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Law Enforcement Agency Resources

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Law Enforcement Agency Resources

Welcome to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Law Enforcement Agency Resources Page.  The content provided here is intended to assist law enforcement professionals doing education or enforcement work involving bicycle riders or people walking.  If you have ideas for resources that would be helpful to include on this page, please email jim@bikemaine.org.

Maine Enforcement Resources

Motorist/Bicyclist Violations and Fines Reference

Motorist/Pedestrian Violations and Fines Reference (coming soon)

Complaint Follow Up Template Letter

Bicycle Crash Investigation Checklist

Maine Education Resources

For Adults:

Motorist/Bicyclist Best Practice Tips

Motorist/Pedestrian Best Practice Tips

For Youth and Children

Be a Safe Bike Driver

Be a Safe Walker

Safe Bike Driver Cartoon

Safe Walker Cartoon

Request Help with a Rodeo or other Community Event

National Enforcement Resources

NHTSA Pedestrian Enforcement Guide

Our Events

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The Maine Cyclist

Read the latest issue of the bicycling and pedestrian magazine of Maine.

Bike Clubs

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Bike Clubs in Maine

Maine is home to a number of very active bike clubs. Bike clubs provide a great way to meet other bicyclists in your area and to learn from their experience. Clubs provide people to ride with and organized rides to join. If you’re new to an area, your bike club can help you find the best routes!

Bike Clubs photo

Many bicycle clubs organize several rides a week, catering to a variety of levels and including a range of distances. Some bike clubs have special rides of longer distances during the course of the bike season and some hold social events at various times of the year. Check out Weekly Rides in Maine for a list of club and shop rides.

Bike Clubs in Maine (clubs with an asterisk * are members of the Coalition)

Is your club a member? Sign your club up to be a member of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine!

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine better for bicycling. Please become an individual member.

Member Bike Shops

Auclair

bethelbicycle

busytown

Center Street Cycle logo

Kingdom Bikes logo

ktp_logo

mathieu's logo

sidecountry

southwestcycle

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The Maine Cyclist

Read the latest issue of the bicycling and pedestrian magazine of Maine.

Maintenance Tips

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Basic Bike Maintenance | Cleaning, Lubing and Inspecting Your Bike

Maintenance Tips photoBasic Bicycle Maintenance boils down to cleaning, lubing, and inspecting. Keeping your bike clean and lubed makes all the systems work better, plus it looks nicer! For more advanced topics, like cable replacement, brake work, wheel truing etc, contact your local bike shop.

How To Clean Your Bike

Whether on-road or off, bikes inevitably get dirty! Just a wipe down with a dry or damp cloth after a ride can do a lot to keep your bike clean, but on occasion, a more thorough job is needed. To wash your bike, you’ll need: a bucket, some rags, a cleaner (dilute dish soap is fine, or use a dedicated bike wash product), clean water and a degreaser or solvent (for the really gummy parts) and a soft bristled brush. If you use a hose, use a spray rather than a jet, and don’t spray too much around bearing packs, including the bottom bracket (where the cranks go through the frame), hubs, or headset (where the fork attaches to the frame). If you have a suspended bike, try not to spray water at the seals where the shock pistons move.

  • Clean your Drivetrain. Spray your chain with a cleaner/degreaser, and work on it with a rag. There are various chain cleaning gadgets that enable you to wash a chain without removing it from the bike, but a good wipe down with a rag and some solvent does a pretty good job, too. Wipe down the derailleur, and remove any gummy deposits from the pulleys on the derailleur cage.
  • Wet your Bike. Give your bike an initial rinse; either with rags or a hose, to loosen caked on dirt.
  • Wash your Bike Frame and Wheels.  Go from top to bottom, front to back, using a diluted soap or a dedicated product and the soft bristled brush. Use the brush to scrub the braking surfaces of your rims.
  • Rinse your Bike, being careful not to shoot high pressure water at bearing packs or shock seals.
  • Dry the Bike. Bounce the bike on the ground a couple of times, and then hand wipe the bike dry, starting with removing any excess water near shock seals. Apply a bike polish occasionally if you like.
  • Lubricate. Lubricate your chain and other components as needed.

How to Lubricate Your Bike

After you’ve cleaned it, and occasionally in any case, you should lubricate your bike. We strongly recommend that you use bicycle specific lubricants.

  • Lube the Chain. Wipe your chain with a rag, then apply a thin bead of lube to it while turning the crank. DO NOT OVERDO IT! Too much lube will actually cause dirt to stick to the chain, making it gummy and grim. Spin the cranks a few times to work the lube in, and then wipe off excess lube. Frequency—after washing, or every third ride or so.
  • Lube the Derailleur. The moving parts of the derailleur, including the main body pivots and the pulleys should be occasionally lubricated.  Frequency– after washing, or every other month.
  • Lube the Cables. If moisture gets inside your cable housings, it can cause rust that can interfere with shifting. Dripping a small amount of light weight lube into the housings prevents this problem. Frequency– after washing, or twice a year.
  • Lube the Brake Pivots. A drop of lube at the points where your brakes pivot can help performance. Frequency–after washing, or twice a year.
  • Lube the Shifters. A drop of lube into the shifter mechanism can help performance. ONLY USE A BIKE SPECIFIC LUBE FOR SHIFTERS—there can be some delicate parts in the shifters that some automotive lubes can compromise. Frequency– after washing, or twice a year.

Always make sure you wipe off excess lube or lube that found its way onto surfaces that shouldn’t be lubed—like braking surfaces.

How to Inspect Your Bike

The process of cleaning and lubricating your bicycle is also the opportunity to inspect your bike for problems that may require more attention.

  • Inspect the Controls. Handlebars straight? Shifters and brakes not rotating on bars? No broken or bent parts? Bar tape and grip condition?
  • Inspect the Frame. Any small cracks or evidence of paint flaking off at frame joints or welds are indications of possible problems.  Dents? Any dent that is more than a millimeter or two deep should be inspected by a pro. Any visible cracks in a frame mean the bicycle should not be ridden.
  • Inspect the Wheels. Spin the wheels—do they rotate straight and true, or are there warps? Is the wheel round, or does it have a “flat spot” or other deformation in the rim? If your wheels are not round or have warps, see a bike shop.
  • Inspect the Bearing Packs

Headset: (the bearings between the handlebars and the fork) holding the front brake, gently push your bike forward and backwards. If you feel any clunking or looseness in the assembly, see a shop.

Wheel Hub Bearings: grasp the wheel and move it from side to side (not rotating it). If you feel any clunking or looseness in the assembly, see a shop.

Bottom Bracket: grasp the cranks and move them from side to side (not rotating them). If you feel any clunking or looseness in the assembly, see a shop.

  • Inspect Your Brakes. If you have rim brakes, make sure that the brake pads are centered on the braking surface of the rim, and not touching the tire. Brake pads should be flat and evenly worn.  If your brake pads are getting worn out (indicated by there being less than 4mm of surface between the contact point and the mount of the brake pad, or by the inability to see the slots in the pads).  Squealing brakes are usually the result of unclean braking surfaces or the pads not being “toed in” (ie. the rear of the pad makes contact before the front of the pad).  If your brake levers can reach your handlebars, they are too loose—and this is often a sign of worn pads or a slipped cable.

For more help with maintenance, take a trip to one of our member bike shops.

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The Maine Cyclist

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Biking Equipment

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Biking Equipment

Basic Bike Equipment: Once you have your bike, there are a few other items you might consider buying as they will ensure your safety and comfort, no matter how long your ride. Below we have listed our suggestions and have marked the essentials with an asterisk (*).

Basic Safety:

  • Helmet*
  • Eye wear
  • Reflective clothing for night riding*

Basic Clothing:

  • Gloves
  • Biking Shorts—tight or baggy! (soften your seat)
  • Shirts/Jerseys
  • Neon Shells
  • Bicycle Shoes—more efficient and comfortable than riding in running shoes!

Basic Accessories:

  • Water Bottle cage*
  • Water bottle*
  • Hydration pack
  • Pump
  • Tube*
  • Patch Kit*
  • Multi tool (for quick basic repairs)
  • Headlights
  • Tail Lights
  • Rain Gear
  • Reflectors
  • Wheel Lights
  • Bell
  • Fenders
  • Rack (so you can easily carry panniers and other items)
  • Panniers, bags, baskets
  • Cyclometer (measures your speed, distance, average, time, etc)

Bike Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Maine is home to more than 50 independently owned bike shops that can help equip you for an type of riding.  Click here for a list of shops.

Member Bike Shops

Auclair

bethelbicycle

busytown

Center Street Cycle logo

Kingdom Bikes logo

ktp_logo

mathieu's logo

sidecountry

southwestcycle

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The Maine Cyclist

Read the latest issue of the bicycling and pedestrian magazine of Maine.

Kids Biking

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Kids and Bicycling

Kids Biking photoKids love bikes! Bikes are a child’s first freedom machine, and teach independence to kids while they provide fun physical activity. Riding a bike is one of the most grown up things kids can do, as they are really operating on their own. Here are some tips to keep your youngster safe when he or she is riding a bike. These tips are intended for kids under the age of 13.

For children who can’t ride solo, there are a variety of transport systems you can use to bring children along with you, including bike seats (for kids under 40 lbs), trailers, and “Trail-a-Bike” systems (basically a rear wheel and seat that attaches to the seat post of an adult’s bike—great for kids 6 and up).

Whether your kid is riding in a seat, trailer, or on their own bike, a helmet is a critical piece of safety equipment, and required by law for kids under 16. And set a good example—you should wear your helmet, too, when riding with your children.

How Old to Begin Riding?

Kids Biking photoThis varies from child to child. Some kids are able to balance and ride a bike as young as 5, while others may take until 10. Tricycles can be used to get your small child used to pedaling movements, and push bikes (bikes have just two wheels and no pedals or chain that a child can push around using his feet, like Fred Flintstone) can help develop balance.

Choosing a Kid’s Bike

  • What Kind of Bike Should a Kid Ride? When kids start riding solo, a good choice is a simple bicycle with a coaster brake from your local bike shop. DON’T BUY A BIKE THAT IS TOO BIG SO THE KID CAN “GROW INTO IT”! They won’t enjoy riding it, and they won’t be safe.  Get a bike that the child can stand over without the frame touching their body. Safety begins with a properly fitted bicycle! Some kids’ bikes have both coaster brakes and handbrakes, which help the child get used to operating a handbrake, but also provide the coaster brake as an extra guarantee of stopping ability. Don’t bother with gears until the child is demonstrating skill with a simple single speed bike. Remember to check the air pressure, brake operation, and chain condition every time your child rides. 
  • A Few Words on Training Wheels. They work! Training wheels should be mounted initially so that they are flush with the rear wheel on the ground with the rear wheel, and the bike stands up with a minimum of wobble. As the child practices, the wheels can be gradually raised above the ground to encourage balancing, but to provide support should the child loose balance. When the child is balancing the bike without relying on the training wheels for support, they can be removed. WARNING—as mounting training wheels requires loosening the nut that holds the rear wheel in place, you may want to consider speaking with a shop bike tech before you attempt putting a set on your kid’s bike.  
  • First Two Wheeler When your child is able to balance the bike and the training wheels come off, spend some time in a parking lot, quiet street or multi-use trail to review road rules and practice skills. Download our Be a Safe Bike Driver resource to help coach your child in the basics of responsible riding and bike safety.

Where Should My Child Ride?

Kids Biking photo

  • Young Kids Kids under 10 are safest in somewhat controlled,traffic free environments—driveways, parking lots, multi-use paths. If you let your child ride in your driveway, emphasize the need to stop at the end of it, and not to just ride into the street—young kids are often hit at the end of their driveways, because they fail to stop. Stick to low or no traffic environments until you know your child has the skills to control the bike in on-road situations.   
  • Older Kids Older kids with decent control skills can beexpected to operate safely on streets in quiet neighborhoods and on multi-use paths. It might help to ride some with your kids to identify roads that you’re ok with your kids riding on.  In general, kids under twelve should stick to quieter roads with posted speed limits 30 mph and under. Teens should be coached on the tips for safe cycling presented on our “Basics of Bicycle Safety” page.  
  • Sidewalk Riding Parents often wonder whether their kids should ride in the street or on sidewalks– Sidewalk riding is ok for young children (age twelve and under), but be aware that sidewalk riding has its own risks, too, because it puts bicycles in places where other traffic might not be expecting them. Riding on sidewalks is also illegal in some towns in Maine—check your local ordinances to be sure. The safest place for bicycles to operate is in the roadway, in the same direction as cars. If your kids do operate bikes on the sidewalk, make sure they:
    • ALWAYS alert pedestrians that you are near by saying, “Excuse me,” or, “Passing on your left,” or use a bell or horn.  ALWAYS yield to walkers.
    • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
    • Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drivers see you before crossing.
    • Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars.

Kid Friendly Places to Ride in Maine

The easiest place to ride with your children is in a traffic free environment, and Maine has many miles of multi-use path trails that provide great rides for you and your kids. Some of our favorites include:

Eastern Trail
Mountain Division Trail
Portland Bikeways (Eastern Prom, Back Cove, Bayside)
Kennebec River Trail
Down East Sunrise Trail
Acadia Carriage Roads
Any flat and smooth dirt trail

Complete list of traffic free multi-use paths around the state.

Our Events

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The Maine Cyclist

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Bicycle Commuting

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Bicycle Commuting and Utility Riding

Bicycle Commuting photoIn case you were wondering, bikes are NOT just for recreation! You can use your bike to ride to work, go get bagels, or pick up some gas for the lawn mower. Sometimes this kind of riding is known as utility riding. The majority of car trips in the US average out to a distance of about 3 miles, which is a very easy distance to cover by bicycle. And in many cases, it’s actually a bit faster to go by bike, plus you get a little physical activity into your day, which makes you a better, more relaxed and functional worker. But if you’re going to use a bike for transit or errands, see our “Basics of Bicycle Safety” page, and then check out these tips for making it easier.

Choosing a Commuter/Utility Bicycle

Bicycle CommutingYou can turn ANY bike into a commuter utility bike just by wearing a backpack and carrying a lock. But if you really want to run errands and carry stuff to work, we suggest getting a bike you can set up with fenders and racks or baskets you can use as a dedicated commuter/utility bike. Nowadays, manufacturers are building sweet commuter/utility bikes that come equipped with racks, fenders, baskets, bins, lights—you name it. Expect to spend at least $300 for a new bicycle that is made and set up as a commuter/utility bike (although you can easily go as high as $4000!!). Buying a used bike, and fixing it up with racks, fenders, lights, (coffee holder?) to work as a commuter also provides you with some peace of mind regarding theft if you have to leave it outside. A used bike, plus repairs, racks and fenders, can cost as little as $200, total.

Bike Set Up

Bicycle Commuting photoIf you plan to use your bike as a commuter/utility vehicle, adding a rack, panniers, fenders and lights can make it easier for you to carry stuff, stay dry and be seen. Pannier bags, which come in great variety of sizes and shapes, hang on your racks and enable you to carry your briefcase, laptop, lunch, extra clothes, groceries, etc. Baskets, whether in front on the bars or in back like the old newspaper baskets are also a great way to increase your bike’s cargo capacity. You can also use trailers for the big loads! It doesn’t have to be raining for you to love fenders—they stop any road wetness from being thrown up your backside. . . Blinking and steady lights on your bike can help you be seen by other traffic, whether it’s day or night.

Dressing for Commuting

Bicycle Commuting photoIf your commute is less than 5 miles, you may be able to ride in your work clothes. If your commute is over 5 miles, you may want to wear cycling clothing and change at work. Showers are NOT absolutely necessary (can we get over our phobia of a little perspiration?)—often a container of Wet Wipes and a change of clothes stashed in your desk are all you need to be fresh and professional looking after your ride in. If your commute is WAY over 5 miles, you may consider driving part of the way, and then riding the rest of the way.  In any event—dress in layers that enable you to adjust how warm/cool you are.  Synthetics usually dry faster than natural fibers. In cold weather, dress as if you were cross-country skiing. And remember—dressing “bright” for visibility and “tight” so nothing gets tangled in your bike is best!

How to Ride as a Commuter/Utility Bicyclist

  • Route Selection The route you bike might not be the route you drive.  Study some maps, and ride some possible routes on the weekend to find the best route for your commute in.
  • Pacing Ride at a pace that doesn’t make you break a sweat—remember, this isn’t a training ride!
  • Follow the Rules of the Road. Whenever you’re on the road, ride with traffic, generally in the right hand third of the travel lane, obey traffic signs and signals, and use hand signals.

Worksite Support

Bicycle Commuting photoOrganize with your fellow workers to get showers, bike parking and storage, and commuter tax credits for riding to work!

The Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education Program offers worksite trainings to help build bicycle culture at your place of employment, and includes trainings on bike safety, choosing bikes and accessories, improving worksite facilities to support bike commuting, etc.  For more info, contact the Coalition Education Director

In the Portland Maine area, a good commuter resource is http://www.meetup.com/Portland-Bike-Commuting/

For more info, check out www.commutebybike.com and other bike commuter sites.

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The Maine Cyclist

Read the latest issue of the bicycling and pedestrian magazine of Maine.

Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking is a fun way to travel off-road and see the countryside, and whether it’s a wild downhill ride at Sunday River or a scenic cross country ride in Presque Isle, Maine has got some great trail riding! If you ride a mountain bike in Maine, you should wear a helmet, dress appropriately, check your equipment and follow the rules of the road and trail (see our “Basics of Bicycle Safety”).

Choosing a Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes come in a variety of types, from burly downhill bikes that weigh over 40 pounds to lightweight cross-country trail bikes that come in under 25 pounds. Trail bikes also come in a huge variety of prices, from about $250 for a bike that can handle occasional light trail duty up to more than $7000 for rigs that you could ride on Mars.

What Else Do I Need to Mountain Bike?

Besides the bike, a helmet is absolutely necessary! Gloves are recommended, too.

In addition, you will want to have some method for carrying water, whether it’s on your bike or on your back using a pack and tube hydration system (eg. Camelbak). Hydration systems offer the added benefit of providing a pack to carry spare clothes, food, etc. A map of where you’re riding and a cell phone is good to have at all times, too.

A spare tube, pump and the knowledge to repair a flat are basic self-rescue tools for mountain biking.

You’ll inevitably learn more about the many other gadgets, doohickeys and techno-marvels in the mountain bike world as you get more into the sport!

IMBA Rules of the Trail

For safe, responsible and courteous trail riding, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine endorses the “Rules of the Trail” developed by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA):

  • Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
  • Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
  • Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
  • Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.
  • Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.
  • Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Places to Trail Ride in Maine

Pretty much every town in Maine has some kind of riding stash.  Some of our favorite places to ride cross country include:

  • Bradbury State Park (Pownal, all levels)
  • Camden Snow Bowl (Camden, intermediate-advanced)
  • Acadia National Park (Mt. Desert Island, carriage trails, easy)
  • Carrabassett Valley Rail Trail (Carrabasset Valley, rail trail is easy, but there are some challenging single track loops off it.  Also visit the Sugarloaf Cross Country Ski Center for more trails)
  • Maine Nordic Heritage Center, (Presque Isle, all levels)
  • Gould Academy Trails (Bethel, off Grover Hill Road, all levels)
  • Edwin Smith Preserve (Kennebunk, off Guinea Road, all levels)
  • Pine Ridge Trails (Waterville, trail head at Inland Hospital, easy-intermediate)
  • Thorne Head (Bath, stop in to Bath Ski and Cycle for more info, intermediate-advanced).

New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) Chapters

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has a great relationship with the New England Mountain Bike Association. At last count, Maine had 4 different NEMBA chapters around the state. If you want more beta on local riding, contact one of these folks:

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Bicycles WelcoME

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Bicycles WelcoME

Bicycles WelcoME

Tap Into a Growing Tourism Market by Making Your Business Bicycle-Friendly!

Did you know that 3 out of 4 people own a bicycle and that bicycles tourists spend 20 percent more on average than other tourists?

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Bicycles WelcoME training and certification program is dedicated to making businesses more inviting to visitors and customers on bicycles, whether they are locals on a lunch ride or visitors on a vacation tour.

Each business may offer a different set of bicycle-friendly services, but all are united by a common appreciation of the value of bicycle riding customers. The program does not try to turn every business into a bike shop, but rather to find ways that each business can provide service at a level that makes sense for them and the kind of business they are in. Simply by offering snacks, water, bathrooms and area information, a tourist related business can become a valued and loyal friend to bicyclists.

For questions about the upcoming Bicycles WelcoME training, please email Kim at Kim@bikemaine.org.

Certification

Bicycles WelcoME photoBicycles WelcoME offers insight into what sets bicycle riders apart from other market segments, and how you can tap into their enthusiasm for the sport to attract and hold their business.

The training is intended for tourism related businesses that offer services to visitors.  To be eligible for Bicycles WelcoME certification, a business must have a physical location in Maine, be open to the public, and have hours of operation clearly posted at the location and/or on line.  A business must also offer at least 4 services or amenties from an approved list.  A lodging business must provide secure and dry bike parking for overnight guests.

The training features extended Q&A sessions, with topics including

  • The Economics of Bicycle Tourism
  • Types of Bicycle Tourism
  • The Demographics of Bicycle Tourists
  • How to Attract and Keep Bicycle Tourists as Customers
  • What You Can Do to Become a Bicycles WelcoME Business

Bicycles WelcoME certification is about recognizing and serving the needs of bicycle riders at a level that makes sense for your business, in order to help your business attract and keep this valuable market.

Upon successfully completing Bicycles WelcoME, you will receive:

  • 11×14” coroplastic Bicycles WelcoME sign with custom icons indicating up to five separate services helpful to bicycle riders (e.g. bathrooms, free water, secure parking);
  • A “Bicycles WelcoME” Window decal;
  • Inclusion of your bicycle friendly businesses on a map on the Bicycle Coalition of Maine website;
  • $50 off your first annual business membership to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine; and
  • Access to reduced-cost Bicycles WelcoME toolkit, which include a tire pump, basic tools, and a few common-sized bicycle tubes.

Bicycles WelcoME Businesses

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The Maine Cyclist

Read the latest issue of the bicycling and pedestrian magazine of Maine.