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BikeMaine announces 2016 route and host communities

February 4, 2016 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine announces 2016 route and host communities



Brian Allenby
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Communications Director

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.

Cyclists create camaraderie in 7 days (Portland Press Herald)

September 20, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Cyclists create camaraderie in 7 days (Portland Press Herald)

Click here for the original photo gallery from the Portland Press Herald.





















BikeMaine is a weeklong cycling tour held in mid-September. This year, 360 cyclists rode about 350 miles, from Kittery to Bethel and back, ending Saturday.

They pedaled an average of 55 miles a day through small towns, from the rocky coastline to mountains and lakes.

The event is offered by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit organization with more than 5,000 members working to make the state a better place through biking.

BikeMaine wraps up in Kittery (Video – WCSH6)

September 19, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine wraps up in Kittery (Video – WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The 350 cyclists who participated in BikeMaine this year got a nice warm welcome back in Kittery.They finished the ride in Fort Foster Park where it all started a week ago.

The cyclists rode about 350 miles over the past seven days. That’s about 55 miles per day.

Along the way, the riders visited Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk.

“We had the best weather, except for rain the first day, but even that was something that I’m glad I had to experience,” Mike Dunn said. “It was wonderful. I’m so glad I did it.”

Ross Healy, who lives on the West Coast, said he enjoyed his first trip to Maine.

“It was one of the best ways to come, check out the state, see a lot of cool stuff, a lot of local culture, and the ride was just beautiful,” he said.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which puts on BikeMaine every year, has already announced the region where the ride will take place next year. It’ll be along the Bold Coast of Maine in Hancock and Washington counties.

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BikeMaine riders thankful for support crew volunteers (WCSH6)

September 19, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine riders thankful for support crew volunteers (WCSH6)

Click here to read the original article on WCSH6.com

SWEDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – After a rest day Wednesday, the BikeMaine riders hit the road again Thursday. Cyclists started in Bethel and rode to Sweden. They took a 60-mile route, passing through the White Mountains National Forest.

Each day, a few “support and gear,” or SAG, vans follow the cyclists as they ride. They help the cyclists who have flat tires or broken chains, and the ones who just can’t quite make it up a hill.

“Of course, some of them are your frequent fliers, if you will,” Rob Bakker said.

He operates the ham radio while Allan Harville drives. The two have been volunteering in the support vehicles since the ride started three years ago. Over the years, they’ve become friends.

Allan and Rob are there mostly to lend a hand, but there’s something in it for them too. Even though they both live in Maine, they get to explore parts of the state they’ve never seen before. But when duty calls, they spring into action.

Marina Wheland, a rider from Canada, had a broken spoke. Allan and Rob spotted her, gave her a ride to the another SAG van that was headed toward the BikeMaine mechanic.

“They are the angels of the road,” Wheland said. “They are fantastic guys, and it makes every day riding better, knowing that they’re there to pick us up if, like my bike just pooched out on me, and I’m not going to be stranded.”

For Harville and Bakker, hearing that makes giving up free time and using vacation days worth every minute.

“You know what, I get paid in smiles,” Bakker said.

“Knowing that when somebody’s in trouble, we’re going to be there. We can say that with authority because we are going to be there,” Harville said.

For Day 6 of BikeMaine, the riders will head back to the coast. They’ll ride 75 miles from Sweden to Kennebunk.

BikeMaine cyclist riding toward weight loss goal (Video – WCSH6)

September 18, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine cyclist riding toward weight loss goal (Video – WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

(NEWS CENTER) — The organizers of BikeMaine say anyone can complete the ride with the right training. Mike Dunn is proof of that.

Eight months ago, he was 80 pounds heavier.

“I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to be working out,'” Dunn said. “‘I’m going to do all this stuff,’ but I never did it.”

In February, his doctor told him he was headed toward a heart attach, diabetes or other diseases. A close friend, who’s a personal trainer, stepped in to help. He went through Dunn’s cabinets and got rid of all the junk food.

“He came over and said, ‘I’m not going to watch you die, Dunnsy.’ He said, ‘I’m going to make sure you change,'” Dunn said.

That’s the push Dunn needed to start eating healthier and exercising. A few months after his doctor’s appointment, he signed up for BikeMaine. His friend put together a training plan for him, and he hit the road. Three hundred miles into the ride, he said he’s doing well.

“I was scared poopless as the ride got ready to go, because I wasn’t certain I was ready,” he said.

He still has about 50 pounds to lose before he reaches his goal weight, but Dunn said he’s feeling better than ever. He hopes he can do BikeMaine, or another ride like it, next year. As soon as he finishes the ride, he said he is going to join the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which organizes BikeMaine.

Saturday is Day 7, the last day, of the ride.

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Meet BikeMaine’s youngest riders (Video – WCSH6)

September 15, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Meet BikeMaine’s youngest riders (Video – WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

(NEWS CENTER) — On Day 3 of BikeMaine, the cyclists rode about 45 miles from Bridgton to Bethel.

The Powell family is getting a lot of attention on the ride. It’s not hard to spot George Powell among the rest of the BikeMaine riders. At 10 years old, he’s the youngest cyclist to ever participate in the ride, but not by much. His twin brother Noah is about 28 minutes older than him.

“My legs are good,” Noah said, about 120 miles into the ride. “They’re not hurting yet.”

Noah and George are kind of a big deal at camp. By now, they’ve gotten used to the other riders coming up to them, asking which twin they are and calling them celebrities. Their older sister Annie, who’s only 14, is adjusting to the newfound fame too. “It’s just kind of cool to have tons of people know who you are, but it’s also a little bit weird,” she said. The three of them are doing the ride with their parents, who home school them in Georgia.

“When the school buses pass, it’s like, ‘Hi I’m here. You have to be on the bus,'” Annie joked. The Powell family has been training together since April, biking a thousand miles to get ready for this ride. “We didn’t bring any books,” their mom, Lori, said. “There’s no time for that this week.”

Instead, the kids are getting the chance to explore a new place, and they’re learning the importance of hard work and determination. “How to deal mentally with something difficult, and when you get tired, maybe you get bored, we keep pressing on,” the kids’ dad Robert said. With every mile they ride and every hill they climb, they’re also learning the value of family.

The Powells are looking forward to Wednesday, a rest day in Bethel with optional riding.

On Thursday, Day 5 of BikeMaine, the riders are making their way from Bethel to Camp Tapawingo in Sweden.

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BikeMaine riders pedal through Day 2 (Portland Press Herald)

September 14, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine riders pedal through Day 2 (Portland Press Herald)

Click here for the original photo gallery from the Portland Press Herald.

SEBAGO, ME - SEPTEMBER 14: Steve Key of Orlando, Fla takes a rest during lunch break, with Tracy Cook, also of Orlando, at the Sebago Center Community Church of the Bike Maine trek on Monday, September 14, 2015. The 350-mile long trip, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, will bring the 360 riders from Kittery, back to kittery via Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel Sweden and Kennebunk. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)

SEBAGO, ME – SEPTEMBER 14: Steve Key of Orlando, Fla takes a rest during lunch break, with Tracy Cook, also of Orlando, at the Sebago Center Community Church of the Bike Maine trek on Monday, September 14, 2015. The 350-mile long trip, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, will bring the 360 riders from Kittery, back to kittery via Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel Sweden and Kennebunk. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)

Day 2 of BikeMaine: OOB to Bridgton (WCSH6)

September 14, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Day 2 of BikeMaine: OOB to Bridgton (WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

(NEWS CENTER) — Day two of BikeMaine began Monday morning at Old Orchard Beach and by the end of the ride, bikers had made their way to Bridgton.

The trip totaled about 54 miles, which means riders have completed about 120 miles in the 350 miles ride.

For riders, it’s hard enough biking as far as they do each day, so the folks at BikeMaine make things a little easier for them by packing up their chairs, luggage and tents for them.

The people who do that are all volunteers, some of them are students at Westbrook High School. Their teacher, Shannon Belt, brings them along for the event.

Belt says the students that volunteer are all “at risk,” so BikeMaine is a great experience for them.

“It be easy to get some funding and be in a hotel, and make it very plush, but that’s not where you learn,” Shannon Belt said. “The best part of these sort of experiences is trying to figure out where kids breaking point is, and try not, not break them, but to try to get them to grow and become better people.”

The volunteers get to have some fun too. Yesterday, they went paddle boarding in Old Orchard Beach and they might even do some hiking and tubing over the next few days as well.

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BikeMaine ride starts in Kittery (WCSH6)

September 13, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine ride starts in Kittery (WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Cyclists from across the country, and even around the globe, are in Maine this week for the seven-day BikeMaine ride. It started Sunday morning at Fort Foster in Kittery.

Three hundred fifty riders are participating in this year’s ride, 100 more than last year. Over the next seven days they’ll be riding about 350 miles, about 55 miles each day.

“If you can do something that’s like BikeMaine, you might be able to do something that you didn’t believe you could do outside of bicycling,” Doug Eaton, who came from New York for the ride, said.

The cyclists rode 60 miles Sunday to Old Orchard Beach, where they’ll stay over night. As they were eating breakfast before the official start of the ride, participants were excited, despite the rainy weather.

“I just got up and I was like I can do this,” Eliza Dagostino, a Massachusetts resident, said. “Just take my time, go slow, cruise along with everybody else. I have some friends here. They did it a couple years ago and they said it was a ball, so I’m ready to have fun.”

This is the third annual BikeMaine ride, which is put on by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Each year there are different host communities. Organizers said the ride had a direct economic impact last year of $395,000.

The host communities this year are Kittery, Old Orchard Beach,Bridgeton, Bethel, Sweden, and Kennebunk. The ride wraps up Saturday back in Kittery.

NEWS CENTER will be following the riders each day for the next week.

2015 BikeMaine kicks off Sunday morning (Video – WCSH6)

September 12, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on 2015 BikeMaine kicks off Sunday morning (Video – WCSH6)

Click here for the original article on WCSH6.com

KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — More than 350 cyclists are preparing for the first leg of BikeMaine set to begin on Sunday.

This year’s week-long tour is expected be the biggest one yet. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine estimates that last year’s event had a direct economic impact in Maine of $395,000.

Over the course of their adventure, cyclists will pedal more than 50 miles a day, throughout southern and western Maine. Along the way they will enjoy locally-sourced foods like Maine seafood and fresh-from-the-farm produce at every meal. At night they will camp at host communities including Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bath, Sweden and Kennebunk.

Tune-in to NEWS CENTER for complete coverage of the event.

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BikeMaine 2015 rolls into town Monday

September 11, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine 2015 rolls into town Monday

Click here for the original article in the Bridgton News.

IN THE CENTER OF THE ACTION along the route for BikeMaine 2015 is the town of Bridgton, as illustrated in official T-shirt artwork by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Over 350 cyclists from 35 states will camp out on the grounds of the Bridgton Community Center Monday afternoon and overnight, Sept. 14, and Bridgton is ready to give them a warm welcome.

The cyclists should start to arrive around 1:30 p.m. after covering around 50 miles on the third day of their 350-mile trek through Southern and Western Maine. Residents should start to see them rolling up Route 117 from Sebago and Denmark, past Woods Pond to South High Street, and down Main Hill to Depot Street. When they leave on Tuesday, they’ll head out on Main Street and turn up Highland Road to Chadbourne Hill Road, passing through Waterford, where the North Waterford Congregational Church has planned a luncheon and rest stop.

There’ll be hundreds of volunteers to help the riders get comfortably settled — Bridgton Academy students will help them unload trucks, and the Lake Region High School’s Interact Club will also help out

The grounds of the Community Center will be transformed into a temporary tent city, as individual tents are set up for the bikers and larger tents for services such as bathrooms and first aid that will be needed.

Among organizations that have promised food and support are the Bridgton Lions Club, Rotary Club, the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and The Bridgton Economic Development Corporation. Downtown businesses are also planning to put out the welcome mat; The Depot Street Tap House is promising a lineup of entertainment.

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Maine Women’s Fund CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist rides Kittery to Bethel on bike

September 11, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Maine Women’s Fund CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist rides Kittery to Bethel on bike

Click here for the original article in the Pen Bay Pilot.

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist

Maine Women’s Fund CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, of Camden, will join more than 300 cyclists as they tour the state by bicycle Sept. 12-19. The 2015 ride is the third annual organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, founded to promote the state as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities.

Ruef-Lindquist has completed long distance rides in Maine, including the American Lung Association’s 180-mile Trek Across Maine five times and the Tour de Cure in Bar Harbor and Tour de Farms in Wiscasset for several years. 

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BikeMaine to tour beaches, towns and mountains in September (KeepMECurrent)

August 28, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine to tour beaches, towns and mountains in September (KeepMECurrent)

BikeMaine – the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s fully supported, weeklong cycling tour through some of the state’s most idyllic locales – returns in mid-September for its third annual go-round. Riders of all skill levels are signing up, each bringing his or her unique story to tell around the proverbial fire.

Westbrooker Eric Schwibs, 52, is a long-term cancer survivor out to thrive.

“I had some real physical challenges during and after treatment,” he says. “I like to show others that you can indeed bounce back fully after diagnosis and treatment.”

Cycling brought Scarborough’s Justin Ladd, 33, together with his soulmate.

“My wife and got ‘reunited’ – we used to date, in middle school – through biking events like the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Lobster Ride and the Trek Across Maine.”

Pam Fischer, 57 of New Gloucester, is not riding BikeMaine this year, but volunteering.

“My husband and I make it an annual weeklong volunteer vacation,” she says. “We are part of the village team, setting up and dismantling the mobile ‘tent city’ each day.”

Both Fischer and her husband have additional duties – all of which they relish.

“We do whatever it takes to ensure our riders have an amazing experience. We have a blast.

“Service work is important to me,” Fischer says, “and what could be better than volunteering at an event that brings a crowd of fascinating people to the beautiful backroads and small towns of Maine?”

Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk will host this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 12-19. But a long list of communities can expect the riders to pass through as they wend their way across the landscape.

The 2015 BikeMaine route rolls first through the Berwicks on its way to Biddeford and Saco before cutting inland to skirt through Hollis and Steep Falls as it sidles up the western edge of Sebago Lake toward the New Hampshire border.

It circles around to head south around Gilead, where it enters the White Mountains National Forest; it takes a short hop north again at Fryeburg, then angles homeward for the last time, passing by Pleasant Mountain and through Hiram, Cornish, Limerick and Lyman before arriving at the coast in Kennebunk.

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BikeMaine expected to draw 350 cyclists for weeklong ride (BDN)

August 26, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine expected to draw 350 cyclists for weeklong ride (BDN)

This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News.


Posted Aug. 26, 2015, at 12:48 p.m.

The third annual BikeMaine, a weeklong ride organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, is set for Sept. 12-19, and it is expected to be the biggest one yet. During the 349-mile tour, an estimated 350 cyclists will pedal throughout southern and western Maine, camping at communities along the way.

“What we’re trying to do is develop bicycle tourism in the state and to economically impact small communities that don’t usually get that tourism,” BikeMaine Ride Director Kim Anderson True said. “We’re trying to educate communities about how to continue to attract cyclists.”

Each year, BikeMaine takes riders to different regions of Maine. This year’s host communities, where riders will camp, are Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk, respectively. Each day, participants will pedal an average of 55 miles, with optional 10- to 15-mile loops along the way for those looking to lengthen the ride.

Registration is nearly full, with only a few slots left as of Aug. 25.

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2015 Route Digest – Chapter 3

August 10, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on 2015 Route Digest – Chapter 3

2015 Chapter 3 – Route Digest

Day 6: Sweden to Kennebunk

Distance: 74 miles

Elevation Gain: 3,040 feet

Upon leaving Camp Tapawingo, we ride on familiar roads for the first couple of mile as we head west to Lovell, then take a sharp left onto Knights Hill Road. As you have discovered by now, road names in Maine often describe something notable about the road, and Knights Hill is no exception. You have a few hills to start the morning, but things level out as we approach the coast.

After crossing Route 302, we pass Shawnee Peak Ski Area, which opened on January 23, 1938, and is the oldest major ski area in Maine.


Denmark Congregational Church

The shaded Mountain Road takes us on the west side of Moose Pond, home to Camp Winona for boys and the United State’s oldest continuously run camp for girls, Camp Wyonegonic.

We turn onto Route 117 into Denmark. Denmark was incorporated in 1807, and named in solidarity with the country in Europe that had been attacked that year by the British Royal Navy, who had attacked Portland, Maine in 1775. Early settlers found the soil in the region to be stony and sandy, making farming difficult. Fortunately, the flow of water from Moose Pond into Moose Pond Brook provided an excellent source of power, and mills were established to manufacture grain, lumber, barrel staves, sashes, blinds and doors.

Rest Stop 1 (Mile 18): Denmark Congregational Church, built in 1834.

The route winds through lovely back roads to Hiram, where it crosses the Saco River and turns onto River Road. Although we stay on River Road, about a half-mile down the road is a right turn onto Douglas Road. At the end of Douglas Road is Wadsworth Hall, a majestic home built for General Peleg Wadsworth between 1800 and 1807 on 7,800 acres of land that were granted to him for his service in the Revolutionary War. Once the house was completed, Wadsworth moved here from his home in Portland, which he gave to his daughter Zilpah and her husband Stephen Longfellow, parents of one of America’s most beloved poets. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow spent many of his childhood summers at his grandfather’s estate. Wadsworth Hall, which remains in the hands of Wadsworth descendants, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

The aptly named River Road follows the banks of the Saco River to Cornish. Cornish began as a trading post established by Francis Small, an enterprising landowner and fur trader who lived primarily in Kittery, in 1665 near where the Ossipee and Saco Rivers meet. Here converged three major Abenaki Indian paths —the Sokokis Trail (Route 5), the Ossipee Trail (Route 25) and the Pequawket Trail (Route 113), a prime location for conducting fur trade with Native Americans. Small’s practice of extending credit in the spring in exchange for repayment in the fall with fur was not seen as a good deal by all. Indeed, Chief Wesumbe of the Newichewannock Abenaki tribe warned Small of a planned attempt on his life by renegade tribesmen, who decided to erase their debt through a plan to set fire to his house and shoot Small when he ran out the door. At first Small thought the warning was a trick to frighten him away and avoid payment. Just to be on the safe side, however, Small took refuge on a nearby hill, from where he could observe what might transpire. Sure enough, at first light his trading post went up in flames. Small escaped to Kittery.

As compensation for his losses, Chief Wesumbe in 1668 sold to Small twenty square miles of land between the Ossipee River, Little Ossipee River, and Newichewannock River (now Salmon Falls). The price was two large Indian blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of powder, four pounds of musket balls, and twenty strings of Indian beads. The purchase comprised what is called the Ossipee Tract – Limington, Limerick, Newfield, Parsonfield, Shapleigh, and what became known as Francisborough, then Francistown, after its original proprietor, Francis Small.


Downtown Cornish

Francistown was incorporated on February 27, 1794, as Cornish (presumably by settlers from Cornwall, England). The soil was very productive for corn and grain. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad began running up the Saco River valley in the early 1870s, servicing Baldwin Station across the bridge from Cornish. Today, the town of Cornish has a quaint downtown area, with antique shops and other interesting specialty stores.

In Cornish, we pick up a section of the Sokokis Trail, once connecting the Sokokis village at Pequawket (now Fryeburg) to the tribe’s coastal encampment at what is today Saco, and follow it on Route 5 to Limerick. Along the way, we climb to a lookout point that provides a gorgeous view of Sokokis Lake and the surrounding area.

After Francis Small purchased the Ossipee Tract form Chief Wesumbe, he sold half of his interest to a wealthy merchant from Eliot, Major Nicholas Shapleigh.

The French and Indian Wars intervened, limiting settlement in the region until after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763. In 1773, the heirs of Francis Small and Nicholas Shapleigh hired James Sullivan, a Biddeford lawyer, to assist them in establishing their rightful claim to the Ossipee Tract and promised to give him land if he prevailed. He did, and in return, he was given a township in 1775 that he named Limerick Plantation, after his father’s birthplace in Ireland. The land was fertile, and Limerick, incorporated in 1787, became a thriving farming community. The numerous brooks and streams in the area were a source of waterpower for factories making furniture, clothing, and the once nationally famous Holland Blankets, which were supplied to troops during the Civil War.

Lunch Stop (Mile 41): Limerick Fire Station

After lunch, we ride on quiet back roads dotted with old farms. We follow along the eastern edge of Lake Arrowhead, an artificial lake that was created in the 1960s when a dam was placed across the Little Ossipee River.

We pass by Massabesic Forest, a 3,600-acre oak-pine forest, owned and operated by the Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service.   This forest is interspersed with diverse wetlands associated with three rivers and numerous streams, ponds, vernal pools, and swamps, making the area unique for supporting long term populations of rare turtle and invertebrates. Of particular significance is the 1,000+ acre level bog ecosystem adjacent to Tarwater Pond on the west side of the forest.

Rest Stop 2 (Mile 61): Community Library in Lyman

The Abenaki sold the area now known as Lyman to three men from York in 1660. First called Swanville, the land was settled in 1767 and incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court in 1780 as Coxhall. The name was changed in 1803 to Lyman in honor of Theodore Lyman, a wealthy merchant who established a successful shipping firm in York in the 1790s, before moving to Boston.   Early farmers grew grain, hay and apples. Outlets from local ponds made it possible to run sawmills and gristmills. The Great Fire of 1947 devastated part of Lyman. Today, Lyman is a bedroom community for people working in the Portland or Biddeford/Saco area.

As we continue toward the coast, we pass through Arundel and into Kennebunk. The mountains and hills are behind us, with easy pedaling ahead.


Rolling hills and open spaces make Kennebunk a truly unique and special place.

The name Kennebunk means “long cut bank,” probably in reference to Great Hill at the mouth of the Mouse River that would have been an important landmark to Native Americans.

Kennebunk began as an agricultural and shipbuilding settlement and the first settlers in the area were likely fisherman. You can learn more about the town’s history by following the heritage discovery trail, composed of 25 informational panels installed in the street. The Kennebunk Free Public Library dates back to 1907 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other structures along Main Street, Bourne Street and Summer Street are examples of architectural styles such as Federal, Queen Anne, Greek and Gothic Revival.

Kennebunk has plenty of other relevant sites to view such as the George W. Bourne house, called the “Wedding Cake House,” and the 1799 Kennebunk Inn.

Kennebunk has three large and lovely sandy beaches: Gooch’s, Kennebunk (Middle), and Mother’s Beach. The beaches are easy to get to and great for walking. Other trails for walking or riding include the Kennebunk Land Trust, the Bridal Path, which runs along the Mousam River, and the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which you will pass on your ride out of Kennebunk.

Kennebunk has evolved into a favorite destination for travelers worldwide. From the sea captains’ mansions on Summer Street to the beautiful Mousam and Kennebunk rivers, there is something in Kennebunk for everyone to enjoy. The BikeMaine Village is on Parson’s Field, directly behind the main street of town. Meals will be served a block away at the new Waterhouse Center, a 100 x 120 foot multiuse pavilion opened in 2014 and houses a skating rink during the winter and is performance space and for farmers’ markets in the warmer months

Day 7: Kennebunk to Kittery: The Grand Finale

Distance: 55 Miles

Elevation Gain: 2,119 feet

Our last day of BikeMaine 2015 is packed with adventure, as we experience both the coast and some inland hills. We begin by heading east to Kennebunkport, where we pass Walker’s Point, the summer home of President George H. W. Bush. The land on which the Bush family compounded is located was originally purchased by the President’s great-grandfather and has been in the family for over a century. We also pass St. Ann’s Episcopal, a lovely stone church attended by the Bush family when they are in town.

We cycle through Kennebunkport, a bustling harbor, with its popular Dock Square at the center.


Kennebunkport, Dock Square

On the southern side of town, we ride past Kennebunk Beach, and through a section of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge, established in 1966, preserves ten important estuaries that are key points along migration routes of waterfowl and other migratory birds. During winters, the Refuge’s marshes provide vital food and cover for waterfowl another migrating birds at a time when inland waters are frozen. The Refuge also supports piping plover, least terns, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles.

We then ride through a section of the Laudholm Farm, headquarters for the 2,250-acre Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve conservation area. The center at Laudholm Farm is a research, education, and recreation facility and is a public-private partnership within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Each year, more than 3,000 children and adults participate in its educational programs.

Rest Stop 1 (Mile 17 ): Corey Daniels Gallery, Wells

We head inland for a few miles to avoid Route 1’s busy traffic. After riding through North Berwick, we head down a long hill to the seaside town of Ogunquit. Ogunquit, an Abenaki word meaning “beautiful place by the sea,” started as a village within the neighboring town of Wells. A sawmill was established here in 1686, triggering an active shipbuilding community along the tidal Ogunquit River.

In 1888, a bridge was built across the Ogunquit River providing access for summer visitors and residents to the beautiful 3-mile beach on the easternmost shore. The easy access to the beach Ogunquit attracted an eclectic variety of artists, all of whom helped create a richly textured art colony and a place to live and paint.   In 1898, Charles Woodbury of Boston established a summer painting school that garnered national attention and drew the likes of Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Robert Henri.
We travel through the heart of busy Ogunquit Center, with its many boutiques, shops, galleries, and restaurants. On Shore Road, we pass the Ogunquit Memorial Library, given to the Village by Nannie Conarroe in memory of her husband in 1897. This imposing yet elegant fieldstone structure, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, remains a uniquely lovely landmark in town and well used by residents and visitors alike.

We also pass by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art which houses a variety of works by artists associated with the famed Ogunquit Art Colony, as well as other American artists.

ogt lib

On the south side of Ogunquit is Perkins Cove. Once called Fish Cove, the cove was unprotected from ocean storms, so fishermen in the area had to protect their boats by hauling them ashore each night. Needing to create a safe anchorage, fishermen formed the Fish Cove Harbor Association and dug a channel across land they purchased to connect Fish Cove with the Josias River. When the trench was complete, erosion further widened the passage. The resulting tidewater basin is now called Perkins Cove

We meander along Shore Road past waterfront homes and golf courses to Cape Neddick, part of The Yorks. The Yorks cover 57.7 sq. miles and is made up of Cape Neddick, York Beach, York Harbor and York Village. The Yorks of Maine have natural beauty, old New England seacoast charm, sandy beaches, lighthouses, conservation parks, an amusement park and more, and we cycle by much of it on our way south.

Rest Stop 2 (Mile 41): Cape Neddick Light at Nubble Rock. In 1874, Congress appropriated $15,000 to build a light station oat Nubble Rock. It was first put in use in 1879 and is still in use today. Its lighthouse tower is 41 feet tall and is lined with brick and sheathed with cast iron. The lighthouse is a significant feature both nationally and universally. In fact, an image of the lighthouse is included in the Voyager spacecraft’s photograph collection, along with images of the Great Wall of China and the Taj Majal.

We ride along York Beach, which offers outdoor fun with miles of long sandy beaches and coastal scenic byways.

York Beach

In York Village, you are invited to stop by the Museums of Old York, a multi-property historic museum preserving the rich history of what was once the seat of government for the Province of Maine. At Old York, you will see and hear what life was like three centuries ago. The Museums of Old York are community operated by The Old York Historical Society. The Museums consist of nine historic buildings including The Old Gaol, the nation’s oldest royal prison. Show your BikeMaine bracelet for a free tour of the Old Gaol (Jail) or the Remick Gallery. The Gaol is one of the oldest public buildings in America.  See the original stone dungeons where the prisoners were held, hear some prisoner stories, and learn how being in debt could land you in jail.   A Museum for 115 years, the Old Gaol has broad appeal to all kinds of visitors and provides an excellent opportunity to snap a photo of yourself in the pillory!


The Remick Gallery (located on the second story of the Parsons Center) is currently showing an exhibit of the historic photography of Emma Coleman. Coleman turned her camera on York in the 1880s, documenting rural life, architecture, and scenery with an artist’s eye.

The last few miles of the 2015 BikeMaine route are on gentle back roads, taking us into Kittery and to Fort Foster, where a farewell luncheon awaits.













Nationally Recognized Host of Marketplace to Ride BikeMaine

July 14, 2015 News Comments Off on Nationally Recognized Host of Marketplace to Ride BikeMaine


PORTLAND, MaineBikeMaine is pleased to announce that David Brancaccio, the host and senior editor of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, and Mark Vogelzang, president and CEO of Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN), will join more than 300 cyclists as they tour the state by bicycle during the upcoming Sept. BikeMaine ride.

In addition to riding with the cyclists on the BikeMaine route, Brancaccio and Vogelzang will join BikeMaine riders, community members, and local officials for a Town Hall Forum in Bethel, on Wed., Sept. 16. The forum will focus on economic development, bicycling, tourism, the environment, and more.

“The Bethel community and the chamber of commerce are excited to be part of the BikeMaine itinerary this fall, especially as the layover town,” said Executive Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Robin Zinchuk. “We are planning to roll the red carpet out for the riders, staff, and volunteers and have many great activities planned for everyone during their stay here. We are especially excited that David Brancaccio and Mark Vogelzang will be joining us.”

Considered the most popular business program in the United States, Marketplace discusses the focuses on the future of the economy, financial and labor markets, technology, the environment, and social enterprises. David Brancaccio is an award-winning reporter, anchor, speaker, and storyteller. His approach to investigative reporting and in-depth interviewing has earned the highest honors in broadcast journalism, including the Peabody, the Columbia-duPont, the Emmy, and the Walter Cronkite awards.

2014 BikeMaine riders.

“We are really excited for David to join the BikeMaine ride this year,” said MPBN President and CEO Mark Vogelzang. “David grew up in Waterville, Maine, and has been, and continues to be, such an important part of public broadcasting, and a huge favorite with so many. It’s an outstanding opportunity for riders to meet and hear from one of the best journalists around!”

MPBN, Maine’s premier independent media resource, is committed to connecting the people of Maine to other communities and to the world through the open exchange of information, ideas, and cultural content. BikeMaine is proud to have the support of MPBN as a 2015 media partner.

The Third Annual BikeMaine ride will take place from Sept. 12 through 19, 2015, and is organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Each year, the week-long adventure highlights different parts of Maine, giving riders the opportunity to experience the people, places, culture and food of the state. Riders will enjoy rest stops, daily meals and overnight camping in host communities along the route. 2015 overnight host communities include Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk.

The route features varying terrain from the coast to the mountains with daily distances averaging 55 miles and additional 10- to 15-mile loop options. Participation is limited to 350 riders to ensure an intimate and community-focused experience. Meals are prepared with high-quality local and seasonal ingredients, and entertainment, including Maine music, comedy, and dance, is provided each evening.

BikeMaine is proud to have the support of founding sponsors L.L.Bean and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, in addition to its many other valued sponsors and partners.
Fewer than 40 spots remain for this year’s BikeMaine ride. Register today at ride.bikemaine.org.


Editor’s Note: Click on the image above or the link below to access a downloadable version.
About BikeMaine:
Founded in 2012, BikeMaine is a fully-supported, seven-day cycling tour organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Limited to just 350 cyclists, the tour takes a different course every year. Routes traverse uncrowded back roads, looping through small towns and scenic areas along the coast and inland. The terrain is moderately challenging with daily rides averaging 55 miles. The event includes meals made with locally sourced ingredients, optional afternoon activities, and nightly entertainment. The event was founded to promote the state as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities. In 2014, BikeMaine generated an estimated $395,000 in direct economic impact. Proceeds from the tour go to support bicycle advocacy in Maine. To learn more, visit ride.bikemaine.org.
About Bicycle Coalition of Maine:
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is 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. We support biking and walking for health, transportation and recreation. For more information: bikemaine.org.
About the Maine Public Broadcasting Network:
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is Maine’s premier, independent media resource, dedicated to creating exceptional opportunities for the communities it serves to engage with critical issues, compelling stories, and quality entertainment. MPBN is renowned for creating award-winning programs, as well as airing content from PBS, NPR, and other independent producers. Formed in 1992, MPBN is an independently owned and operated nonprofit organization with office and studio locations in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland, Maine.

A first time rider’s perspective on BikeMaine

June 15, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on A first time rider’s perspective on BikeMaine

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Pictured above is writer Dori McCormick at the finish line of the 2014 ride in Westbrook, ME at IDEXX.

One morning I took my last country ski out in the woods. That afternoon, I took my first bike ride. On the spur-of-the-moment I had signed up for the BikeMaine event, and it was time to start training. I went into it blind and came out the other end with my eyes wide opened. I had never attempted anything like this, but at age 62, I thought I was still infallible. I still do, and I thrived and survived. I registered by myself and got many comments of: “This is your FIRST ride? You should have ….” I now pass on the nuggets I learned during that week in Maine last summer and also what I’d do differently.


  •  I can bike farther than I thought.
  • My son’s advice was spot-on. (“When will you ever have the time to do it again?” – when does anyone have the time to set aside – other than by doing it?)
  • My bike is heavy but excellent for training.
  • The scenery is awesome. You can see a lot in 50-mile training rides (as well as 10 miles, 20 miles, etc.). I tried to pick out a new route every time with a goal to cover as many roads as possible. I also did circuits because it was easier than dreading ‘that hill again’.
  • My local bike shop was VERY helpful and worth it to support it (rather than on-line purchases). They installed everything I bought, answered questions, made recommendations and streamlined my bike as much as possible.
  • Ask for advice. I learned a lot from a woman in the parking lot one day.
  • I chose the tent and porter service and was very thankful at the end of every day to find my bag inside, with sleeping bag ready to roll out. One day I had to lay there for awhile before I could get up and shower. I was thankful for the shelter.
  • I also used the towel rental, rather than trying to get a towel dry.
  • We did some sight-seeing along the way and could stop and take photos.
  • The support team was simply awesome – from the people in the villages to those volunteers who kept us safe on the roads – whether they were warning of turns or stopping traffic so we could cross. On the fourth straight day, one volunteer at an intersection looked at me and said “Are you in trouble?” “Yes” as the tears came. I had biked my heart out. He talked me down off the ledge (!) and convinced me it was a good choice to take the support vehicle and be transported the last 15 miles into the camp. It was ok. I wasn’t quitting, I was making a wise choice. (Thank you, kind man, whoever you were. I appreciated your frankness, calmness, and directness. It worked.)
  • I didn’t need extra layers on cold mornings for more than half an hour. The bag they provided was EASY to transport, EASY to drop off at a rest area and EASY to reclaim at the end of the day. The systems were all easier than I thought they’d be.
  • We never went more than 23 miles before being greeted with PLENTIFUL and NUTRICIOUS food. Hosts for the lunches and dinners in each town did everything they could to help us.
  • Every person who passed me greeted me (our names and states were on the back of our bikes). And most people passed me!
  • People were older than I thought they’d be and came from all over the country!
  • People used all sorts of bikes – recumbent, upright, folding/travel bikes, etc.
  • Don’t drink colored energy drinks. There are good alternatives without the dyes. They had them at the BikeMaine rest stops.
  • I did most of my training rides alone. I emailed a friend my intended route in case I didn’t return as expected.
  • I thankfully trained in all weather so knew I could survive rain and wind. The only day I bailed was when LIGHTNING struck right beside me on a training ride.

What I’d do differently:

  • I’d get on my bike and start training YESTERDAY. Start now. It’s suggested that you be comfortable with 25-mile rides before June.
  • Look for hills and cycle them. Over and over. I saw hills I didn’t think existed in Maine.
  • Cycle at a pace that you’re comfortable with. I was aware of a couple that struggled the whole week. I think one got talked into it (!) and could not keep up, resulting in a lot of tension and resentment. Enjoy the ride and meet up at the end of the day.
  • I started out too fast the first day, thinking I was dead last. Next time I could say “well, I’m last” and it would be ok. That day I biked too fast and used too much energy in the morning.
  • I would start as soon as I could in the day so I wouldn’t feel as pressured. I needed the whole time every day.
  • I would realize that there are very seasoned bikers on the trip as well as others that aren’t.
  • Do at least two 50-60 mile days in a row. I could DO 50 miles, but not day after day, hence my dilemma on Day 4 last year.
  • Sign up for a daily massage as soon as possible. It was worth the money!
  • Take earplugs for nearby snorers.
  • Make the commitment as soon as possible and BIKE. What a great way to spend the summer, and a great way to end it in MAINE.

 About the author:

Dori McCormick has had a long association with biking; though in bursts!  She did the Trek Across Maine ride 100 years ago (on a heavy bike), completed the Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand about 5 years ago (95 miles in 3 days) and then participated in (all but 15 miles) of BikeMaine last year (348 miles)!  The passion continues!  A professional photographer by day, she also loves to write, play tennis, read, garden, cross country ski, hike, and travel.  

BikeMaine on NEWSRADIO WGAN Maine Points

April 22, 2015 News Comments Off on BikeMaine on NEWSRADIO WGAN Maine Points

Kim True and Zach Schmesser, joined host Mike Violette to discuss the warmer weather and upcoming BikeMaine.









BikeMaine holds orientation for 2015 Host Communities

March 25, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on BikeMaine holds orientation for 2015 Host Communities

The BikeMaine team recently brought together leaders from the communities hosting BikeMaine 2015 to begin planning in earnest for the arrival of 350 bicyclists and 50 volunteers in September. Representatives of Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel and Kennebunk met with Bicycle Coalition of Maine staff and BikeMaine Ride Committee volunteers to learn more about event logistics and the needs of BikeMaine riders.

After a general information session led by Ride Director Kim True and Event Manager Zach Schmesser, the participants broke into three groups to discuss issues unique to each: town coordinators, food coordinators and bike champions. Community Relations Coordinators Tina West and Jeanne Peckiconis instructed town coordinators about the logistics, activities and entertainment required for hosting the event, then facilitated a brainstorming session on how to make the stay in each town memorable for event participants.   Hear what the town coordinators have to say about their towns.

Food coordinators met with BikeMaine’s Food Director Patti Hamilton to determine each town’s food traditions and local farm specialties. This exercise is an important step in creating a menu that reflects each town’s heritage and uses the best local ingredients available. While menus are still being finalized, one thing is certain: Kittery will be serving a traditional Maine lobster bake right on the shores of Portsmouth Harbor.

Abby King, Community Advocacy Coordinator for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, met with each town’s “Bike Champion,” the person appointed to head up a town-wide committee working to make the town more bike/walk friendly. The Coalition is assisting each town accomplish a bicycle-related project in 2015. This is just one way the Coalition thanks the host communities for partnering to put on BikeMaine and moves closer to completing its mission of making Maine better for biking and walking.

2015 BikeMaine Route Announced (WCSH 6)

March 2, 2015 Blog, News Comments Off on 2015 BikeMaine Route Announced (WCSH 6)

This clip originally appeared on WCSH6.com

Thursday, February 5, 2015

(NEWS CENTER) — The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has announced the route for its 2015 BikeMaine ride.

The host communities will be Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel, Sweden and Kennebunk. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine estimates that last year’s event had a direct economic impact in Maine of $395,000. The 350-mile ride is open to 350 cyclists and even though the event is several months away, organizers said it’s time to get on the bike and start preparing.

“You know now is the time to start training. We really do recommend riders do train before riding this ride. I think a casual cyclist with a good preparation can ride BikeMaine…but there’s no better time to jump on the trainer than now with all this snow on the ground,” Brian Allenby.

The event starts on Sept. 12 and continues through the 19.

2016 Ride Details

The 2016 BikeMaine Route will be announced in February 2016! Read More


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Relive the 2013 and 2014 Rides with Route and Community details. Read More

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