Media & News

BikeMaine 2014 – Schedule of Activities

August 29, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine 2014 – Schedule of Activities

As promised in the August Newsletter, we want to help you make the most of your BikeMaine vacation by providing you in advance of the week with a schedule of activities in the Host Communities.  On any day, you can decide if you want to focus your time on the route, stopping to see things along the way, or push through to the next Host Community if there is something in town you want to experience.  It is all up to you!

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For five hours, a Main Street promenade

August 28, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized Comments Off on For five hours, a Main Street promenade

This article originally appeared in the American Journal.

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 2:02 pm | Updated: 2:04 pm, Thu Aug 28, 2014.

WESTBROOK – For the first time in Westbrook, an open-streets event will take over the downtown next Saturday, Sept. 6, as a way to raise awareness for downtowns as pedestrian friendly for biking and walking, and to promote exercise.

The event, organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, will lead up to the organization’s marquee event known as BikeMaine, which selected Westbrook as this year’s host city. A group of some 300 riders will camp in Riverbank Park Saturday night, and leave Sunday morning on a weeklong, 348-mile trek around the state. The ride will end in Westbrook on Saturday, Sept. 13.

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Safety – Job #1 On The Road

August 25, 2014 Blog, News Comments Off on Safety – Job #1 On The Road

We want to make sure both cyclists and motorists and know the rules of the road for BikeMaine – and in general.  It is your responsibility to know the rules of the road before BikeMaine and to follow them on the ride. Please take a few minutes to review the cycling safety guidelines. Let’s make a great name for ourselves as safe and responsible cyclists, so that Maine communities will continue to welcome BikeMaine riders.

Prior to your arrival in Kittery, we will contact media outlet in the regions in which you’ll be riding during BikeMaine. We will send them two public service press releases — one to remind residents that BikeMaine cyclists will be on area roads between September 12 and 19, and the other to remind motorists how to share the roads safely with cyclists.

In the “safety” press release, we stress the significant aspects of motorist safety. We also explain what motorists can expect from cyclists. We’re telling you, BikeMaine riders, what we told the motorists, so you can behave as they’re expecting. Read what we told area residents to expect from BikeMaine riders.   By making sure motorists in the community and BikeMaine riders are on the same page, we can have a safe and enjoyable ride.

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Tempt Your Tastebuds!

August 25, 2014 News No Comments

Lobster Dinner

Pack in the fun on the layover day, then rejoin BikeMaine at the beer and wine garden Thursday evening beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the harbor front tent adjacent to the pedestrian bridge in downtown Boothbay Harbor.  The town will be operating a complimentary shuttle from the BikeMaine Village.  There will be two seatings for the lobster bake: 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.

The traditional lobster dinner includes lobster and clams (hearty vegetable chowder for vegetarians); corn on the cob;  potato, eggs, and onions; autumn beet and vegetable salad with blue cheese; penne pasta and green beans with pesto; blueberry cake with ice cream.  If you want to purchase a second lobster ($10) or a guest ticket ($25), you must make arrangements  at the check in on September 6th in Westbrook.

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Packing, Parking, Paperwork, and Postcard – oh my!

August 25, 2014 News No Comments

There’s a lot to get in order before BikeMaine, but we’ve made a packing list to help you. Now’s the time to start building the packing pile in the corner of your living room! Remember, the combined weight of your transported luggage must not exceed 60 pounds, and no one bag may exceed 45 pounds. Please take the time to weigh your bag(s) and pack accordingly. This weight limit includes your tent (unless you have registered for Tent & Porter) and sleeping bag. We don’t want to break the backs of our generous volunteers!

Parking will be available for the week for a nominal fee of $15, with proceeds going to support the Westbrook Community Center children’s scholarship program to ensure that no child is kept from the Center’s programs due to financial barriers. You can make arrangements for parking when you check in September 6th in Westbrook. You will be asked to sign a Parking Waiver.  After you check in and unload your luggage and bike, please move your car to the IDEXX Laboratories parking lot located approximately 1.5 miles from the BikeMaine Village. A shuttle will be operating from 1:00-5:30 p.m. to transport you back to the Village area. BikeMaine will finish on September 13th on IDEXX grounds.

The Rider Handbook contains a few forms that you’ll need to have completed and signed when you check-in: a Medical Form and a Waiver and Release of Liability. Best to get it done now and put the completed forms in a place where you won’t forget them. We will have printed forms available at check in, but if you want to save time in Westbrook, you can print off the forms and fill them out before you arrive, leaving you more time to settle in and begin enjoying BikeMaine!

And don’t forget to pack a postcard from your hometown or state to give to the students at Belgrade Central School!

2014 Route Digest – Chapter 3

August 25, 2014 News No Comments

Boothbay Harbor

As you approach Boothbay Harbor, the site of your well-deserved day of rest, you will be riding towards the place that was a particular favorite of Rachel Carson. The conservationist and marine biologist felt a strong connection with coastal Maine and spent countless hours studying the biodiversity of its marine habitats, as well as enjoying leisure time in a summer cottage she built on the coast in 1953. The Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve that lies outside of Boothbay Harbor protects the site where Carson conducted much of her research for her book Edge of the Sea, published in 1955. The preserve serves as a memorial of the invaluable contributions that Carson made to the scientific community, and offers visitors the opportunity to explore extensive woodlands, rocky shoreline, and the overgrown hay fields left behind by the Danforth farm that once occupied the property. In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Carson was instrumental to the formation of the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Boothbay Harbor is a popular summer visitor destination. Though BikeMaine visits on the quiet side of Labor Day, there is still plenty to do. But before we talk about the myriad activities going on during BikeMaine’s visit, a little bit of history:

1In 1666, Englishmen established an early seasonal fishing camp in the Boothbay Harbor area. Henry Curtis purchased the land from the sachem Mowhotiwormet (also known as Chief Robinhood) “for a hogshead of rum and some pumpkins.” The European settlement was attacked and burned during King Philip’s War, resettled shortly afterwards, then destroyed again in 1689 during King William’s War. It was then abandoned for 40 years. The settlement was named Boothbay in 1842 and grew to be a busy fishing center. When storms came, Boothbay Harbor could shelter as many as 500 vessels. By the early 1880s, the town was home to a fishery, a fish oil company, an ice company, a fertilizer manufacturer, a lobster canning factory and two marine railways. Boothbay has always had a robust boatbuilding industry. In the mid-20th century, minesweepers were built for the U.S. Navy in WWII. Also known for its physical beauty, Boothbay was used as a movie set for the 1956 film, “Carousel.”

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BikeMaine Scholarship Winners Announced

August 20, 2014 News No Comments

photo2The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is proud to announce that Coalition members Victor Langelo and Nicole Anderson have each won a half-week BikeMaine Scholarship.  We’re looking forward to riding with you both!

Victor loves riding in Maine and is a tremendous proponent of bicycling.   He lives in Topsham and is trained as a Bicycle Coalition of Maine advocate thorough our Community Spokes program.  He organized the Brunswick-Topsham Trail Coalition working with snowmobile riders, hikers and bicyclists, has done significant fundraising for a local trail segment that will eventually help connect to the existing Brunswick-Topsham Trail, and volunteers and rides regularly with the Merrymeeting Wheelers (he won their “golden sprocket” award last year). He’s a stalwart on the Merrymeeting Trail committee, and has twice led rides from Gardiner to Bath to familiarize people with this possible future trail, and to promote the trail to local businesses along the way.

imageNikki is 29 years old and a resident of Portland.  She is a year round bike commuter, member of the Portland bicycle pedestrian advocacy group and Meetup bike ride leader in Portland. She usually does a bike tour each year with her husband, but could not afford to do so this year as they are preparing to buy their first home.

Our thanks to  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine  for allowing us to recognize these two very active members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for their passionate commitment and great work, with a scholarship to ride a half-week of BikeMane 2014.

350 cyclists coming to Boothbay Harbor

August 14, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

Posted:  Thursday, August 14, 2014 – 5:00pm
BikeMaine, a seven-day bike tour created by the Bicycling Coalition of Maine, will be rolling into Boothbay Harbor around noon on September 10.The map showing BikeMaine’s journey. The route includes 348 miles of biking over seven nights. Courtesy of BikeMaine

BikeMaine, a seven-day bike tour created by the Bicycling Coalition of Maine, will be rolling into Boothbay Harbor around noon on September 10.

Others stops on the route include Westbrook, Winthrop, Gardiner, Bath and Norway; but Boothbay Harbor is the group’s only overnight destination.

Around 350 cyclists are expected to take part.

“There will be a lot of support gear, tents and shower hookups and even a massage area for the cyclists,” Town Manager Tom Woodin said. “We are setting up on the high school field as it was the only area large enough to accommodate the group.”

On Wednesday night the group will be on their own for activities and dinner (get ready, local restaurants!).

Thursday morning, the cyclists will wake up to complimentary coffee and donuts at the school’s “Snack Shack,” and will get a list of activities to do in the region including visiting Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, renting a kayak from Tidal Transit, shopping downtown, taking a cruise, visiting the Railway Village, etc. There is no scheduling, the cyclists can take their pick.

Between 5 and 7 p.m., the cyclists will be treated to a lobster bake in the footbridge parking lot, being coordinated by Darlene French. The lobster bake is only open to the cyclists from BikeMaine.

Because of the scale of this event, which includes an 80 by 100-foot tent set up for the cyclists to eat under, the footbridge parking lot will be closed the entire day of September 11.

After the lobster bake there will be a free concert at the Opera House with the Holy Mackerels and The Boneheads from 7 to 9 p.m. The concert is open for anyone to attend.

The cyclists will only be riding into town as far as the high school field, and will use a shuttle service to get around. The shuttle will run every hour through town, and visit CMBG every three hours. Since the cyclists will be leaving their often very expensive, high quality bikes at the field, Boothbay Harbor is providing security there.

Friday morning the cyclists will be treated to a full breakfast before they head off to Bath, the next leg of their trip.

“They ride around 60 miles a day,” Woodin said. “Last year they rode farther, but the group realized that when that happened the cyclists were too tired to take in the towns they visited.”

Woodin said that last year he watched a segment on the news about BikeMaine’s trip, and found it fascinating. When he was contacted by BikeMaine in September of 2013 about possibly including Boothbay Harbor on this year’s route, he was thrilled.

“The representatives came down, and I personally took them around and showed them all our town has to offer,” Woodin said. “I’m so pleased we were chosen to be on their route this year. It’s going to be a blast. It will bring so much revenue to the town.

“How often does our town get a shot in the arm like this, 300 extra people, in September, when the season is winding down?”


Related: BikeMarine 2014 will roll in Boothbay Harbor

BikeMaine Guest Blogger – Cycling in September

August 8, 2014 Uncategorized 2 Comments

Note: This is the second in a series of blog posts by our guest blogger and Portland Press Herald BikeMaine 2014 contest winner, Mike McDermott.  Mike will be blogging throughout the summer, sharing his experiences as he prepares and trains for BikeMaine 2014.
Bike Maine Ride 2013.
Don’t get me wrong – I love summers in Maine. They don’t call it ‘Vacationland’ for nothing, and I’m lucky enough to live here where both the mountains and coast are in easy reach. But about his time in the summer, after we’ve had a few of those hot muggy stretches, it isn’t unusual to start finding myself looking forward to fall. Maybe it has to do with growing up in Hawaii where I didn’t experience autumn, but New England in the fall is just a perfect combination.
This year in particular I’m starting to look forward to September because it means the BikeMaine ride. I’m sure the organizers had a lot to consider in choosing the dates for the ride, but I am so excited that it will be happening in early September. It is one of my favorite times – the days are usually warm, but less humid than July or August. The nights cool down just enough that a sleeping bag in the tent will feel great. There is usually a tree or two that jumps the gun on the fall foliage color change and puts out a blaze of red, orange or yellow.
For a few years when my sons were old enough to camp but not yet in school we used to plan a camping trip the weekend after labor day. We’d go to a lake in the mountains and be able to swim during the day, but then huddle around a campfire after dark. They are some of my favorite memories, and they are what I think of as I look forward to cycling and tenting this coming September for BikeMaine.


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