Sunday, December 8, 2013
Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for PressHerald.com.
Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.
Get in touch at email@example.com More
Travel with care this weekend if you're driving in and around Biddeford as the roadways will be busy with cyclists participating in the 29th annual Bike MS: Great Maine Getaway.
This is the first year the MS ride has used Biddeford's University of New England as its home base and the move from its previous inland location allows riders in the two-day event to pedal along southern Maine's coastline, including a route past Walkers Point, the summer home of the presidential Bush family.
Riders were required to fundraise a minimum of $250 for the MS Society's Greater New England Chapter and can choose from distances of 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles on Saturday, followed by 25-, 50- or 75-miles rides on Sunday.
Twenty years is a long time to run an event, but the fact that Cliff Krolick at Back Country Excursions has already hosted his annual Mountain Bike Microbrew Festival sure proved that bikes and beers go together.
The 2013 version of the festival begins Friday at noon with plnety of guided rides on Back Country's single-track trails. The evening features a potluck "extravaganza" (bring your favorite dish to share) and entertainment from Jeffrey Cusack around the campfire.
Since Gritty McDuff's is the craft brew sponsor, there will be plenty of Gritty's beet on tap all weekend.
The Maine cycling community was appalled to hear about the 50-year-old woman who was dragged off her bike and sexually assaulted while riding on a summer Sunday in Canaan on July 7.
And in the usual stick-together way of riders, a group of women cyclists has organized a ride for Saturday as a show of support for that female rider.
Keep Riding Our Roads begins at Fedco Trees, 213 Hinckley Road, Clinton at 10 a.m. There will be two loops - 10 to 12 miles for those who want to ride a shorter distance; and 35 miles for those who want a longer ride. (Here's a map of the route) Check the Facebook page for more info.
According to organizer Christine Nichols, one of the goals of the ride is to encourage women to push through any fear of riding Maine's roads as a result of the incident. Read more from her in the Morning Sentinel's story about the ride.
It's a great time of year to visit some of the islands that dot Casco Bay, and when doing so there's no reason to leave your bike at home.
Several easy-to-access islands offer biking options that come with little auto traffic and great views. Here are a few to check out:
Holly Bowling walks her dog, Nandi, while riding her bike under flag adorned untility poles on Chebeague island. Press Herald file photo
When you really want to ride despite the heat and humidity a pedal along the Eastern Trail is a good way to go.
On Friday those who can ride at 10 a.m. can bike through the trail that cuts through the always cool Scarborough Marsh on a group ride led by volunteer Russ Lamer.
The intermediate/advanced ride will be a loop along the ET, from Bug Light in South Portland to Saco and back, incorporating the off-road sections in the ride. Lamer's group will head out at 10 a.m. sharp with a check-in beginning at 9:30 a.m. Expect to return around 3 p.m. after a lunch stop at Run of the Mill in Saco.