Below we’ve addressed some questions you may have. It’s also possible you have questions we haven’t addressed, and if so, please contact us and we’ll do our best to get you the information you need.
Founded in 2012, BikeMaine is organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, an advocacy group that has led the effort to make Maine better for biking and walking since 1992. BikeMaine 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 event support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and its local cycling and pedestrian initiatives.
Following the completion of BikeMaine’s three-year start-up phase, BikeMaine awarded its first grant to a host community, a match grant in the amount of $12, 300 to the City of Gardiner, to spur local investment to complete a connector trail from downtown Gardiner to the Kennebec River Trail.
BikeMaine is limited to 400 riders. We keep it small for a number of reasons, including our goal of creating an intimate quality experience, and making sure we don’t overwhelm our host communities. Because we limit registration we hope that you will not delay and register ASAP!
Cyclists can opt to bring and set up their own tent, or they can utilize the convenient Tent & Porter service for an additional fee.
Riders can also make their own arrangements to stay in nearby hotels or bed and breakfasts, and local options for each town have been provided on the 2017 Lodging Page. Any transportation required between the BikeMaine Village and offsite lodging will need to to be worked out between you and your lodging management. Riders who elect to spend a night outside of the BikeMaine Village are responsible for their own luggage; BikeMaine does not have the capacity to monitor luggage overnight.
For a complete worry-free experience, you can let bike travel specialist Summer Feet make all of your lodging accommodations. Summer Feet offers a BikeMaine lodging package that includes accommodations and transportation between the BikeMaine Village and the lodging property.
Please note that while BikeMaine offers information about non-camping lodging options as a courtesy, BikeMaine makes no representations about the quality of the properties or services provided.
Please note that while BikeMaine is willing to make riders aware of non-camping lodging options, BikeMaine makes no representation about the quality of the properties or service provided.
BikeMaine 2017: Pathway to the Peaks will be held September 9 – 16, 2017. Registration is open.
BikeMaine 2017 Registration Costs:
Until 05/31/17: $925
- After 5/31/17: $975
For more information on what your BikeMaine registration fee includes, see the FAQ below entitled, “What does my registration fee include?”
*Please note that the ride is limited to 400 riders and registration is first-come-first-served. We cannot guarantee that there will be spots still available if you wait to register. For more information on our cancellation policy see the FAQ below entitled, “What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?“
Your registration fee includes:
- 3 hearty, delicious meals each day, with the exception that riders are on their own for the first 3 meals we are in the layover community, where there is a wide array of restaurants and markets available
- A traditional lobster bake with fresh Maine lobster, clams, and just harvested corn-on-the-cob
- Well-stocked rest stops for recharging and refueling
- Friendly course support that includes maps, a signed route, support vehicles, mechanical and medical assistance, if needed
- Luggage transport
- Full use of the BikeMaine Village, a portable tent city that springs up wherever the tour stops for the night
- Hot showers on site
- Daily entertainment
- Bike mechanics, medical and information tents
- A gathering place for cyclists to socialize and swap stories from the road
- A BikeMaine tee shirt
**Update March 22, 2017: BikeMaine 2017 is sold-out! To be added to the wait list, please e-mail (name and phone number) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is open and is on a “first come, first served” basis until it filled, after which time BikeMaine will create a waiting list. Please note that the ride is limited to 400 riders so register here today before it is too late!
So you registered. You should have received an automated receipt of your BikeMaine registration “order” emailed to the address you included in your registration. If you did not, please email us or call 207-623-4511.
- Read through all of the FAQs. If you still have questions, be in touch!
- Check us out and start following us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter for your daily or weekly dose of #BikeMaine excitement!
- Read emails from us! You should be receiving monthly emails with news and information that you should read in their entirety.
- Get outfitted! BikeMaine merchandise is available for purchase now. We will try and get you in the gear and representing the ride as soon as possible.
- Start training. See the example training program designed by our sports therapy partner OA Centers for Orthopaedics, a Division of Spectrum Medical Group, please click here.
Yes. Many riders have family and friends who wish to share the experience of the event but prefer to ride from village to village in their own car rather than on a bicycle. For these folks, we have the Rider Guest Program. The fee is $550, which includes 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts, and all of the other BikeMaine village amenities (camping, showers, entertainment). Rider Guests are asked not to drive the same route the riders take each day. BikeMaine will provide alternative driving directions for Rider Guests. Space for rider guests is limited, so register here early.
In the event that you have to cancel your registration, there will be a sliding scale for refunds. Riders who cancel before June 1st will be refunded all but $50. Those who cancel between June 1 and July 31st will be refunded all but $150. Beginning August 1, no refunds will be granted.
To protect yourself from unexpected disruptions in your BikeMaine plans, we suggest that you consider travel insurance. Here is an example of a travel policy that is available.
No. Registration is not transferable, and you will be asked to show a photo ID when you check in on September 9th.
See “What if I registered for BikeMaine, but now have to cancel?“: In the event that you can’t participate, for whatever reason, there will be a sliding scale for refunds. Riders who cancel before June 1st will be refunded all but $50. Those who cancel between June 1 and July 31st will be refunded all but $150. Beginning August 1st, no refunds will be granted.
To protect yourself from unexpected disruptions in your BikeMaine plans, we suggest that you consider travel insurance. Here is an example of a travel policy that is available.
Hold tight. If there are cancellations the next person on the wait-list will be notified by phone or email as soon as possible.
We are not able to predict when or if this would happen.
Want to make sure that you are signed up for BikeMaine 2018? Mark your calendar – Registration for the 2018 ride will open in September.
PREPARING FOR THE RIDE
Maine’s terrain is moderately challenging, with rolling hills and few flat stretches. Daily rides average about 55 miles. On a couple of the days, a rider can elect to extend the day’s riding with a 15-20 mile marked and supported loop. There is a layover (rest) day during the week when riders can rest, explore on foot, or put on some extra bike miles. With a good training plan in place, cyclists can meet the challenge. BikeMaine cyclists have ranged in age from 10 years old to 81 years young!
For a program designed by our sports therapy partner OA Centers for Orthopaedics, a Division of Spectrum Medical Group, please click here.
One in good working condition! Most riders will ride road bikes with drop-style curved handlebars, but touring or hybrid bikes with straight bars are just fine, too, as are recumbents and tandems. What’s most important is that you’re comfortable and that your bike will hold up through multiple days of riding.
If you are in the market for a bike, we encourage you to visit a bike shop in your area and explain that, during BikeMaine, the bike will be used for riding an average of 55 miles a day on tarred Maine roads (translation: expect the occasional potholes and cracks). No need to carry luggage (as baggage service is included in your registration), but the bike should be light enough that you can be comfortable climbing about 2000-2500 feet a day.
That being said you may look to rent a bike in the area and not worry about bringing (or shipping) your own bike with you and that is perfectly fine. You know your body and how you will adjust to a new bicycle better than we do!
PREPARE YOUR BIKE: If you are bringing your own bike, please please please have it inspected at your local bike shop. This will reduce the chances of having mechanical problems along the route. A tune-up is a must whether you do it yourself or have a mechanic do it for you. We (and the past BikeMaine bike mechanics) strongly encourage you to schedule a Professional Bike Tune-up and have your mechanic inspect the bike thoroughly, clean and re-grease all cable pinch bolts, saddle rail clamp and bolts, and the seat-post collar bolts, replacin worn out parts if necessary. If your shop has or can order your bike’s specific rear derailleur hanger, buy one as a spare and bring it with you. If you have any nontraditional wheel spokes that are integrated to the manufacturers hub and rims, it never hurts to have those on hand for the bike mechanics to install, if need be. We want you and your bike to ride the whole route!
For riders planning to arrive in Portland, CycleMania has the following rentals and rates available.
- Hybrid Rental – $190 week*
- Basic Road Bike Rental – $250 week*
- Premium Road Bike Rental – $400 week*
* $50 Delivery Fee included
All Cyclemania rental bikes come with helmet. Road Bikes also are equipped a flat-repair kit.
Clipless pedals not included.
Please call CycleMania directly to reserve your bike: 207-774-2933.
Needs and wants are different and this is a good opportunity to create the distinction. To assist with your packing, we’ve created a packing list that will be available when the Rider Handbook is published later this spring. Remember that this list is just a suggestion, and keep in mind the 60 pound limit is for your 2 bags combined, with no one bag weighing more than 45 pounds.
Each rider may bring no more than two bags (duffle or cargo bags are ideal). The combined weight of your transported luggage must not exceed 60 pounds, and no one bag may exceed 45 pounds. The weight restriction is in consideration of the volunteers who must handle the luggage. Please take the time to weigh your bag(s) and pack accordingly. This weight limit includes your tent and sleeping bag. All luggage will be weighed at check in.
In the event of rainy weather, your luggage may sit uncovered outdoors for some period of time (while we will do what we can to keep luggage dry, we cannot guarantee that luggage won’t get wet). We highly recommend that you use waterproof luggage or bring heavy duty trash bags to wrap your luggage if rain is in the forecast. Past riders recommend using ziplock bags for items inside your luggage, and lining the inside of your bags with heavy duty trash bags for extra protection, to ensure your possessions remain dry.
GETTING TO THE START
Yes. We have arranged for Cyclemania to accept bikes for riders planning to ride BikeMaine.
$85.00: Cyclemania will receive, assemble and deliver your bike to the start.
$85.00: Cyclemania will disassemble, re-box and arrange for shipping.
***The cost of shipping is the responsibility of the rider. Please be sure to make reservations by August 1st. To reserve your spot please contact CycleMania at 207-774-2933.
BikeMaine 2017 starts at the BikeMaine Village located on the Skowhegan Fairgrounds, 33 Constitution Ave., in Skowhegan. Skowhegan is located approximately 95 miles north of Portland.
To reach Skowhegan by car from I-95, the primary highway in Maine, take the Fairfield exit and travel northwest on Route 201 for approximately 15 miles.
For those needing to leave a vehicle for the week, BikeMaine has arranged with the Skowhegan Fairgrounds for on-site vehicle parking during the week for a $25 fee. This money offsets any costs associated with parking. Pay for parking here.
BikeMaine is offering a shuttle from the Portland International Jetport to the start of BikeMaine in Skowhegan on September 9, with a return shuttle on Sept. 16. Please see “Shuttles to the Start of BikeMaine,” below, for information about the shuttle.
Bus transportation to Portland is provided by Concord Bus Lines. Once in Portland, there is a shuttle to Skowhegan. Please see “Shuttles to the Start of BikeMaine,” below, for information about the shuttle.
Transportation on Amtrak can be booked through to Portland. Once in Portland, there is a shuttle to Skowhegan. Please see “Shuttles to the Start of BikeMaine,” below, for more information.
Arriving in Portland on September 8 – Holiday Inn Express, South Portland
For travelers arriving in Portland on Friday, September 8, BikeMaine has arranged a block of rooms at a discounted rate of $134 per room at the Holiday Inn Express, South Portland. This discounted room rate also is available for travelers who will be flying out on Sunday, September 17. Please make your reservation directly with the hotel by calling them at 207-775-3900. Ask for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine group block to obtain a discounted room. These rooms must be reserved by August 1 to obtain the discounted rate.
BikeMaine is offering a shuttle from the hotel to Skowhegan. Please see “Shuttles to the Start of BikeMaine,” below, for information about the shuttle.
Shuttles to the Start of BikeMaine
Shuttle service is available on September 9 from Portland to Skowhegan, with pickups at the Portland International Airport, the Holiday Inn Express, South Portland, and the bus/train station. A return shuttle will run on Sept. 16 from Skowhegan to Portland, with dropoffs at the airport, bus/train station and the Holiday Inn Express, South Portland. The cost of the shuttle is $80, round trip.
For riders registered for the Half-Week Option, BikeMaine offers shuttle service between Skowhegan and Rangeley. On September 13, riders participating in the first half of the week will be shuttled from Rangeley to Skowhegan, and riders participating in the second half of the week will be shuttled from Skowhegan to Rangeley. The cost of the shuttle is included in the Half-Week registration.
Arriving in Skowhegan on September 8
Travelers arriving in Skowhegan on Friday, September 8, will have to make lodging arrangements somewhere in the area. For a list of motels, please refer to the map of lodging options. Travelers will not be allowed into the BikeMaine Village until 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 9.
BikeMaine offers a Rider Discussion Forum where riders looking to share a ride can connect.
DURING THE RIDE
Route support services are available only during course hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. BikeMaine riders still on the route at 4:30 p.m. will be offered a ride to the day’s destination. BikeMaine can only provide route support to participants who are riding on the established route during the time the route is open.
Each cyclist is expected to ride from one host community to the next. There are support vehicles on the course each day but they are not intended to be a shuttle service. They are available to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or physical injury. The vans also have extra water and snacks, if needed. If at any time you need assistance, signal a support vehicle with a “thumbs down” hand gesture. If you do get in a support vehicle, you will be transported to the next rest stop, and eventually to the next BikeMaine Village. Support vehicles usually wait until they are full before heading to the village.
Laundromats are located within a mile of the BikeMaine Village in Skowhegan, Kingfield (Day 2), Rangeley (Days 3 and 4), and Farmington (Day6).
There will be a support vehicle available each morning to transport cyclists from site to site if a cyclist is experiencing illness or injury. You will need a medical note to ride in this vehicle, which you can get at the Medical Tent. Bring the form to the Information Tent before 8:00 a.m. to sign-up for the transport.
BikeMaine prides itself on using locally grown, in season food at all its meals. When registering, riders are asked to select an omnivore or vegetarian menu. At each meal, Two main dishes, one with meat and one without, are served at each meal. A variety of salads and side dishes also are offered. While many of the dishes offered may be gluten free, we cannot certify that they are completely free of all traces of gluten. Please contact the Ride Director if you have questions about handling food allergies.
While there are not many times you will need to spend money along the way, there are plenty of opportunities when you may want to spend money. You will need to purchase the first 3 meals when we are in the layover community of Rangeley, where there are a variety of restaurants and markets to satisfy a range of tastes and budgets. As for wants, consider the following extras: pre-breakfast coffee and end of the day beer, wine, or other treats, massages, BikeMaine merchandise and other retail purchases, equipment repair, cell phone charging, local attractions, and for those who seek assistance in carrying luggage from the truck to the tent site, contributions to the local service organization that helps you (a $2 tip per bag is recommended).
ATMs are available in most host communities, but not necessarily near the Village sites. Stopping at an ATM along the route if needed or carrying cash is a good idea.
Will I have phone/e-mail access during the ride? Will there be a way for me to charge electronic devices?
No promises here. We’re traveling in rural sections of the state where signals can be intermittent. There’s better opportunity for connectivity in host communities, but again, no guarantees. In each host community, a service organization will offer an on-site charging station for electronics for a small fee.
Yes. BikeMaine will transport necessary medical devices. Please email or call 207-623-4511 and ask for the BikeMaine staff so that we can discuss your particular situation and be able to plan accordingly.
Riders can place their C-PAP machine or other medical device in the designated container at the BikeMaine Information Booth before 9:00 a.m. each day and pick it up in the next host communityafter 5:00 p.m. from the designated container at the Information Booth.
Please note that BikeMaine offers this service as a courtesy and does not assume responsibility for any device.
In extreme emergencies, family members can contact a rider by calling the Maine State Police in Bangor at 207-973-3700. Please ask them to send an urgent message to BikeMaine officials. Keep in mind that it may take up to 4 hours to locate a rider and relay a message.