Generation Award – awarded to a person who instills a love, interest and appreciation of bikes in the next generation, Douglass received the award for her commitment to improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Deer Isle. (more specifics re: education)
  • The Law Enforcement Collaborative: Just Do It Award – awarded to a Maine individual or organization who exhibits leadership in public service around biking and walking, the Law Enforcement Collaborative received the award for its work to improve bicycle and pedestrian law enforcement in southern Maine communities.
  • Peter Garrett: Harry Faust Leadership Award – named after one of the Coalition’s most dedicated and effective Board Presidents, awarded to a Mainer who has been a true leader in his community to promote more biking, Garrett received the award for his continued advocacy on behalf of cyclists and pedestrians in the Waterville-Winslow area. (more specifics re: trails)
  • Kris Sornberger: Muddy Wheel Award – awarded to a leader in Mountain Biking in Maine, Sornberger received the award for his work to develop the mountain bike trail system in the Orono area.
  • Scott Spaulding: Volunteer of the Year Award – given to a volunteer who has contributed extraordinary time, effort and energy to the Coalition and its mission, Spaulding received the award for his outstanding effort in support of the Coalition’s many different events, including 4 years of volunteering for the full week of BikeMaine.
  • Ransom Consulting: Businesses for Better Bicycling Award – awarded to a Maine business that encourages and supports bicycling within their business and community, Ransom Consulting, a diversified engineering and consulting firm, joined the Bicycle Coalition as a business member in early 2016 and immediately became immersed in the Coalition’s advocacy work. Ransom employees lent expertise to the Coalition’s Imagine People Here program last year, helping design and implement temporary infrastructure installations. In addition to Imagine People Here, Ransom also sponsored the Coalition’s Community Spokes programs in 2016, as well as the Great Maine Bike Swaps.

15th annual Maine Lobster ride rolls into Camden (Video)

By | Coalition News, Events

This article originally appeared on WCSH6.com
Click here to watch the video
Justin Shrair, WCSH 9:59 PM. EST July 24, 2016

CAMDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Bikers have geared up for the the 15th annual Maine Lobster Ride.The ride raises money for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine – a non-profit organization that looks to protect both riders and pedestrians throughout the state. The ride is taking place Sunday in Camden.The new location of the bike ride – the Camden Snow Bowl where riders will be starting and finishing on Sunday.This year the ride features six different distance options from 15 miles all the way to 103 miles, all along the roads of Maine.According to Executive Director Nancy Grant this is their largest fundraiser.“This lobster ride which is in its 15th year, is our biggest fundraising event and so it’s a great opportunity for us to check in with our members, try to recruit more members, and also celebrate how beautiful it is to bicycle in this part of the state” said Grant.Some new additions to the ride this year include mountain biking, swimming live music and changed bike routes. About 900 riders are taking part. Copyright 2016 WCSH

National Bike Month Events in Maine

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts
May is National Bike Month! We’ll be celebrating all over the state with a number of events.

National Bike to School Day on May 4th. Register your event with the Maine Safe Routes to School Program to get promotional materials and incentives to support your event.  Here is a list of bike/walk to school events happening in May:

  • Auburn, The Walton School – Walk to School Day on May 4
  • Bangor, The Downeast School – Daily Walking School Bus to school starting April 25
  • Brunswick – Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School – Monthly Walk & Bike to School Days through the year
  • Cape Elizabeth – Pond Cove Elementary School – National Bike to School Day event on May 4
  • Ellsworth Elementary Middle School – K-12 Walk to School Day on May 4, Bike Rodeo in May & daily Walking School Bus on one route to school
  • Gorham, Village Elementary School – Walk to School Wednesdays
  • Lewiston – Geiger Elementary School – Bike to School Day on May 4
  • Norway, Guy E. Rowe Elementary School – Daily Walking School Bus on one route to school
  • Portland, East End Community School – Daily Walking School Bus on two routes to school
  • Scarborough Middle School – Bike & Walk to School Day on May 4
  • South Portland, Memorial Middle School – Walk & Bike to School Day on May 4
  • Topsham – Woodside Elementary School – Holding weekly Walk & Bike to School Days on Thursdays this spring; All-School Walking School Bus on June 2
  • Warren Community School – Walk to School Fridays this Spring
  • York, Village Elementary – Weekly Walk to School Days on Wednesdays all spring

A number of bicycle education rodeos will be taking place in May.

  • 5/7 (rain 5/14), Bangor (10-noon) –  Walk and Roll @ Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse
  • 5/14/2016, Ellsworth – Ellsworth Elementary Middle School
  • 5/15/2016, Lewiston & New Gloucester (10-12 & 2-4) – Dempsey Challenge @ Norway Savings Bank Arena & Pineland YMCA
  • 5/21/2016, Waterville (9-11am) – South End Neighborhood Association
  • 5/21/2016, Guilford (10-noon) –  Guilford Elementary School
  • 5/22/2016, Portland (11-1pm) – Ocean Avenue Elementary School
  • 5/28/2016, Deer Isle (2-4pm) – Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School
  • 5/28/2016, South Portland (10-noon) – Kaler Elementary School