SKOWHEGAN — The town of Skowhegan has been selected as the host community for the fifth annual BikeMaine ride in September sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

This year’s ride, “Pathway to the Peaks,” will start and end at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds.

The estimated 355-mile ride will be held Sept. 9-16. Participation is limited to 400 riders and all the spots are filled.

The trip will take riders from Skowhegan through Pittsfield, Kingfield and to Rangeley, where there will be a one-day layover. From Rangeley it’s on to Camp Wekeela, in Hartford, to Farmington and back to Skowhegan.

Last year’s BikeMaine ride brought 400 cyclists to Downeast Maine, said the town coordinator for this year’s event, Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, a nonprofit organization focused on the revitalization of Skowhegan. Of those riders, she said, 133 were from 37 other states and three countries.

The total economic impact of the event grew to an estimated $1.7 million, with $626,000 directly impacting host towns, Cannon said in promotional material on the group’s website.

“It’s great for the town to have BikeMaine riders not only start in Skowhegan, but also to end in Skowhegan,” Cannon said in an interview last week.

“They’ll be in town twice – that’s 400 people riders, plus additional people on top of that who will be coming into Skowhegan, getting to see what our town is all about.”

” They’ll be spending money at our businesses and then hopefully they decide that they want to come back.”

Participation includes a traditional lobster bake with fresh Maine lobster, clams, and just harvested corn on the cob, rest stops for recharging and refueling, course support that includes maps, a signed route, SAG vans, mechanical and medical assistance if needed, and luggage transport.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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