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Lobster Ride Archives | Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Rolling Thunder: Bicyclists Swarm Midcoast for Maine Lobster Ride

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

Rolling thunder: Bicyclists swarm Midcoast for Maine Lobster Ride

Record participation of about 1,000 bicyclists make popular event a success

By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Jul 23, 2012

Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer Riders of the 100-mile route, or Century, head out early on July 21 for the 11th annual Maine Lobster Ride.

Rockland —

The Midcoast was abuzz with activity July 21 as bicyclists from across the country swarmed area roads for the 11th annual Maine Lobster Ride. With clear, sunny summer skies, the rides, which started and ended at Oceanside High School on Broadway, went off without a hitch and saw record registration numbers of about 1,000.

The ride, hosted by The Bicycle Coalition of Maine, was a little different this year. The 50-mile ride was split into North and South sections. It also was the first year cyclists could participate in teams.

Members of the Yellow Jersey Club led each group of riders for the different 100-, 50-, 30- and 16-mile rides. Each distance set off from the Oceanside West campus at different times to avoid congestion on the roads.

Austin Watts of Bowdoin, part of the Yellow Jersey Club, has ridden in all 11 of the lobster rides. Saturday’s event marked the ninth time he did the century trek. “I’m one of three or four that has done all of them,” Watts said of the rides. When asked why he rides the 100-mile route, his answer was only: “It’s what I do.”

Watts also said that route also goes by where he grew up in St. George. He added that there was nothing like seeing the bike odometer turn up to 100. Watts is an avid cyclist. Before heading off on Saturday morning, he already had logged 2,000 bicycle miles this summer.

Before 9 a.m., Jim Tasse, coalition education director, said the event’s registration numbers topped 800. At that time, people were still pouring into the parking lot of Oceanside and the upper parking lot at J.C. Penney was starting to fill with riders as well.

Single cyclists, groups, pairs and families turned out for the event. A walk through the school parking lot showed cars from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama and even as far away as Arizona and California. The most distance riders made a more than 4,500-mile trek from Alaska. A few riders from the Ontario area of Canada came out for the ride.

Part of this year’s popularity in the ride can be attributed to the nationwide notoriety that the 100-mile ride gained after being named as one of the Top Ten Century Rides in the United States by Bicycling Magazine. The ride earned the No. 2 spot behind the Tour de Corn in East Prairie, Missouri.

The Maine Lobster Ride, founded in 2001 by Joel Fishman of Rockland, has seen its popularity grow over the years. The Maine Lobster Ride raises money for the bicycle coalition, a statewide organization that teaches bicycle safety and works to improve bicycling conditions. The bicycle coalition has helped Maine become the second most bicycle-friendly state in the country, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Maine also has won national recognition for its Safe Routes to School program, run by the Bicycle Coalition and Maine Department of Transportation.

Courier Publications editorial assistant Holly Vanorse Spicer can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at

Lobster Ride Founder Joel Fishmnan Discusses the Award Winning Ride

By | Coalition News, Events

Maine Lobster Ride rolls in July 21 at Oceanside High School

11th annual event gains national noteriety; more than 1,000 participants expected
By Mark Haskell | Jul 16, 2012

Photo by: Mark Haskell Joel Fishman of Rockland, founder of the Maine Lobster Ride, which will take off for its 11th year on Saturday, July 21 from Oceanside High School in Rockland.

Rockland — Bicyclists from near and far will congregate at Oceanside High School on Saturday, July 21 to take part in not only one of the most notable rides in Maine — but, as it turns out, the country.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will host the 11th annual Maine Lobster Ride, which will begin Saturday, July 21 at 8 a.m. The event raises money for the coalition.

Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. The price is $95 for a non-Bicycle Coalition of Maine member or $85 for members. There also no age limit for the event.

The ride has four different lengths for different levels of riders. It features a 16-, 30-, 50- and 100-mile trek, spanning both Knox and Waldo counties.

The 100-mile ride also has gained nationwide notoriety, being named by Bicycling Magazine as the one of the Top Ten Century Rides in the United States, earning the No. 2 spot behind the Tour de Corn in East Prairie, Missouri.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Joel Fishman of Rockland, Maine Lobster Ride founder. “Every time I think about it I get goose bumps.”

The 16- and 30-mile routes will encompass much of Rockland and Owls Head, while the 50- and 100-mile routes will have two sections.

The first section called the “Northern 50” will go through scenic spots in the Midcoast through Rockport, Camden, Lincolnville and into Belmont and then loops back to the school.

The second section called the “Southern 50” will go through Owls Head and South Thomaston to Port Clyde to the Marshall Point Lighthouse before circling back to the school.

The Marshall Point Lighthouse, of course, was famously displayed in the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie Forrest Gump, which puts the signature stamp on one of the picturesque views bicyclists will see along their routes.

“Of all the lighthouses they could have chosen in the [entire] United States, they chose this one because they felt it was perfect for their movie,” said Fishman. “Well, we felt it was perfect for our ride.”

The 100-mile and the “Northern 50” rides begin at 8 a.m.; the “Southern 50” at 8:30 a.m.; the 30-milers at 9 a.m.; and the 16-milers at 9:30 a.m.

Fishman said the event is sometimes referred to as the Maine Lobster Ride and Roll in an effort to promote lobster rolls, which each participant will receive once they finish the ride.

Fishman also pointed out the event is a ride, not a race.

“There are no ribbons or trophies given to who comes in first,” he said. “That really is irrelevant. Our goal is safety. We want everyone coming back safe and sound. That’s our major concern and our major emphasis.”

Fishman estimated there will be roughly 150 volunteers working the event. Many will be at designated rest areas along the routes with cold drinks, fruit, salty snacks and other foods for the riders.

There also will be first-aid personnel and bike technicians, in addition to volunteers on walkie-talkies and cell phones, along all four routes. The Rockland Police Department also will escort the bicyclists to the town line.

The event also features SAG wagons, which are there to pick up for various reasons, such as exhaustion for the riders, a mechanical problem or someone who “would just appreciate a lift to the next station.”

“Some people will just put their bike in the back of the truck and say: ‘Take me to the next rest area,’ ” Fishman said. ” ‘I need a cold drink and then I’ll ride the rest of the way.’ It’s all-inclusive. We want everyone to participate, not just the elite bike riders.”

The first ride started in 2001 with only 42 people and has swelled each year. With the national notoriety, Fishman is “absolutely certain” there will be more than 1,000 in attendance at this year’s event.

Since the ride is advertised in Bicycling Magazine, Fishman said the event has gotten riders in recent years from as far as Quebec, New Zealand, England and Hawaii, among other locales.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is an advocacy organization based in Augusta and works with different governmental organizations, including the Department of Transportation. The funds collected by the coalition go to improving bicycling conditions and infrastructure throughout the state, which includes arranging to have roads swept, working to get bike lanes on roads and create bike paths, such as the one created a few years ago along Route 1 in Brunswick.

“Much of what we do is in the background,” said Fishman. “We do behind-the-scenes work and bicyclists all over the state of Maine enjoy the fruits of our labor and don’t know that we’re responsible or partially responsible.”

Fishman has not participated in the ride in recent years as it has become more and more of an undertaking. Now, the 65-year-old flags traffic at different routes along the way.

Fishman has taken part in many rides over the years for varying causes, including taking part in the Trek Across Maine for the past 15 years.

The veteran biker describes his hometown event as “a great experience.”

“Everyone goes home with a smile on their face at the end of the day,” he said. “And people come back. And people recommend it to their friends. That’s how we know it’s successful.”

For more information on the event, click here.

Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at

Make a Weekend out of your Lobster Ride!

By | Events, Travel

Mid-Coast Maine is a spectacularly beautiful place. When you come to ride the Lobster Ride, consider staying for the weekend.  Below are some fun adventures for our riders.  (Please note:  the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is not responsible for any part of these opportunities.  All reservations, inquiries and financial transactions need to be made through the host company listed below.)


1.Cellar Door Vineyard Food & Wine Pairing at the Cellardoor Winery.  After your ride, reward yourselves with complementary food and wine pairings.

July 21, 5:30-7:30 pm, $45/person.






2.Schooner Olad Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Schooner Olad.  Let Captain Aaron Lincoln show you Penobscot Bay, with its rocky shoreline, lighthouses, seals, bald eagles, islands, lobster boats and hidden mansions.  “Camden Maine Sailing at its BEST!” (Bring your own food and beverage.)  This cruise is reserved specifically for Lobster Riders.
July 21, 6:30-9:00 pm. $40/person. Full refund for poor weather.
Visit the Olad website for more information and FAQ’s.




3.Schooners Take a 3 or 5 overnight trip on a Maine WindJammer Cruise“Come re-live the great days of sail on authentic, tall masted schooners and spend carefree days among the islands of Maine.”  Lobster Riders get a 5% discount.






4. Tour Camden Harbor by kayak.  You’ll get some basic paddling and safety instruction from a Registered Maine Guide and then head out past yachts, schooners, stately summer homes and a lighthouse. kayak trip

Two hour trip:  $35 for adults/$30 children ages 10-15.
Four hour trip:  $75 adults/$60 kids ages 10-15.

Bicycling Magazine Picks Lobster Ride & Roll as one of the Top 10 Centuries in the US!

By | Coalition News, Events, Featured Posts

Bicycling Magazine LogoBicycling Magazine, with readership over 2 million, chose the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Lobster Ride and Roll as one of America’s Top Century Rides.  Held in Rockland on July 21, Bicycling’s reasons for identifying the Lobster ride as one of the most “engaging” century rides included the Maine scenery, the rides’ festivities and the celebratory lobster roll feast at the end of the ride.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the event.  In addition to the 100-mile ride, the event includes 16, 30 and 50-mile options along some of Maine’s most idyllic back roads.

Registration for the event is now open.  Registrants receive the famous Lobster Ride bike socks and admission to local museums free with registration.  The ride also features full race support and rest stops, delicious alternatives to a lobster roll if preferred and showers for after the ride.