FAQ (2013)


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 … and may add your question to the FAQ’s that follow!

What does my registration fee include?

Your registration fee of $875 includes 18 meals (you will be on your own for 3 meals while in Bar Harbor, home to a wide array of fabulous restaurants and markets), ample beverages and snacks during each day’s ride, baggage transport for one bag, friendly course support that includes a signed route, SAG vans, mechanical and medical assistance if needed, and an idyllic overnight site that includes a camping area, showers, restrooms, daily entertainment, food vendors, bike mechanics, and medical tent.  The registration fee also includes your entry into Acadia National Park during your stay in Bar Harbor and a BikeMaine tee shirt.  Top

What is BikeMaine’s purpose?

BikeMaine is offered by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the state’s leading bicycle advocacy group with over 5000 members.  Through BikeMaine, the Coalition seeks to create a bridge between bicycling and sustainable community economic development, where attention to health and wellness — at work and at home — can spur community growth, vitality, and economic prosperity.  Proceeds from the ride will be split between the Coalition, to fund its mission of making Maine better for bicycling, and the host communities in the form of cash grants to support biking and walking initiatives.  Top

Is BikeMaine a good choice for new riders?

Riding 400 miles over the course of six days (remember day five is a rest day in Bar Harbor) requires preparation and training but most people who regularly ride, will be able to handle BikeMaine.

Typically, preparing to ride 400 miles during the second week of September requires that you begin your training routine by mid-May. Riding frequently – at least five days a week – is key. Even if it is only for an hour each ride, you will be achieving weekly mileage totals of 50 miles or more. This should be your goal for May – 50 miles a week. Of course if you are training for the Trek Across Maine, you will likely average a higher weekly total. Plan an occasional 30 mile bicycle ride one day a week in May to start building endurance.

By June, you should be increasing your weekly total to 75 miles with an occasional ride of 40-50 miles thrown in.

Start searching for hills to ride to build stamina for the terrain on the inaugural BikeMaine route. The hills are not long but on some days, there are frequent short hills that add up over the course of the day. Even if you don’t have longer hills to train on, doing “repeats” on short hills will help prepare you. You may also want to consider adding a triple chain ring to allow you to spend your pedals faster while going up hills.

In July, your weekly mileage should be at 100-125 miles with several longer duration rides of 50-60 miles. Again, look for hills to train on.

You should plan to reach your peak cycling (in terms of mileage and time “in the saddle”) by August 24-27. Weekly mileage should be 100-150 miles and you should be doing at least one ride every week of 45-65 miles. You should begin to gradually taper off your mileage to weekly totals of 75-100 miles. During the ten day lead up to BikeMaine on September 8, you should continue to ride frequently – at least five days a week but reduce the time of each ride to approximately two hours.

In addition to riding, incorporate strength training focused on your core throughout the summer. Core strength exercises can be researched on line or at your local gym. Begin core strength training by July.

If you have done the MS 150 or Trek Across Maine, you are fully capable of BikeMaine. Training is key to enjoying any long distance bicycle ride.

How difficult is the route?

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being very difficult, this ride is 3.5-4. Any ride covering 400+ miles in a week can be challenging but with proper training, experienced and fit cyclists should have no problem.  Each of the first three days will be 70+ miles of hilly riding. The climbs are not particularly long, but the terrain is rolling, as you might expect for inland and coastal Maine and there is a 13,503 foot elevation gain over the first three days. If you’re comfortable with your gear and physically prepared for the first three days, you’ll have a blast for the entire week.  Top

Your website shows that there is 24,000 feet of climbing over the week. That is more than the elevation change for some of the big rides out West. How can that be possible?

Measuring elevation is a tricky business, given that there is no set standard for measuring vertical profiles. You get wildly different results depending on the software used. One popular software used for measuring elevation is Map My Ride, which is used by Ride the Rockies and Cycle Oregon. According to Map My Ride’s software specifications, the software does not measure elevation changes of less than 60 meters, or 200 feet. This results in elevation totals being significantly understated. When the BikeMaine route is plotted on Map My Ride, the elevation total is 11,132 feet of climbing.

The BikeMaine maps are made by the Center for Community GIS in Farmington, Maine. They use the software Ride with GPS, which allows for measuring elevation to a much finer scale and tallies all changes in elevation. Our experience is that our legs feel all climbs, and not just those with elevation changes of more than 200 feet, so we are reporting what we believe to be the more accurate total climb of 24,000 feet. Rest assured, while our climbs don’t reach the lofty elevation of western mountains, we are confident you will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day’s ride on BikeMaine.

Do I have to finish riding each day by a specific time?

Course support services are available only during course hours, from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM. If you leave before the course opens or are still riding after the course closes, there will be no support services available. All BikeMaine riders still on the course after 4:30 PM will be offered a ride to camp. If you choose to not take the ride, you’ll be on your own to get back to camp.  Top

What happens if I can’t finish the day’s ride?

Each cyclist is expected to ride every day.  There are SAG vans on the course each day but they are not intended to be a shuttle service.  They’re available to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or medical injuries. The vans also have extra water and snacks, if needed. If at any time you need assistance, signal a SAG van with a “thumbs down” signal. If you do get in a SAG van, you may be transported to the next rest stop or eventually to camp; the SAG vans usually wait until they are full before heading to camp.  Top

What if I awake one morning and don’t feel able to ride? How can I get to the next overnight site?

There will be a SAG available each morning to transport cyclists from site to site if a cyclist is experiencing illness or injury. You will need a medical release for riding in the medical SAG, which you can get at the Medical Tent. Bring the form to Rider Services before 8:00 AM to sign-up for the shuttle.  Top

What support do you have for first time riders?

You’ll want to visit the Resource Section where you’ll find information on physical conditioning, what to pack, how to prepare your bike, and additional useful tips.  Top

What kind of training programs are available?

You are preparing for an endurance event that demands attention to physical conditioning, mental toughness, and nutritional mindfulness. We offer some tips in the Resource Section. There are many perspectives on endurance training and sources for information. However, in general, cyclists should have more than a thousand miles of riding before BikeMaine. During August, riders should be averaging more than one hundred miles per week and occasional single day rides of fifty miles or more. Hill training is greatly encouraged. We’ll provide additional training guidelines but you should conduct some of your own research and settle on a program that resonates most with you. Most importantly, be prepared, train well, and you’ll find BikeMaine to be an experience of a lifetime.  Top

What are the sleeping accommodations?

The accommodations are outdoor camping with your own tent and equipment. Tent & Porter service (full service tent set-up and take-down provided by BikeMaine — complete with camp chairs) is available for an additional charge of $400.

If interested in alternative lodging, such as hotel, motel, or B&B for a night or the whole week, see the lodging options on the Host Communities page. Please note that any transportation required between the BikeMaine Village and off-site lodging will be your responsibility.  Top

What do I need to bring?

Needs and wants are different and this is a good opportunity to create the distinction. In the Resource Section you’ll find a suggested packing list and other tips. Remember that these lists are just suggestions, and keep in mind the 60 pound limit for your one bag.  Top

If I have the Tent & Porter service, do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

Yes. The Tent & Porter service includes a tent, ground cloth and two chairs. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and pad, plus everything else you’ll need.  Top

How serious is the 60-pound weight limit for bags? Can I bring two bags instead of one?

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, so please take the time to weigh your bag(s) and pack accordingly. This weight limit includes your tent and sleeping bag. We ask that you be considerate of the volunteers who must handle your luggage and be vigilant about the weight. Too much weight and you may have to carry the excess while you ride. The same weight limit applies to those using the Tent & Porter service.

Please note that in the event of rainy weather, your luggage may sit uncovered outdoors for some period of time (while we will do everything we can to keep it under cover if it rains, we cannot guarantee it). We highly recommend that you use waterproof luggage or bring heavy duty trash bags to wrap your luggage when rain is in the forecast.  Top

Can a non-rider come with me?

Yes. Many riders have family and friends who wish to share the experience of the event but not ride. For these folks, we have the Rider Guest Program.  The fee is $550, which includes 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts. Space is very limited this first year, so register early. Note: Rider Guests are asked not to drive the route the riders take each day.   Alternate driving directions will be available.   Top

How much should I expect to spend while I’m on the road?

BikeMaine supplies plenty of food and beverage each day, with the exception of our stay in Bar Harbor, where you will be on your own for 3 meals in a town filled with a wide variety of great restaurants and markets.  You will want money for those three meals, as well as for occasional treats, such as an end of the day beer or wine, pre-breakfast coffee, or mid-afternoon ice cream.  The BikeMaine retail tent will be selling items, and we will have daily services available, such as massage, bike cleaning, and equipment repair.  In addition, you should plan to tip local residents who help with your bags ($2 per bag is the recommended minimum).  Most towns offer local crafts, retail gift items, attractions and specialty foods, so bring enough spending money to have fun and not get caught short.  ATMs will be available in every host community, with the exception of the last night at Camp Jordan.  Top

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. The same is true for recharging devices … we’ll provide what support we can through our own resources and those of the host communities, but best to assume that charging opportunities may be as intermittent as a good signal.  Top

What if someone needs to reach me in an emergency?

In extreme emergencies, family members can contact a rider by calling the Maine State Police. See the Rider Resources page for more information.  Top

How do I get to Orono if I’m not planning to drive?

The nearest major airport to Orono is the Bangor International Airport, located approximately 12 miles away.  If you arrive in Bangor on Friday, September 6, you may want to consider staying at Holiday Inn-Bangor , which is accessible from the airport by shuttle service.  BikeMaine has reserved a block of rooms at a price of $94.00 per room, which includes breakfast, provided the room is booked by June 30, 2013.  Please make your reservation directly with the hotel by calling them at 207-947-0101 and mentioning BikeMaine to obtain a discounted room.

BikeMaine will be operating a complimentary shuttle between Holiday Inn-Bangor and the BikeMaine Village in Orono on Saturday, September 7.  Please contact kim@bikemaine.org by August 1 to arrange for shuttle transport.

The Portland Jet Port in Portland, Maine, is about a 2-hour drive from Bangor. The most convenient transport from Portland to Bangor is by bus. Bus terminals are accessible by shuttle from the airport, and once in Bangor, there is convenient taxicab transport to Orono High School, the site of BikeMaine Village.

Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest international airport in the New England Region. The most convenient transport from Boston to Bangor is by bus. Bus terminals are accessible to the airport, and once in Bangor, there is convenient taxicab transport to Orono High School.  Top

If I drive to BikeMaine, what do I do with my car for the week?

BikeMaine and the Town of Orono have arranged vehicle parking for the week at a monitored parking lot for a nominal fee.  Information about registering for parking will be sent out later in the Spring to all registrants.  Top

How can I find out about interest in sharing a ride to Orono? 

We suggest using ZimRide.com to set up a carpool.  Top

Can I ship my bike?

Yes. Rose Bike in Orono has agreed to receive and store bikes for up to two weeks prior to the start of BikeMaine and deliver the bikes to the BikeMaine Village on September 7. Rose Bike will also store your bike box for the week and, if you drop the bike off at Rose Bike at the completion of the ride on September 14, they will re-box and deliver your boxed bike to UPS for prepaid shipping home.

Rose Bike is available to assemble and disassemble your bike for a reasonable fee — $40 for assembly and $25 for disassembly and boxing.

Capacity for assembly and disassembly is limited. If you believe this is a service you’ll want or need, you are encouraged to make a reservation with Jim Rose by August 1st to ensure your bike is given highest priority and is ready for the start.

Please contact Jim Rose directly to make arrangements at jimrose@rosebike.com or by calling Jim at (800) 656-3525.  Top

This all sounds great.  How do I register? 

All registrations will be handled through this website.   Registration will open on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7 a.m. for members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.  Current members as of December 31, 2012 will receive a registration coupon prior to February 12  that will allow them to register on that date.  If you are unsure whether or not your membership was current as of December 31, 2013, please email info@bikemaine.org.

Registration for the general public will open on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7 a.m.

Because this is the first year of BikeMaine, and we want to get it right, we are limiting the number of riders to 350.   Half of the rider slots are reserved for riders from out of state.  This restriction is in accordance with the terms of a generous start up grant the Bicycle Coalition of Maine received from the Maine Office of Tourism.

Full payment is required at the time of registration.  The website accepts major credit cards and Pay Pal.  Registrations are not transferable. A picture ID will be required when you pick up your rider packet on Saturday, September 7.

A confirmation email will be sent to you once you have successfully completed the registration process.    Additional information will be sent to registered riders later in the spring regarding parking, towel service, layover day options, etc.  Top

What if I register for BikeMaine now, but then have to cancel prior to September?

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 $725.  Those who cancel between June 1 and July 15 will be refunded $625.  After July 15th, no refunds will be granted.  Top

Can I rent a bike for the week?

Yes. Kingdom Bikes in Blue Hill has a limited supply of road bikes available to rent for the duration of the ride.

Please contact Dick Bartlett directly to make arrangements for a rental and for pricing at kingdombikes@live.com or by calling Dick at (207) 374-3230. Top


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