Thursday June 07, 2012 | 09:05 AM

Plenty of non-Mainers go well out of their way to get in on some of the great bike riding the state has to offer. There are frequently folks "from away" participating in the bigger benefit events of the season, like the Lobster Ride & Roll and the Trek Across Maine.

For those of us who are lucky enough to live here, exploring the best parts of Maine on bike - the lakes, the mountains, the beaches, the quaint towns and villages - happens on almost every ride.

But sometimes that same old 25-mile route becomes, well ... same old, and there's nothing like a new route to get you pedaling with brand new energy. And excitement. And interest.

I happened upon the Explore Maine website the other day and I definitely recommend you take a peak. It has everything a cyclist needs to get around to all the beautiful spots in Maine without missing a thing. The section devoted to exploring the state by bike offers 33 tours that can be downloaded right from the site. (There's also a book that can be picked up at one of the state's visitor's centers in Calais, Fryeburg, Hampden, Houlton, Kittery and Yarmouth.)

Check out how easy this is: Choose the region you want to cycle in (like Lakes & Mountains), then pick one of the many tours available (like Tour 24 - Bethel and Evans Notch). View the tour details and then click on the map icon for a PDF that shows the overall area, with insets detailing the route. Click the book icon for turn-by-turn directions and travel info like "turn left for convenience store" and "Caution: Truck traffic."

Click here to see a larger version of the map.

Tour 24 offers four different distances for seeing the sights around Bethel and Evans Notch - 14, 18, 33 and 67 miles. The mountains, covered bridges and hiking trails are well marked.

There's definitely something for every cyclist among these 33 tours and a slideshow on the site gives a taste of some of the historic landmarks and natural wonders you'll see along the routes.

Choose from Aroostook County, Downeast & Acadia, Greater Portland & Casco Bay, Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, Maine Lakes & Mountains, Mid-Coast Region, The Maine Beaches and The Maine Highlands, then put some extra air in those tires and get going.

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