Wednesday August 01, 2012 | 09:38 AM

If you don't have a ticket for Saturday's Mumford & Sons concert at Eastern Promenade Park you'll want to steer clear of that end of the city. And even if you do have a ticket, you may not want to drive a car into the cluster of thousands and thousands of music-lovers who will be flooding the streets of Portland.

And that's where the Bicycle Coalition of Maine comes in.

According to BCM Executive Director Nancy Grant, the organization has been providing bike valet parking at some of Maine's biggest events for the past 12 years. What started at the Common Ground Fair in 2000 has expanded to four other events already this summer. Add Mumford & Sons to the list.

"We provide bike valet parking to entice event participants to ride their bikes rather than drive a car," Grant said in an email exchange.

With many East End roads closed from Aug. 2-4 (see the complete list in Ray Routhier's story), biking may be the most efficient way to get around. Concert-goers can take advantage of the valet service set up at the bottom of Cutter Street near East End Beach. Cycle there along the Eastern Promenade Trail from the Old Port or from the Tukey's Bridge area and drop your bike with a volunteer. The service is free but donations for BCM will be accepted.

"You can rest assured that your bike will be secure and carefully handled by our volunteers while you're enjoying the concert," Grant said.

And you can avoid the traffic, parking issues and additional carbon emissions.


About the Author

Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for

Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.

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