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?
- What is BikeMaine’s purpose?
- Is BikeMaine a good choice for new riders?
- What are the sleeping accommodations?
- What if I don’t like to camp?
- What training should I do before the event?
- How difficult is the route?
- Your website shows that there is over 19,000 feet of climbing during the week. That is more than the elevation change for some of the big rides out West. How can that be possible?
- Do I have to finish riding each day by a specific time?
- What happens if I can’t finish the day’s ride?
- What if I awake one morning and don’t feel able to ride? How can I get to the next overnight site?
- What do I need to bring?
- If I have the Tent & Porter service, do I need to bring a sleeping bag?
- How serious is the 60-pound weight limit for bags? Can I bring two bags instead of one?
- Are you offering a towel service?
- Can a non-rider come with me?
- How much money should I expect to spend while I’m on the road?
- Will I have phone/e-mail access during the ride? Will there be a way for me to charge electronic devices?
- What if someone needs to reach me in an emergency?
- How do I get to Westbrook if I’m not planning to drive?
- What is there to do if I am arriving a day early?
- If I drive to BikeMaine, what do I do with my car for the week?
- How can I find out about interest in sharing a ride to Westbrook?
- Can I ship my bike?
- Can I rent a bike for the week?
- This all sounds great. How do I register?
- What if I register for BikeMaine now, but then have to cancel prior to September?
- Does every town have a laundromat?
What does my registration fee include?
Your registration fee of $875 includes 18 meals (Including a lobster bake in Boothbay Harbor. You will be on your own for 3 other meals while in Boothbay Harbor, home to a wide array of restaurants and markets), ample beverages and snacks during each day’s ride, baggage transport for up to 60 pounds, friendly course support that includes a signed route, SAG vans, mechanical and medical assistance if needed, a camping village complete with showers, restrooms, daily entertainment, food vendors, bike mechanics, and a medical tent. The registration fee also includes 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 350-410 miles over the course of six days (remember day five is a rest day in Boothbay Harbor) requires preparation and training, but most people who regularly ride will be able to handle BikeMaine. 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 are the sleeping accommodations?
The accommodations are outdoor camping with your own tent and equipment. Tent & Porter service (tent for up to two people, tent set-up and take-down, ground cloth, rain fly, and two camp chairs provided by BikeMaine) 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 need to be worked out between you and your lodging management.
New for 2014! BikeMaine is pleased to announce that Summerfeet, a Maine business that supports bicycling, is offering a Lodging Package Option to BikeMaine riders. Summerfeet will arrange for daily hotel accommodations and shuttle service from the BikeMaine Village, subject to availability. For more information, please contact Summerfeet.
Please note that while BikeMaine is willing to make riders aware of this Motel Lodging Option, BikeMaine makes no representation about the service and is not responsible for its delivery. Top
What if I don’t like to camp?
Your registration fee includes camping. Should you decide that camping is not for you, you may decide to stay in hotels, bed and breakfasts or motels along the way. Some lodging options may offer transportation to and from the BikeMaine Village, but you should inquire about that when you make reservations. Unfortunately, BikeMaine cannot provide transportation to offsite lodging.
What training should I do before the event?
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 in the 6 months preceding 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.
Typically, preparing to ride over 350 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 an hour 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 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 your bike to allow you to spin 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, train on hills.
Plan to reach your peak cycling (in terms of mileage and time “in the saddle”) by August 24-27. Weekly mileage by then should be 100-150 miles, with at least one ride every week of 45-65 miles. You then can begin to gradually taper off your mileage to weekly totals of 75-100 miles. During the ten day lead up to BikeMaine, 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. You can find suggestions for core strength exercises 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 completing BikeMaine. Training is the 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 3-4. Any ride covering 350-400 miles in a week can be challenging but with proper training, experienced and fit cyclists should have no problem. Each route between host communities will be about 58 miles. Upon reaching the next host community, the rider can decide to stop riding for the day or, on four of the days, extend the day’s ride with a 15 mile loop. This loop will be fully marked and supported. The climbs along each day’s route are not particularly long, but the terrain is rolling, as you might expect for inland and coastal Maine, and there is an average daily elevation gain of about 3,200 feet. If you’re comfortable with your gear and physically prepared, you’ll have a blast the entire week. Top
Your website shows that there is over 18,000 feet of climbing during 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.
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 18,332 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 7:30 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 the village. If you choose to not take the ride, you’ll be on your own to get to the next village. 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 the village. 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 note 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 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 total limit for your 2 bags, with no one bag weighing more than 45 pounds. 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, rain fly, and two chairs. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and pad, plus everything else you’ll need for a week of riding. 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, 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 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 (although the weight of the tent and chairs is not considered a part of your 60 pound limit).
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 luggage under cover if it rains, we cannot guarantee that your luggage will stay dry). 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
Are you offering a towel service?
Yes. This year we will be offering a towel service for riders for an additional fee of $35 per rider. As part of the towel service, BikeMaine will provide you with one clean towel each day. Please sign-up for towel service by August 1st.
Can a non-rider come with me?
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 motorized vehicle 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. Space for rider guests is limited, 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 money should I expect to spend while I’m on the road?
While there are not many times you will need to spend money along the way, there are plenty of opportunities when you will want to spend money. You need to plan on purchasing 3 meals during our layover in Boothbay Harbor, where there are a variety of restaurants and markets to satisfy a range of tastes and budgets. As for wants, you may want to allow for the following extras: pre-breakfast coffee and end of the day beer, wine, or other treats, massage, BikeMaine and other retail purchases, equipment repair, 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 will be available in every host community, with the exception of the night at the YMCA Camp of Maine, where we are staying well outside the town center of Winthrop.
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?
How do I get to Westbrook if I’m not planning to drive?
The nearest major airport to Westbrook is the Portland International Jetport, located approximately 5 miles away from the event in Westbrook. If you arrive in Portland on Friday, September 5, you may want to consider staying at the South Portland Hampton Inn, which is accessible from the airport by shuttle service. BikeMaine has reserved a block of rooms at a price of $139 per room, which includes breakfast, provided the room is booked by July 23, 2014. Please make your reservation directly with the hotel by calling them at 207-773-4400 and mentioning BCM (Bicycle Coalition of Maine) to obtain a discounted room.
BikeMaine will be operating a complimentary shuttle between the Hampton Inn and the BikeMaine Village, located in Riverbank Park on Main Street in Westbrook, on Saturday, September 6. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1 to arrange for shuttle transport.
Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest international airport in the New England region. The most convenient transport from Boston to Westbrook is by bus or train to Portland. Once in Portland, there is convenient taxicab transport to Westbrook’s Riverbank Park. Top
What is there to do if I am arriving a day early?
Interested in riding some additional miles in before the start of BikeMaine? Want to explore coastal Maine and 9 lighthouses? The Maine Lighthouse Ride on September 6th, 2014, presented by the Eastern Trail Association, provides that opportunity. Rides include a 25-miller, 40-miler, a metric century (62 miles) and a century (100 miles). The Maine Lighthouse Ride was included in a list of 12 best rides of 2014 put out by Active.com.
BikeMaine has booked a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn-Portland Airport for the evening of September 5th for a discounted rate of $139/night. Ride The Maine Lighthouse Ride and then head over to Westbrook to check-in for BikeMaine.
For more information or to register: http://easterntrail.org/index.php/maine-lighthouse-ride/ride-descriptions
If I drive to BikeMaine, what do I do with my car for the week?
BikeMaine and the City of Westbrook 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 Westbrook?
Can I ship my bike?
Yes. CycleMania in Portland has agreed to receive and store bikes for up to one week prior to the start of BikeMaine and deliver the bikes to the BikeMaine Village on September 6. CycleMania will also store your bike box for the week of BikeMaine and, if you make the necessary prior arrangements, BikeMaine will deliver your bike to CycleMania at the completion of the ride on September 13, and re-box and arrange for shipping of the bike to your home. CycleMania is available to assemble and disassemble your bike for a reasonable fee — $40 for assembly and $25 for disassembly and boxing. The cost of shipping is your responsibility.
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 Eddie Quinn by August 1st to ensure your bike is given highest priority and is ready for the start.
Can I rent a bike for the week?
Yes. CycleMania in Portland has a limited quantity of premium road bikes that may be rented for the week of BikeMaine. Please contact Eddie Quinn directly to make arrangements or by calling CycleMania at 207 774-2933. Top
This all sounds great. How do I register?
All registrations will be handled through this website. In order to maintain the quality and intimacy of our ride, we are limiting the number of riders to 350. Half of the rider slots are reserved for riders from out of state.
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 6.
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, 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 all but $50. Those who cancel between June 1 and August 1 will be refunded all but $150. After August 1, no refunds will be granted. Top
Does every town have a laundromat?
Not every town has a laundromat. Laundromats are available in proximity to the BikeMaine Villages in the following towns: Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor & Bath (you will want to check the hours of operation ahead of time). In Gardiner, a local service organization has arranged to pick up dirty laundry from the Community Information Booth and wash, dry, fold and return the laundry for a fee of $10 per load. Top