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Bicycle Coalition of Maine Archives | Bicycle Coalition of Maine

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.”

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Names 2018 BikeMaine Grant Recipients

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine today announced Main Street Skowhegan, Mahoosuc Pathways, and Kingfield Trail Builders as the recipients of this year’s BikeMaine Grants, funded by the proceeds from the organization’s annual cycling tour, BikeMaine.
“BikeMaine was conceived as an event that would use cycling as an economic benefit tool for local communities,” BikeMaine Ride Director MaryBeth Luce said. “The BikeMaine grants will directly support these organizations’ efforts to make their communities more bike and pedestrian friendly.”
Main Street Skowhegan will receive $10,000, Mahoosuc Pathways will receive $3,250, and Kingfield Trail Builders will receive $3,025 to fund their projects.
Main Street Skowhegan will use the funding to expand a 5-kilometer loop in the Run of River Whitewater Recreation Area so it can accommodate cyclists as well as pedestrians and become suitable for four-season use. Main Street Skowhegan Executive Director Kristina Cannon said the newly expanded loop will eventually incorporate a robust network of single-track off-road trails for mountain bikers, as well.
“Trail development is a major part of the proposed Run of River Recreation Area, and our intention is to grow our downtown trail system to 300 acres, an effort that will complement the future whitewater park in the Kennebec gorge,” Cannon said.
Mahoosuc Pathways Executive Director Gabe Perkins said his organization, based in Bethel, will apply the funding to the improvement of mountain bike trails at the Crescent Park School.
“We can’t think of too many elementary schools with sustainably designed and built mountain bike trails and that’s what made this project so attractive to us,” Perkins said. “Not only will it be a well built trail for students and community members, but it could also attract more people to our community who are looking at trail-based recreation as a deciding factor in where to relocate.”
Kingfield Trail Builders plans to use the grant money to improve non-motorized trails and trail connections, install shared bike-lane markings, and add bikes racks in key locations around Kingfield.
“Kingfield Trail Builders is thrilled to receive this grant from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine,” spokesperson Polly MacMichael said. “We are excited to partner with the Kingfield community as we work toward our goal to make Kingfield a safe and fun place for bicyclists and pedestrians alike.”
BikeMaine is a week-long celebration of Maine’s people, places, culture, and food, and moves to a different region of the state each year. BikeMaine 2018, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s signature event, takes place from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15. Dubbed Acadia In the St. John Valley – La Terre Entre Deux, this year’s event begins and ends in Presque Isle, with overnight stops in Caribou, Madawaska (two nights), Fort Kent (two nights), and St. Agatha.
The 2018 awards represent the third year of BikeMaine grant funding. The Town of Gardiner received the inaugural BikeMaine Grant, in the amount of $12,300, to fund the extension of the Cobbossee Trail, which connects the Kennebec River Trail to the town’s historic Cobbossee Corridor. The Washington County Council of Governments and the City of Bath received last year’s grants, which helped to fund bike repair kiosks along the Bold Coast Bikeway and a pump-track for Bath students, respectively.
Skowhegan and Kingfield were host communities for last year’s BikeMaine event, and Bethel was a BikeMaine host community for the 2015 BikeMaine event.

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.
 

Self-driving cars: killers on the road? Plus, 10 minutes with the League of American Bicyclists' Bill Nesper, Idaho Stop the insanity, ME Gov. Paul LePage is an avid cyclist, and how to find your perfect ride!

By | Featured Posts, Podcast

Self-driving cars have been hailed as modern-day saviors for our overcrowded roads, but does the reality live up to the hype? Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast hosts Kierie Piccininni and Frank Gallagher look past the tech-bro, hard sell and take a thoughtful look at what’s really going on with Automated Vehicles.
The League of American Bicyclists has been on the front line, advocating for bicyclists and anybody who might want to start riding, for more than 100 years. Kierie and Frank caught up with Bill Nesper, the League’s Executive Director, at the New England Bike/Walk Summit in Boston to talk self-driving cars, national bike policies, and much more.
Mention the Idaho Stop, and you’ll almost certainly get a visceral reaction, no matter who you’re talking to. Kierie and Frank take a look at this controversial tactic and what it means for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage is a lightning rod for controversy. He’s also an ardent cyclist, but that hasn’t necessarily translated into cyclist-friendly policies in his home state. Kierie and Frank explore what needs to change to make Maine better for bicycling.
Finally, learn how to find your perfect ride in Maine, using the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s new Where To Ride tool.

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!

We're Launching Our FREE Where To Ride Tool Tomorrow

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Travel

Our Free-To-Use Where To Ride Tool Lets You Search Curated On- And Off-Road Routes Throughout Maine To Find Your Perfect Ride
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is launching a new, web-based, search tool called Where To Ride tomorrow that lets cyclists search a growing number of curated routes to find their perfect ride – for free!
“Maine is among the words premier bicycling destinations, and we’ve got something for cyclists of every age and ability, whether they’re road riders, mountain bikers, gravel grinders, or casual riders out for an afternoon,” Coalition BikeMaine Ride Director MaryBeth Luce, who’s heading up the Where To Ride project, said. “Our new Where To Ride tool lets cyclists find exactly what they’re looking for, and we believe that making it easier for cyclists to find good rides will encourage more people to come to Maine to bike or, if they live here, to get out and try a ride. That’s right in line with our mission to make Maine better for biking and walking.”
The Where To Ride tool officially launches on May 1, at bikemaine.org/wheretoride.
Users define what kind of ride they’re looking for by making choices from dropdown menus, such as type of ride, distance, difficulty, and region. Easy rides are generally less than 25 miles long, with grades that are generally less than 5 percent. Medium rides are between 25 and 50 miles and feature grades that run between 6 percent and 8 percent, while Difficult rides are longer than 50 miles and include grades that exceed 8 percent.
Where To Ride also provides users with information about hills and the traffic conditions. The Show Traffic button overlays traffic data onto the route map, showing which sections of road rides have the most and least traffic, and is color coded for easy use. The Show Slope button overlays the percentage grade along the route and is also color coded for easy use.
Users can also download GPX and KML files for use with GPS devices.
The Center for Community GIS, a company that supports the mapping and geographic information needs of public interest groups, helped develop the Where To Ride tool.
“Crowd-sourced, ride-sharing platforms hold so much data, it can be hard for cyclists to quicly and easily find reliable content about the best rides out there,” Center Director Stephen Engle said. “Where To Ride’s custom-designed interface delivers curated content and maps about the top Maine rides from a trusted source.”

May 9 is National Bike to School Day

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Safe Biking at School, SRTS

Hundreds of Maine school children will bike or walk to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of National Bike to School Day on May 9th. Organized events were planned at schools across the state throughout May, which is always National Bike Month.  Check out our blog for photos and highlights from past years: Walk & bike inspiration from across the state!
The Maine Safe Route to School Program can support your event(s) with event announcement posters, walking school bus posters, and incentive stickers. Request promo materials for your event here.
Participants kicked off last year’s ride in record breaking numbers! Thousands of students pedaled their way to school during the 2017 Bike to School Day celebration! Over 3,000 schools across the country, from Maine to Hawaii participated.  Register your school in the national database to join the thousands and remember to share your event plans and photos with #BiketoSchoolDay!
Here are the Maine schools that have submitted 2018 Walk & Bike to School activities:

  • Auburn, Walton School – Bike To School Day
  • Baileyville, Woodland ES – Walk & bike events during the week of May 14
  • Bangor, Abraham Lincoln School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Bangor, Downeast School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Bangor, Vine Street School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Camden, Camden Rockport MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Cape Elizabeth, Pond Cove School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike To School Day
  • Gray, Fiddlehead School of Arts & Science – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Gray-New Gloucester HS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Gray-New Gloucester MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Gray, Russell School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Lewiston, Farwell School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Lewiston, Geiger Elementary – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Lincoln, Ella P. Burr – Walk and bike to school every Wednesday April-June
  • Portland, East End Community School – Daily Walking School Bus
  • Portland, Lincoln MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Scarborough, Pleasant Hill School – Bike To School Day
  • Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • South Portland, Memorial MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
  • Topsham, Woodside ED – Walk to school every Thursday starting April 26
  • Waterville, Albert S Hall School – The Spring BIG walk to school on May 11
  • York, Coastal Ridge ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
  • York, Village ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
  • York Middle School – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25

Would you like to enhance student walking & biking safety? Please contact us about setting up a Safe Walker and Safe Bicycle Driver educational activity at your school.  We can send an available safety instructor or train you to be the safety expert!  Submit your request here: bikemaine.org/bpse-request
We hope to see you walking or biking to school this season!

Check out the new Bicycle Coalition of Maine podcast!

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

Kierie Piccininni

Frank Gallagher

Welcome to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine podcast!
Hosted by Board of Directors member Kierie Piccininni and Communications Director Frank Gallagher, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast is about all things bike and ped. In the inaugural episode, Frank and Kierie talk about the upcoming Great Maine Bike Swap in Portland on April 22, introduce themselves a bit, and talk snow removal issues and answers.
You can download and subscribe to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, and other podcast delivery apps, and you can always find it right here on the Coalition web site.
There’s a lot happening on the bike/ped front these days at the local level, statewide, nationally and even internationally. Subscribing to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine Podcast will help you stay up on all of it.
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.

Bold Support for BikeMaine

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts
BikeMaine 2017 riders drinking Bold Coast Coffee in Skowhegan, Maine.

A pair of BikeMaine 2017 riders enjoy some Bold Coast Coffee on Day One of BikeMaine 2017 in Skowhegan, Maine.

Cyclists and coffee have a long and storied history together because, for a cyclist, coffee is critical.
We get that, and when we were planning BikeMaine 2016: Discover the Bold Coast, we knew we needed a source for coffee, preferably local, who got it, too – and could provide coffee for 450 people for a week! So when we found a coffee roaster in East Machias who not only got that connection, but actually embraced it, we were ecstatic.
BikeMaine is a week-long, rolling celebration of Maine’s people, places, culture and food; Bold Coast Coffee is the only specialty coffee roaster on the Bold Coast. They feature rare and affordable, responsibly sourced beans from the finest Central and South American farms (including their own farm in Tarrazu) and they create some amazing blends – such as a custom blend for BikeMaine called BikeMaine Peaks.
“Bicycling is such a dynamic and personal way to truly experience a region,” Troy Quimby, Bold Coast Coffee founder and CEO, said. “When the Coalition announced that the BikeMaine 2016 ride would be ‘Discover the Bold Coast’, we just knew it was something we wanted to support.”
Support is one thing. What we got from Bold Coast Coffee was something else altogether.
In addition to donating a week-long supply of coffee for 450 riders and crew, 24/7, Bold Coast Coffee also offered to contribute 50 cents from the sale of every pound of the BikeMaine Peaks to fund our ongoing, statewide work to make Maine better for biking and walking.

Bold Coast Coffee mugs ready to go at BikeMaine 2016: Discover The Bold Coast.

And, lo and behold, a few days ago this message hit our email inbox:

Bold Coast is very happy to present BikeMaine with our … $0.50 per pound donation … a check for $704.50. Thank you for all the wonderful things you and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine are doing for our state.
Best,
Troy Quimby

Thank you, Bold Coast Coffee, for your support. We couldn’t ask for a better partner. You were with us at BikeMaine 2016: Discover the Bold Coast. You were with us at BikeMaine 2017: Pathway to the Peaks; and we’re glad to have you on board again for BikeMaine 2018: Acadia in the St. John Valley in Aroostook County. See you there.
The BikeMaine Peaks roast is still available at www.BoldCoastCoffee.com, but will only be for a few more months, when they will debut the 2018 offering. (It’s rumored to be something French.) In the meantime, enjoy 20 percent off site-wide using code BikeMaine17.