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bicycle Archives | Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Maine Records Its First Bicycling Fatality of 2018

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Stay Safe

August 9, 2018 (Portland, ME) –  Maine recorded its first bicycle fatality of 2018, when Laila Al-Matrouk, 15, was hit and killed in a motor vehicle/bicycle crash on Sunday, August 5, in Belfast. 
“The Bicycle Coalition of Maine extends its deepest sympathies to Laila’s family and friends, and we remind all users to watch out for each other, and to drive, walk and bike in a safe fashion,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Assistant Director Jim Tasse said.
As the state’s leading group promoting bicycling and walking safety, the Coalition routinely monitors crash reports for incidents that involve bicyclists or pedestrians. According to Coalition records, this is the first fatality of a person on a bike in Maine in 2018. There were two bicycle fatalities in 2017.
The Coalition does not have all the details on this incident, and cannot comment on it specifically. However, in general these kinds of incidents should remind all users of Maine’s roads to watch for other users at all times, drive at a reasonable and safe speed for conditions, obey traffic laws, and never drive, walk, or bicycle distracted or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
The Coalition will continue to monitor the circumstances surrounding this incident for information that will improve roadway safety for all users.  

Alternative Bike Route for Route 1 Yarmouth During Bridge Construction

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts, Travel

As construction continues on the replacement of the Route 1 bridge that spans Main Street in Yarmouth, MaineDOT and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine are recommending an alternative route that takes bicyclists away from construction directly under the bridge.
Bicyclists should consider this recommended alternative route until the project is completed next year. 
This $4.1 million bridge replacement is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019 and will feature a 5-foot paved sidewalk on the east side of Route 1 and a new 10-foot multi-path use on its west. New lighting, railings and illuminated crosswalks will be installed to ensure safety. The new bridge will also have an extra foot of clearance underneath on Main Street.

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.

Friday, May 18, Is National Bike To Work Day

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Portland Gear Hub Will Be Out to Welcome Bicycle Commuters with Snacks, Coupons for Free Coffee, Mechanics Stands and Tools for Quick Adjustments, and More!
Bicycle commuters in Portland will find a warm welcome on National Bike To Work Day, which is Friday, May 18.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will be on hand in Monument Square from 7am-10:30am with information about how to be a safer bicycle commuter, membership information, a mechanics stand and tools for quick adjustments, coupons for coffee from Others! Coffee, and $5 tokens for city employees who ride their bicycles to work, courtesy of the City of Portland’s employee wellness program.
Staff and volunteers from the Portland Gear Hub will have a mechanics stand and tools, free air set up outside A&C Grocery on Munjoy Hill, where they’ll be cooking up some hot breakfast treats, too.

“Biking to work has a lot of positives,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director John Williams said. “Of course, there’s the physical benefit, but riding your bike to work is great way to save some money because you don’t have to pay for parking and you aren’t using any gas. If your commute is only a few miles, you’ll probably find that it’s just as quick, if not faster, to ride your bike than it is to drive.”
National Bike To Work Day, always the third Friday in May, dates to 1956, when the League of American Bicyclists suggested it as an addition to National Bike Month, which is May.
You can find more information and tips about bicycle commuting here.

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.

Everything You Need To Know About Bike Share In Maine

By | Advocacy Events, Featured Posts, Webinars
Bike Share programs are growing worldwide, nationwide, and are even in Maine!
Norway and Machias, Maine have modest bike share programs compared to big cities. For this reason, they are models for Maine to show that bike sharing is possible in small, rural towns.
Thanks to Zizi Vlaun of Norway and Angela Fochesato of Machias for sharing their stories of how they developed bike share programs in their communities.  If you missed the webinar and are interested in making your town greener and healthier by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging people to ride a bike, Zizi and Angela are happy to help!  For advice and information, they can be contacted at:
zizi@ecologybasedeconomy.org
angela@healthyacadia.org

 

BikeMaine 2017 is Sold Out!

By | BikeMaine, Coalition News, Featured Posts

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