Saturday, March 8, 2014
Maybe you ride a bike because you enjoy it. Maybe you ride a bike because it's your way of being good to your environment.
Whatever the reason, if you ride a bike you need to know at least a little bit about that frame and those two wheels. So how does a free six-week bicycle mechanics workshop work for you?
The University of Southern Maine is offering the program beginning Wednesday, March 13 as part of the school's push toward sustainability. Join the USM Cycle Club from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sullivan Gym spin room (Portland campus).
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine this afternoon announced the route for the debut BikeMaine event during a press conference in Bangor. Riders, whether from here or away, won't be disappointed in the 400 miles they'll pedal from Sept. 7-14 along a route that includes Orono, Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.
"We had to start somewhere," said Mark Ishkanian, chair of the BikeMaine Ride Committee. "We wanted to build a route that would build momentum quickly for the ride and make people say, "Wow, I really want to ride that route."
Registration for the 2013 event is limited to 350 riders, with half the spots reserved for cyclists from out of state. The cost is $875 per rider and includes 18 meals, beverages, snacks, baggage transport, mechanical and medical support, daily entertainment and a nightly camping site.
If you haven't taken part in an indoor cycling program this winter - either on a Spin bike somewhere or by hauling your own wheels to a location frequented by other cycling enthusiasts who have settled for pedalling to nowhere - you're probably itching to get in the saddle and ride.
How about doing that AND raising money for a great cause?
Cycle4Care is back for the third year Friday at the University of New England's Finley Recreation Center in Portland and riders are asked to enjoy some exercise while supporting the Cancer Community Center.
Come on your own or get a group together for an hour or more of riding with experienced instructors. There will be music, snacks, water and prizes throughout the night (the event runs from 4 p.m. to midnight). There are fees for one hour ($5 student, $20 adult) or two hours ($40 adult) and riders can also choose to raise extra pledges for the cause. The $20 Endurance Challenge, for example, offers three hours and the commitment to raise at least $250. The $40 Ultimate Challenge runs for four hours and riders must commit to raising at least $500.
Back during the summer days of riding in riding in short-sleeved jerseys past blooming fields and lush green trees, I wrote a column about the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's new ride, BikeMaine. In July, the inaugural event seemed a long way off. That's no longer the case.
BikeMaine's Ride Committee recently announced that the route for this cross-Maine ride will be announced on Feb. 6, 2013. Registration starts Feb. 13 (Coalition members will get early access on Feb. 12) and the plan is to limit the debut event to 350 riders. Half of those slots will be reserved for riders from out of state.
All that said, if you want in, be sure to mark Feb. 13 on every calendar you can find. Or make a New Year's resolution to join the BCM's Yellow Jersey Club, then commit to riding in BikeMaine by Feb. 6, and you're guaranteed a slot in the historic first ride.
First came "Ride The Divide," the wildly popular and inspiring film about the world's toughest mountain bike race.
Now for pedaling film fans comes "Reveal The Path," a movie from the same award-winning creators, which takes viewers on a 36-day bike trip to some of the world's most visually amazing destinations. Think deserts, mountains and beaches from Nepal to Morocco to Alaska.
Watch the trailer here: