Welcome to BikeMaine! If you are a returning rider, you know the fun and variety that awaits. If you are a first-time BikeMainer, get ready to see our wonderful state as few do – by bike.
Welcome to Westbrook
The City of Westbrook, home to about 18,000 people, is proud to have been selected as the start and finish location for BikeMaine 2014. Westbrook is a quintessential New England mill town, with a paper mill located at its very center on the Presumpscot River. Originally the S.D. Warren Mill, the facility was built in 1854 and was the first coated papermaking facility in the United States. Now known as Sappi Fine Paper North America, the Westbrook mill’s 350 employees produce 40% of the world’s supply of release paper, a type of paper used in manufacturing products that require a certain texture. Sappi’s customers use the release paper made at the Westbrook mill to provide texture on products like soccer balls, shoes and high-end clothing. The release paper begins as a cellulose-based paper, but in the mill a special coating is applied and then the paper is cured with electron beams. This type of release paper is 10 times more valuable than the coated specialty paper for cat alogues and magazines the mill used to produce.
Just up river from Sappi is Westbrook’s 100 year old Riverbank Park where the BikeMaine Village will be situated on September 6th. The River Walk connects the park to Saccarappa Falls and downtown Westbrook, with its many restaurants, an art gallery, vintage antique shop and pottery gallery. Along the River Walk, you can rent kayaks and enjoy a peaceful paddle on the Presumpscot River.
For those who arrive early to town and like to golf, Westbrook has four 9-hole golf courses and a driving range:
In celebration of this year’s BikeMaine, the City of Westbrook will host a kickoff parade down Main Street late Saturday afternoon, followed by dinner and entertainment. Then tuck yourself in for a good night’s rest in preparation for a week of glorious riding. Over the next few days, as you cycle past lakes, rivers, estuaries and ocean bays, you’ll understand why we tagged this year’s ride “Pedaling the Waterways.”
Day 1: Westbrook to Norway
Our first day of riding begins with a celebratory mass start at 8:00 a.m. on Main Street, right outside Riverbank Park. Community members and sponsors have been invited to accompany us as we head out of town and embark on our adventure.
Once past Westbrook and Gorham, we enter South Windham, where we pick up the Mountain Division Trail. The trail is named for the inactive train track bed that it parallels and, once completed, will span a 52-mile stretch between Portland and Fryeburg, on the New Hampshire border. Today, we ride the Mountain Division Trail for only 1.5 miles, before heading towards the west side of Sebago Lake, referred to by locals as the “back”side because it is the less densely populated side of the lake.
Before we get our first glimpse of Sebago Lake, however, we pass through Standish. Standish was originally hunting and fishing territory for the Abenaki Indians. In 1785, the town of Standish was incorporated and was named for the Pilgrim, Miles Standish.
Standish also is home to the Steep Falls Wildlife Management Area, which we pass on our left. This property was the first land to be protected after Rachel Carson and a handful of Maine citizens formed a local chapter of The Nature Conservancy in 1956. Today this wildlife management area covers 3,971 acres and is composed mostly of upland forests with some wetlands throughout the area.
Our route then traces the western shoreline of Sebago Lake. Riding along Route 114, you’ll see many modest roads going off to the right that lead to cottages (or “camps”as Mainers refer to them) along the lake’s shore. Our morning rest stop is at the Sebago Lake Campground, where you will get your first unobstructed view of Sebago Lake.
Sebago Lake is Maine’s deepest and second largest lake. It covers over 45 square miles, has a total shoreline of 105 miles, and is 300 feet at its deepest point. Carved by ancient rivers and scoured by Ice Age glaciers, Sebago Lake fills a basin made of granite that has been weathered for millions of years. Only Moosehead Lake to the north is larger. Sebago Lake is a fabulous year round recreation area, but because the lake also serves as the main water source for the Greater Portland area, the water quality of the lake is of particular importance to the surrounding communities. As you ride along its shores, keep an eye open for the common loon. These birds migrate to Sebago Lake to breed and raise their young.
In East Sebago, at the westernmost part of Sebago Lake, we’ll ride by the Spaulding Memorial Library, built in the 1920s by a long-time summer resident. The library is constructed of fieldstone and has a lovely fieldstone fireplace inside.
It is in East Sebago where Route 114 joins with Route 11, and we head north to the headwaters of Sebago Lake. We turn off the main road onto a quiet lane that takes us to Songo Lock, connecting Sebago Lake to Brandy Pond and Long Lake. This lock is the only one remaining from the 30-plus locks built in the 1830s to link Long Lake and Sebago Lake, via the Cumberland and Oxford Canal, to the Atlantic Ocean near Portland. The Songo Lock and swing bridge are operated manually and, if there is boat traffic passing through the area while you are there, you will be able to see all that goes into moving traffic through the lock.
We then roll into Sebago Lake State Park at the northern edge of Sebago Lake. A popular recreation area, the park opened in 1938 and is one of Maine’s original five state parks. The park is mostly forested, covering 1,400 acres, and contains a variety of habitats, ranging from sandy beaches along the water’s edge, to woodlands, ponds and bogs.
After the park, we pass Brandy Pond on our left and come to Route 302, also known as the Roosevelt Trail, the main east-west road in this region. It was given its name because this stretch of road originally was the beginning of The Theodore Roosevelt International Highway, designed to run from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon.
The Bike Maine route continues across Route 302 onto Sand Road and Route 11, where we cross the Crooked River. A quick look at a map explains the river’s name. Crooked River doubles back on itself countless times in a 10-mile stretch before emptying into Sebago Lake. The northern end of Crooked River flows through Jugtown Plains, a region that is defined by the contiguous block of forest that covers over 3,280 acres. The core of this forest is composed of Maine’s most important example of pitch pine-heath, a natural community that once grew unbroken along the eastern coastline but now struggles to grow under the continuous threat of development. These pitch pine-heath barrens are home to the Acadian swordgrass moth, a rare species that can only be found in a few sites through the state.
We leave Route 11 for local roads, and ride to the town of Casco, where we’ll pass the famous signpost showing Maine towns named after presidents and their distances from the town, and stop for lunch at the Casco Recreation Center.
Following lunch, the route passes between Parker Pond (on the right) and Pleasant Lake (on the left). There are a whole lot of Pleasant Lakes or Ponds in Maine (more than 20). This is the one that stretches from Casco to Otisfield. Along the way, we leave Cumberland County and enter Oxford County, one of Maine’s western counties, and the town of Otisfield.
In 1859, a historian described Otisfield as having three post offices, twenty-four schools, “three sawmills, four shingle machines [and] a capital invested in trade of $6,000.” Look around and see how times have changed. Otisfield, now home to 1,770 people, is the home of Seeds of Peace, a camp operated by the peace-building youth organization founded in 1993 and based in New York City. The camp brings youth from areas of conflict around the world to Otisfield for a three-week program designed to confront their prejudices and deep-seated fears and tackle the issues that fuel violence, hatred and oppression at home.
Onward to Oxford County, one of Maine’s western counties. We travel on Route 121 for a short distance before turning onto Rayville Road. On our left, is more water: Saturday Pond, then Moose Pond. We take Route 117 past the Pennesseewassee Lake into Norway, the end of the day’s ride.
The Town of Norway is cozily nestled into the scenic foothills of Western Maine. Known first as Rustfield Plantation after wealthy landowner Henry Rust, the town of Norway was incorporated in 1797. The Pennesseewassee Stream, leading from the lake of the same name to the Little Androscoggin River, once powered grain mills, a cloth and carding mill, and factories making boxes, furniture and shovel handles. A shoe factory was built in 1872, and by 1878 there were 32 stores in town and a population that was growing faster than any other town of similar size in the state.
On May 9, 1894, a fire started in the C.B. Cummings & Sons mill. A strong wind spread the fire down Main Street, burning the opera house, Congregational Church, a tannery and 80 homes and other buildings. Much of the town was quickly rebuilt, this time using the latest brick and wood styles of the day. Norway’s buildings today include some of the best examples of period architecture in the state. Unlike many small towns with similar histories, the buildings of Norway have remained relatively intact. Downtown Norway was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and the community offers a historical walking tour of its Main Street.
Our BikeMaine Village in Norway is located on town fields located adjacent to a New Balance factory, one of three factories in Maine making sports footwear for New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. The Norway factory was built in 1997.
Once you have unpacked and settled into the “Bike Maine Village,” make your way down Norway’s Main Street.
Enjoy perusing its unique shops and art galleries. Stop by a local cafe for a coffee, or one of its restaurants or markets for a great locally made snack. The historical society would love to give you a tour and tell you the tales and great stories that make up Norway’s history.
Day 2: Norway to Winthrop
Norway and South Paris, the next town we pass through, are like many of Maine’s paired towns: separated by a body of water, in this case the Androscoggin River, but closely allied in all day-to-day activities. The Norway-South Paris area attracts many visitors year round for water activities in the spring and summer, foliage and hunting in the fall, and skiing at nearby Sunday River and Mt. Abram in the winter.
A quick turn of the wheel takes us to South Paris, on the other side of the Androscoggin. On the left as we pass out of town, is the McLaughlin Garden, an amazing horticultural treasure in the heart of South Paris. The Garden was started by Bernard McLaughlin back in the 1930s. Self-taught, he grew and maintained the two-acre site until his death in 1995 at the age of 98. The Garden and Homestead are maintained and improved by a group of local citizens. During Bernard’s time, locals and visitors knew that if the front gate to the garden was open, they were welcome to view his unique collection of trees and flowers. Every May, the Garden hosts a lilac festival when the trees explode with color.
South Paris also is home to the Celebration Barn Theater, a theater school of mime, improvisation, storytelling and other performing skills founded in 1972 by the late mime artist, Tony Montanaro. Celebration Barn alumni have gone on to careers in television, film and theater, including puppeteers with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, writers for Between the Lions, and performers in Cirque du Soleil.
As we leave South Paris, we cross Route 26 and begin our first climb of the day to Paris Hill, topping out at 1,044 feet and well worth the effort. Near the top of the hill is a community of stately homes and public areas, as well as a golf course. Looking at these beautiful homes takes us back to the beginning of the last century when this was a self-contained community and the county seat. The village of Paris Hill was established at an elevation of 820 feet above sea level, with views of Mount Chocorua and Mount Washington in the White Mountains. The Paris Hill Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, has fine examples of Federal and Greek Revival architecture. The old Oxford County Jail, built of granite in 1822, was given in 1902 to the Paris Hill Library Association, and is now the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum. The library was named after Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin, the nephew of Hannibal H. Hamlin, Vice President of the United States during Lincoln’s first term, who was born in Paris. The library will be opening extra early in order to accompany our visit, so please stop in to learn more about this historic community. The largest home on Paris Hill, with its spectacular view of the mountains, was once the home of Vice President Hamlin. It now is owned by Bob Bahre, former owner of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and avid collector of more than 70 antique cars, which he displays each year in July.
We continue climbing Paris Hill on Mt. Mica Road. The Mt. Mica Mine, the oldest gem mine in the United States and one of the few still in operation in Maine, is located in this area. The mine is well known for its tourmaline and other semi precious stones and minerals. We climb almost to the top of Hedgehog Hill, where we reach our highest point of elevation on BikeMaine 2014 at 1,043 feet. The route turns right onto Paris Hill Road, where we have lengthy cruise ahead of us along a mountain ridge for nearly ten miles before rolling into Buckfield. Along the way we will pass Cooper Spring, with water that is wonderfully cold and sweet.
Buckfield was first settled in 1776 by a fur trapper from Massachusetts. The following year, two families moved to the area and eventually purchased the land from the Commonwealth at a cost of 2 shillings per acre. The town was incorporated in 1793 as Buckfield, named for Abijah Buck, one of the early settlers. The east and west branches of the Nezinscot River join at Buckfield Village, and once supplied water for several mills producing a variety of wood products, such as lumber, shingles and barrel staves. Despite the town’s modest size, it is the birthplace of several well-known artists: the actor Patrick Dempsey (Dr. McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy); country-folk musician Ray LaMontagne; and Steve Voltz, co-founder of Eepybird, an entertainment company best known for creating the viral video “The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments.”
Buckfield is our last stop in Oxford County, but there’s plenty more riding left today. We are entering Androscoggin (and-dro-SKOG-in) County and the town of Turner. In Turner Center, we have our morning stop, and then head north to Howes Corner, where we cross the Androscoggin River. The Androscoggin River begins in Errol, New Hampshire and is 178 miles long. It joins the Kennebec River in Merrymeeting Bay (which you will see on Day 6), before emptying its waters into the Gulf of Maine. The name “Androscoggin” comes from the Eastern Abenaki term meaning “river of cliff rock shelters.”
We pedal east, then south through Leeds, where Oliver Howard was born. He was a decorated Union officer who was put in charge of the Freedman’s Bureau in 1865, with the object of assisting former slaves in the South after the Civil War. He was also a force in the founding of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. We pass the Leeds Grange Hall, a distinctive building that was used as a performance stage, meeting hall and graduation location.
South of Leeds, we ride through tiny Curtis Corner, where former Maine Governor Kenneth M. Curtis was born in 1931. We then cross into Kennebec County and ride along the delightfully flat Bog Road, across Route 302 and into Monmouth, where we have lunch. Monmouth is on the shores of Cochnewagon Pond, a nearly 400 acre body of water. Monmouth, once known for its agriculture and water-powered mills, now is home to Tex-Tech Industries, a manufacturer of high-performance textiles. Tex Tech is the world’s largest producer of tennis felt (think bright yellow balls). In addition, Tex Tech has produced in excess of three million yards of aircraft seat fire-blocking material.
Monmouth is also the home of the Theatre at Monmouth, a stage company that produces theatrical productions, including Shakespeare’s works, in repertory throughout the summer months. The company performs in Cumston Hall, a historic library in downtown Monmouth. It was completed in 1900 and is named in honor of Dr. Charles M. Cumston, a former headmaster at the English High School in Boston. Cumston gave the Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne Style building to Monmouth equipped with a library and auditorium. Harry Hayman Cochrane, a muralist, designed and decorated the hall. Cochrane’s work is most noted for the infamous cherubic portraits that adorn the ceiling and the intricate hand-molded plaster work that frames the walls, boxes, and proscenium arch of the stage.
We then hang a left on Cobosseecontee (cob-us-eee-CON-tee) Road and another left on Sanborn Road and again are surrounded by lakes. Cobosseecontee Lake is to the right and Annabessacook (anna-BESS-a-cook) Lake is on the left. We are heading north again, through Kennebec County toward our stop in Winthrop tonight. We slice one last intersection of lakes, Lower Narrows Pond and Upper Narrows Pond, and head into Winthrop to the State YMCA Camp of Maine.
Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts by our guest blogger and Portland Press Herald BikeMaine 2014 contest winner, Mike McDermott. Mike will be blogging throughout the summer, sharing his experiences as he prepares and trains for BikeMaine 2014.
Greetings… My Name is Mike McDermott, and I am very excited to have won the Portland Press Herald’s BikeMaine 2014 contest and to have this chance at what sounds like an incredible cycling experience. The people at BikeMaine have invited me to share a little of my story and experience with the ride, so here goes…
A little about me: I’ve lived in Maine now for about 25 years, but I grew up in Hawaii, with a bout of grad school in Boston in between. People always ask “How does a guy from Hawaii end up in Maine?” The short answer is “I married a girl from Bath” so it probably isn’t surprising that I currently live in Bath, but lived in Portland for quite a few years before that. I’m a librarian – I work in the library at Bowdoin College where I focus mostly on electronic resources, digital projects, e-books, online database – all that fun stuff. Before Bowdoin I was a Reference Librarian at USM.
I’ve always been more a utility cyclist than a touring cyclist. The vast majority of my lifetime cycling miles have been between my home(s) and a school or job. My commute in Boston was great – I had a big heavy single speed cruiser at the time, and my morning ride was just about all downhill. I’d arrive windblown and exhilarated, but not panting or sweaty. (The ride home was a different story). When I moved to Portland I upgraded to a 5 speed cruiser that I used to ride between Portland and Gorham. I rode that bike for over 20 years including many years commuting between Bath and Brunswick (in the summertime) for work.
My current bike is a “Miyata Quick Cross” which, through the power of the internet, I’ve identified as a 1990 model, making it only a couple of years newer than the one it replaced (which I’d been riding for two decades). But, it was either meticulously maintained, or barely ridden in that time (I believe the latter). It seems to be a good compromise between a lighter faster road bike and a solid steady work bike. It is what I’m planning to ride on the BikeMaine ride, though my son has offered to lend me his more traditional (and modern) road bike. So part of my Summer training will be evaluating the two and deciding which way to go.
Thanks again to the Portland Press Herald for sponsoring the contest that has put me on this road, and to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for organizing the event. I look forward to sharing more of my Summer of cycling as it unfolds.
Written by Patrick Fellion, Inaugural BikeMaine Rider #192
Patrick met Monica in Orono, Maine on September 7, 2013 – the first day of the inaugural BikeMaine event, a 400-mile-long supported ride organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
Discovering The Inaugural BikeMaine
For me, it all started when a friend told me about his plans to participate in a long distance supported ride in Colorado. Although I had never done anything of the sort, I became enamored with the con-cept and began looking for a ride a bit closer to my home base in northeastern Pennsylvania that promised to be filled with adventure. I found a few potential options out there, but when I discov-ered the prospect of exploring the great state of Maine by bike, I knew BikeMaine was the ride for me!
So what brought Monica to Maine? Well, she had signed up to compete in IronMan Cozumel 140.6 in December 2013 and was looking for something fun and unique to incorporate some saddle time into her training agenda. One day she was on the Boston Triathlon Team forum and stumbled upon a post in which someone had mentioned BikeMaine and thought it was interesting. After a bit of research and deliberation, she signed up, took the time off, and ended up in Orono on a beautiful Saturday afternoon the week after Labor Day.
Adventures Along The Way
As fate would have it, we both kind of procrastinated and left our respective locations (me – Portland, her – Boston) a bit later than we had hoped and arrived in Orono about the same time toward the tail end of registration. I didn’t want to miss the welcome ceremony and dinner, so I quickly dropped my bags in the camping area and took my car to the off-site parking lot. As I boarded the shuttle back to the BikeMaine village I had my choice of seats; there were only two other riders in the van. I’m usual-ly pretty shy, but I sat down next to the girl wearing an IronMan Florida shirt and struck up a conver-sation.
As the week progressed, we ended up riding together quite a bit, getting to know each other more and more as we churned out the miles and ate up the scenery (and many, many yummy home-made baked treats!) along the way. Of course, we struck up new friendships with other BikeMainers too, but tended to gravitate toward each other while riding, enjoying meals, and exploring the towns and events in each host community.
When the riders arrived in Bar Harbor after pedaling about 275 miles and climbing over 17,000 feet in four days, everyone was looking forward to having a day to stretch out and relax. BikeMaine couldn’t have picked a better location to stage our ‘Rest Day’. As the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is an interesting little community that offered plenty of opportunity to find a great meal, browse at a myriad of unique shops, or visit any number of historical venues. For some, the rest day was exactly that – a day to sleep in, read a book, do laundry, or casually explore the town.
But we had other plans – rest, who needs rest?! Ha! We wanted to experience all that Mount Desert Island could offer and squeeze it into one day; I think we did a pretty good job! We started out at 5:00 a.m. with a BikeMaine organized ride up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise. Following the climb (and subsequent thrilling descent), Monica and I were off on our own and embarked on a ride of the Park Loop Road. Along the way, we got off our bikes and hiked the Precipice Trail, watched waves crash into the Thunder Hole, and had what we now call our official “first date” at the Jordan Pond House. We returned to the BikeMaine village with little time to spare before our guided sea-kayaking tour of Frenchman Bay. The day culminated in a most excellent Maine lobster dinner and a nighttime walk across the exposed gravel bar at low tide to Bar Island where we made our way to an overlook that provided a beautiful and romantic view of the starlit harbor. Needless to say, our ‘Rest Day’ was exhausting – but in the best way possible.
The End Of The Ride Approaches
We were in no hurry during the last two days of BikeMaine. In fact, I think we were just about the last riders to break camp in both Bar Harbor and Camp Jordan. Even though it rained both days, we were fairly oblivious to the sogginess because our spirits were glowing as we knew in our hearts that some-thing special had begun. As we approached the finish line in Orono a week after we met, I said to her “Give me your hand.” She presented it to me and we triumphantly held our hands high above our heads as we coasted under the black bear and crossed the finish line, all the while grinning ear to ear. Although I had some anxiety about how the ride would end, that anxiety was for naught. Looking back, I find it amusing that many of the other people we met and chatted with on the ride assumed we were a couple from day one. I guess we were kind of giving off an aura right from the start.
Where Have We Been And Where Are We Headed?
What have we been up to in those short eight months since the inaugural BikeMaine? Well, for start-ers, we’ve done a couple of century rides, attended a wedding, a memorial service, trained for my first marathon, skied, and taken trips to Cozumel, Mexico; Charleston, South Carolina; Quebec City, Canada; and, Washington D.C. The list goes on.
Where are we headed? Quite honestly, wherever the road takes us. We have a ton of stuff planned for the summer so far – weddings, rides, career changes, and the beginning of a new life together.
Who knew a 400-mile-long bike ride was going to change our lives forever? I sure didn’t. Neither did Monica. All I have to say is the inaugural BikeMaine ride set into motion the most important journey of our lives. Monica, I want the whole world to know that I love you.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 | 02:51 PM
Posted by Mike Tetreault
Not that I’m sick of winter, but I’m looking forward to hopping on a bicycle and riding. I love heading out from my house and riding through the Conservancy’s Basin Preserve roads, pastPopham Beach and Fort Popham.
My thoughts of riding Maine’s scenic roads came to mind recently when organizers of BikeMaine announced a remarkable route for its second annual multi-day ride. The Nature Conservancy is proud to be a partner in this adventure.
By SUE MELLO, Staff Reporter
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – 6:30pm
Long-distance bicycling trips are gaining in popularity as a fun and healthy way to travel. Simply search online for bike trips and you will find cycling options through Africa, Europe, Australia, Napa Valley and a host of other scenic locations.
Last year, the Bicycling Coalition of Maine offered its first 7-day Maine bike tour. This year, BikeMaine’s theme is pedaling scenic waterways; and, not surprisingly to locals, BikeMaine has featured Boothbay Harbor in its travel plans.
On its website, the BikeMaine trip is defined as a “a mass bicycle ride that explores the people, places, culture and food of Maine.” Last year’s inaugural ride was pedaled by 251 cyclists.
From September 6 through September 13, up to 350 BikeMaine’s bicyclists will join in a seven day ride with stops in Westbrook, Norway, Winthrop, Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor and Bath.
BikeMaine — The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s epic, week-long ride — is already gearing up for its second edition. They recently announced the 2014 route, a 350-mile journey that explores the people, places, culture and landscape of Maine.
This year’s ride, scheduled for Sept. 6-13, is entitled “BikeMaine 2014: Pedaling the Waterways.” Building on the success of last year’s inaugural ride, and 7-day ride will feature host communities in western, central and coastal Maine, according to a recent press release.
The loop route will begin and end in Westbrook, and will include the following host communities: Norway, Winthrop Center (State YMCA Camp of Maine), Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor (two nights) and Bath. During the journey, bicyclists will ride along rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and the Maine coast. Three of the six overnight campsites are located next to a body of water.
The year’s ride will be limited to 350 riders, with half coming from out-of-state. Registration at ride.bikemaine.org is currently open and the ride is expected to sell out.
Weeklong bicycle ride to make stops in Gardiner, Winthrop. The second annual BikeMaine event in September will travel through the Western Maine foothills and Belgrade Lakes region before passing through Augusta on the way to Gardiner.
A 350-mile bike ride route weaving through the Western Maine foothills and Belgrade Lakes region will cut through the heart of Kennebec County and include overnight stops in Winthrop and Gardiner.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine announced the route Tuesday for its second annual BikeMaine event scheduled for September 6-13.
The seven-day event aims to promote bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly areas as well as bicycle tourism. Kim Anderson True, ride director for BikeMaine, said the nonprofit selected communities that support cyclist and walking infrastructure, and are part of the Maine Downtown Network or have shown to be able to work collaboratively to show what the community has to offer.
STATEWIDE (WGME) — Hundreds of cyclists are getting ready to cover a lot of ground, 350 miles in one week.
The bicycle coalition of Maine unveiled the route for this year’s Bike Maine in September.
It’s the second year of the event, which will have more than 300 cyclists participate over seven days. It’s a big ride and potentially a big boost to the economy along the route
Registration is open to 350 people on the coalition’s website. The cost is $875, which covers meals, lodging and support along the way.
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Cycling enthusiasts and community organizers joined members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine as the route for the 2nd annual BikeMaine Ride was unveiled.
The week-long, community based cycling tour of the Pine Tree State is designed to help expose riders from Maine and afar discover sections of Vacationland that are off the beaten path and provide a boost to the state’s economy during the lull that occurs after summer vacations and the influx of leaf peepers in the fall.
The 350 mile ride will begin in Westbrook on September 6th. From there, riders will travel into the western mountains to Norway, before crossing over to Winthrop and Gardiner in central Maine. Riders will then head towards the coast, staying in Boothbay Harbor for two nights, before working their way south to Bath and ending the week where they started back in Westbrook.
BikeMaine sets 350-mile cycling course for second-annual event
Organizers hope to increase cycling awareness in rural towns during the September event.
By Deirdre Fleming email@example.com
PORTLAND — The route for the second-annual BikeMaine was announced Tuesday and organizers are aiming to increase awareness about bicycling in rural Maine towns.
Kim True, ride director of the BikeMaine bicycle tour, rides along a stretch of last year’s course in this August 2013 photo.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
BikeMaine announces 2014 route and host communities
Bicycle event to bring tourism dollars to Maine
Portland, ME, February 4, 2014 – Maine is in the grip of winter but the state’s newest bicycle ride is already gearing up for its second edition. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s week-long BikeMaine ride is a seven day, 350 mile event that explores the people, places, culture, landscape and food of Maine and will take place September 6-13.
This year’s ride, entitled “BikeMaine 2014: Pedaling the Waterways,” will build on the success of last year’s inaugural ride, and will feature host communities in western, central and coastal Maine. The loop route will begin and end in Westbrook, and will include the following host communities: Norway, Winthrop Center (State YMCA Camp of Maine), Gardiner, Boothbay Harbor (two nights) and Bath. During the seven-day event, bicyclists will ride along rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and the Maine coast. Three of the six overnight campsites are located next to a body of water.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Inaugural BikeMaine Ride Makes Economic Impact
An estimated $235,000 spent in Maine communities
Portland, Maine. November 8, 2013 - Maine’s first seven-day mass bicycle ride contributed an estimated $235,000 of direct economic benefits to the communities along its route. The inaugural BikeMaine ride, produced by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, attracted 251 bicycle riders from thirty-seven states and three Canadian Provinces. Cyclists pedaled 400 miles from September 8-14th and visited the communities of Orono, Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor (two nights) and Camp Jordan (Ellsworth) before returning to finish in Orono.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine set out to create a unique bicycle ride that expands bicycling to parts of the state that don’t often see cyclists. In doing so, the Coalition hoped to capture the imagination of communities along the route regarding the benefits of cycling and the economic value of bicycle tourism. The ride also looked to make a local economic impact by buying as much food as possible from Maine farms, highlighting Maine products, and securing local services.
“We set out to develop a totally new and exciting week-long bicycle ride that is a discovery tour of Maine’s famous and undiscovered places,” said Nancy Grant, Coalition Executive Director, “and the response from riders and host communities was an enthusiastic two thumbs up.”
This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News
I was a rider in the inaugural BikeMaine ride. I live north of Chicago, Ill. This was my first time in the state of Maine. The hospitality I received was overwhelming. I want to thank the community for hosting us. The young men and women who helped unload our luggage from our cars were so friendly and helpful. The kindness and friendliness of the people I met was heart warming.
Thank you to the high school, middle school and elementary school for opening your doors to us for camping, dinner and breakfast. Thank you to all the behind-the-scenes people who helped make our stay in Orono so enjoyable and to the bike mechanics for volunteering their time to fix any and all bike problems.
My experience was incredible. The memories I have of this trip and everyone involved will be with me forever.
Check out the BikeMaine Photo Gallery on Facebook here.
For more photos, check out the website of photographer Jamie Corriveau here.
Make sure to tag yourself and share the pictures. If you’d like to post pictures of your own, make sure to tag them with #BikeMaine.
We heard from a lot of folks that they’d like to have a digital copy of the BikeMaine Today newspaper to review after the ride. Ask and you shall receive! Each day’s paper, as well as the whole week are linked below. Enjoy!
If you’d like to download an archive of all six newspapers, please click here.
We’re incredibly grateful to our friends at WCSH & WLBZ for all of their efforts covering the rides, especially Tim Goff and Kirk Pratty! If you were riding and missed the coverage, here are links to each days reports from the ride. Enjoy!
This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News.
Bicycle group’s ‘rolling exploration of Maine’ wraps up weeklong tour
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 14, 2013, at 11:10 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 15, 2013, at 5:54 p.m.
EASTBROOK, Maine — More than 250 bicyclists from 34 states and three Canadian provinces braved the rain Friday as they pedaled from Bar Harbor to Camp Jordan in Ellsworth via scenic roads through eastern Hancock County.