FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
BikeMaine announces 2016 route and host communities
Bicycle tour has brought over $1.0 million to Maine
Portland, ME, February 4, 2016 – On Thursday night, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine revealed the route and host communities of the fourth annual BikeMaine tour. The week-long ride will cover 350 miles along the “Bold Coast” of Maine, exploring Washington and Hancock Counties. The event will take place from September 10-17, 2016 and allows riders to explore the people, places, culture, and food of Maine. In the past three years, BikeMaine has delivered over $1 million in direct economic impact to different regions of the state through rider spending as well as the sourcing of local products and services for the ride.
Each year, BikeMaine chooses a different route and a new part of the state to explore. Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Nancy Grant offered, “We are incredibly excited to explore yet another amazing region of our state on two wheels. Leveraging the power of bicycling to drive awareness and economic growth is a core part of the Coalition’s mission.”
BikeMaine 2016 will showcase communities along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, which extends across Washington and Hancock Counties. BikeMaine perfectly aligns with a years-long regional effort to shine light on the unique and little-known natural and cultural assets that characterize this region. The Coalition is collaborating with Washington County Council of Governments and Bold Coast communities to turn BikeMaine 2016 into a sustainable, permanent bike route after the September 2016 event is over.
“Hosting Bike Maine gives our communities an opportunity to tell their unique stories in their own voices, utilizing their own resources,” said Crystal Hitchings of the Washington County Council of Governments. “Best of all, it allows communities to welcome visitors and interact with them in the way Downeasters do best – as if they were family and old friends. Communities are excited for the opportunity to share and celebrate, but they are also excited for the opportunity to challenge themselves and grow.”
This year’s ride, entitled “BikeMaine 2016: Discover the Bold Coast,” will build on the success of last year’s ride, and will feature host communities in Washington and Hancock Counties. The loop route will begin and end in Winter Harbor, and will include the following host communities: Jonesport, Machias, Eastport (two nights), Lubec and Milbridge. During the seven-day event, riders will experience spectacular, untouched natural beauty and specially curated daily routes will be paired with authentic and intimate host communities and of course the freshest and tastiest food Maine has to offer.
The 2016 route will see participants pedaling 354 miles (an average of 55 miles each day, with options for increased mileage) and climb more than 19,800 feet in cumulative elevation. Along the way, cyclists will discover Maine’s history and culture with the assistance and encouragement of host community organizations and residents.
The ride will be limited to 400 riders. Last year’s sold-out event attracted attendees from thirty-five states and 3 countries. Registration for BikeMaine 2016 is purposefully being kept small to ensure an intimate, well supported, quality experience for riders and host communities. The cost is $875 per rider and includes 18 meals made from locally sourced, seasonal foods, ample beverages and snacks, baggage transport, mechanical and medical support and a camping site that includes showers, restrooms, and evening entertainment. Registration ride.bikemaine.org is currently open and the ride is expected to sell out as it did in 2015.
Cyclists will camp in a different host community each evening, eating meals prepared by local organizations. Wherever possible, support services, provisions, entertainment, and meals will be secured from host communities in an effort to benefit the local economy.
BikeMaine, in support of its mission to promote bicycling, healthy lifestyles and economic development, is proud to have Presenting Sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and supporting sponsors Vermont’s Original Bag Balm, Maine Beer Company, Norway Savings Bank and Poland Spring on board again this year.
“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is once again pleased and proud to be supporting BikeMaine because it provides us with an opportunity to showcase the beauty of Maine while staying true to our mission of helping to improve the health and well-being of people and communities across our state,” said Dan Corcoran, plan president and general manager. “Last year several of our associates volunteered their time and were inspired by the drive and determination of those participating. As a company with over 875 local employees, we greatly appreciate the economic benefits that this tour brings to Maine each and every year.”
Grant funding generously has been provided the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Horizon Foundation, The Betterment Fund and the Maine Tourism Marketing Partnership Program. Key BikeMaine partnerships include Capital Ambulance and The Nature Conservancy. Media partners include WCSH6, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, the Bangor Daily News and Maine Magazine.
BikeMaine is a project of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, 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. The Coalition supports biking and walking for health, transportation and recreation.
For additional information on the BikeMaine 2016 route, detailed maps, host community descriptions, registration guidance, and responses to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) visit the BikeMaine website at ride.bikemaine.org.