Friday, March 7, 2014
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
I happened to be in Lewiston over the weekend and passed by this sign near the Busytown Bikes location on Sabattus Street.
Couldn't resist pulling over to take a picture:
It's the rare cycling event in Maine that can attract a big-name riding celebrity but the Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge has proven over and again that it isn't just any old race.
The third annual event will be held at the Sugarloaf Outdoors Center July 12-14 with mountain biking legend Tinker Juarez competing in the 100K race. For those who aren't familiar, he's a two-time Olympian (1996 and 2000) who has won National, World and Pan Am championships. He's even tackled mountain, finishing second in the Mt. Washington race in 2011.
Tinker's event goes off at 7 a.m. July 13, followed by the 50K race start at 9 a.m. He's also making himself available for autographs the evening before the race during a 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. meet-n-greet, and he'll hang with the young crowd during the kids' race on July 14.
Enough about the visiting celeb and more about the race ... To get a taste of what it's all about, check out this video from last year's event:
Munjoy Hill is going to be a tough place to navigate on July 4.
With another Stars and Stripes Spectacular planned, streets and parking lots from Washington Avenue up will either be closed or restricted from 10 p.m. July 3 through 6:30 a.m. July 5, making it difficult to get around by car. (Munjoy Hill will be closed to all auto traffic at 4 p.m. July 4.)
But Portland is doing a great thing for those who can get around on two wheels. The city is setting up a free bike valet, run by volunteers, at Morning and Cutter streets. If your plans include the Portland Symphony Orchestra and fireworks, pedal along the Eastern Promenade Trail or up any of the adjacent streets (Congress, Fore, Walnut or others), park your bike and settle in for a evening of entertainment.
The day/night features a full schedule of music and entertainment starting at noon when vendors open with food and crafts. The "No Kid Hungry - Scoops for Kids" Ice Crean Festival runs from 3 to 6 p.m. with all-you-can-eat gelato, sorbet and ice cream for $5. (You'll appreciate the exercise you'll get from biking after taking part in this Share Our Strength fundraiser.)
Maybe you don't have a bike. But you wish you did.
Maybe you're traveling in Maine this weekend and your bike, sadly, had to stay home.
Whatever your circumstances as you enjoy the sun and sights in our state this weekend, there are plenty of places around that are happy to help you get on two wheels.
Bike shop owners from Wells to Rockland to Bar Harbor know Maine's coasts, mountains and trails are best seen from a bike seat. That's why many of them offer bike rentals at prices that are half the price of a tank of gas.
With the tragic news last week of 23-year-old Massachusetts cyclist David LeClair being killed while riding in the American Lung Association Trek Across Maine, little attention was given to Maine's newest bicycling law.
On June 14, LD 1460, "A Bill To Revise Maine Bicycle Law," became law thanks to the hard work and attention from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
The hope is that the bill, sponsored by Rep. Erik Jorgensen of Portland, is just the beginning of a process that will make cycling safer and more accessibility for riders around the state. And it is interesting to note that, with all of the recent vetoes and threats of veto out of Augusta, the bill was made into law without Governor LePage's signature.