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Maine 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.

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.

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.”

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.

Presenting Your 2018 Bicycle Coalition of Maine Award Winners!

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

At our Kickoff Party on Saturday, Feb. 3, we announced the winners of our 2018 Annual Awards, honoring nine Maine individuals and organizations for their commitment to making the state a better place for cyclists and pedestrians in 2017.
“The people we’re recognizing with these awards represent what is best about cycling in Maine,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director John Williams said. “Their commitment to their communities, and to making Maine a safer and better place for both cyclists and walkers, deserves not only to be recognized, but celebrated. We are proud to honor their efforts.”
 
This year’s award winners are:

  • Nate Davis and Matt Ondra: 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 their community. Davis and Ondra received the award for their work to make Rockland better for biking and walking. They built relationships with town officials, and worked with them to put sharrows on the road and plan bike lanes for roads when they are due for re-paving or reconstruction. They continue to advocate on behalf of Rockland pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Nancy Grant: 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. Grant received the award for her passion for bicycling and her desire to make cycling accessible to all people in Maine. Her 12 years of work with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, including seven years as Executive Director, demonstrate her unfaltering dedication to spreading the joy of bicycling to all.
  • Julie French: Next Generation Award – awarded to a person who instills a love, interest, and appreciation of bikes in the next generation, French received the award for her work as a bicycle and pedestrian safety instructor in Aroostook County, where she has creatively helped thousands of students learn the rules of the road and empowered them to bike and walk safely.
  • The Bangor School District: Public Service Excellence Award – awarded to a public service professional or organization who has provided outstanding service to the bicycle and pedestrian community in Maine. The Bangor School District has fully embraced the walking school bus program, creating programs at three of its schools. These programs have helped to improve student attendance and learning readiness, foster community relations, and make walking to school fun and accessible.
  • Larry Rubinstein: Harry Faust Leadership Award – named after one of the Coalition’s most dedicated and effective Board Chairs and awarded to a Mainer who has been a true leader in his community. Rubinstein served on the Coalition’s Board of Directors from 2004 to 2016, and was board president for two full terms during his tenure. He initiated the Coalition’s Major Donor program, the Yellow Jersey Club, which now has more than 95 members, and continues to serve as an emeritus member of the board.
  • Michele Yade Benoit: Muddy Wheel Award – awarded to a leader in mountain biking in Maine, Benoit received the award for her work leading the Bangor High School’s Mountain Bike and Trail Building Club, inspiring teens to enjoy all aspects of mountain biking, and teaching them to build and maintain trails that benefit the entire community.
  • Rick Smith: Volunteer of the Year Award – given to a volunteer who has contributed extraordinary time, effort, and energy to the Coalition and its mission. Smith, from Skowhegan, received the award for his outstanding effort in support of the Coalition’s many different activities. Smith has volunteered at many Coalition events over the years, and serves at the Route Safety Leader for our annual BikeMaine ride.
  • Portland Gear Hub: Businesses for Better Bicycling Award – given to a Maine business that encourages and supports bicycling w/in their business and community. The Portland Gear Hub is a non-profit outdoor gear and bike shop powered by Camp Ketcha, a youth outdoor organization based in Scarborough, Maine. Since the Gear Hub’s inception in 2014, hundreds of volunteers have helped sort gear, repair kids bikes and translate a Traffic Safety Class into French, Swahili, and Lingala. The Gear Hub has recycled 5.3 tons of metal, refurbished more than 400 youth and adult bikes, and donated more than 75 bikes to youth organizations in southern Maine. The Gear Hub has also partnered with the Coalition to run the successful Bikes For All Mainers programs that has helped get more than 75 new and longtime Maine residents transportation and traffic safety skills.

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.

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

 

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Names New Executive Director

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

John S. Williams, a Seasoned Executive and an Avid Cyclist, Is Expected to Take the Reins on Sept. 25

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has named John S. Williams, shown here on a cycling trip in Austria, the organization’s new Executive Director.

August 23, 2017 – (PORTLAND, Maine) – After an extensive, nationwide search, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has selected John S. Williams, an experienced leader with a deep love of cycling, as the organization’s new Executive Director.
“In its 25-year history, the Coalition has benefited from strong executive leadership,” Coalition Board of Directors President Phil Coffin said. “Given his impressive record of success to date, we are confident that John, along with the Coalition’s staff and board, will continue to build the organization and inspire the Maine community to make Maine a better place for bicycling and walking.”
Williams, who holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono, served in the administration of Gov. Angus King, as the Executive Director of the Maine Waste Management Agency and, subsequently, the Executive Director of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission.
From 2002 through 2015, he served as President of the Maine Pulp and Paper Association, developing sound policies at the state and federal levels to benefit the industry and its employees while protecting Maine’s natural resources and promoting sustainability. In January 2015, Williams opened Great Salt Bay Consulting, providing strategic communications, government relations, and public relations services to clients in the forest products industry.
Williams is also a long-time board member and former Treasurer of Maine Family Planning, which provides affordable reproductive health care in many clinics in Maine, and a former board member and President of the Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute. He’s also been a member of the Coalition for many years, as well as Adventure Cycling and the Kennebec Land Trust.
Williams is a passionate cyclist who has biked through many states, several Canadian provinces, the Netherlands, Croatia, Austria, Cornwall, Ireland, and Slovenia, and participated in several high-profile bicycle tour events.
“I’m honored by the Board of Directors’ decision, and I look forward to helping the organization grow and thrive in the coming years,” Williams said.

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.