New Maine bike tour launches in 2013

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Bicyclists who want to spend a week exploring the land of moose and lobsters should be interested in a new week-long, mass bicycle tour that starts in Maine next year.

Tents at Cadillac Challenge in Maine

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will present BikeMaine for the first time in 2013, rolling out Sept. 7-14.

It makes the Pine Tree State the latest to host a major around-the-state bike ride, joining Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, Ohio, Georgia and many others. The ride launches the same year that Quebec-based Vélo Québec takes some 2,000 cyclists on a week-long bike tour of Maine.

This inaugural BikeMaine  will be limited to 350 participants, but organizers expect it to grow to 2,000 cyclists over time. Organizers want to make it a signature bicycling event for Maine and all of New England.

Fully supported

Ride director Kim Anderson True says the “rolling celebration of Maine” will use a new route every year to explore different coastal and inland areas the state.

The bike tour is fully supported, and cyclists will camp in designated host communities every night. The host cities will range from tourist destinations, such as Portland and Bar Harbor, to rural communities off the beaten path.

Because of the state’s continuous rolling terrain, the ride will be best suited for experienced, fit cyclists, she says.

“BikeMaine will explore all that Maine has to offer in terms of its unique and diverse scenic, historic, working and cultural landscapes, and its delicious foods and interesting people,” True wrote in announcing in the ride. Each day’s activities, meals and entertainment will be provided by local organizations.

Community benefits

The BikeMaine organizing committee already has chosen the six host communities and is currently finalizing a route, which will be announced in early winter. Registration will open at that time.

The tour’s organizers expect host communities to achieve economic benefits from the arrival of the bicycling encampment. Also, half of the proceeds from the bike tour will go to host communities to help improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, organizers say.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine also presents the annual Maine Lobster Ride and Roll, a one-day bike tour.

See more week-long mass bike rides at Across State Bike Rides at

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