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?”