THE VOICE OF BICYCLISTS IN MAINE FALL 2010
Coalition’s New Look Reaches
Out to All Maine Cyclists
Non-Pro t Org
by Allison Vogt Executive Director
P.O. Box 5275
Augusta Maine 04332-5275
Welcome to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s new look! www.BikeMaine.org
As many of you know, the coalition’s board of directors approved a five-year strategic plan last summer.
Since then, we’ve reported in “Maine Cyclist” on our expanding education programs, plans to improve our
advocacy for bicycle infrastructure and our new Community Spokes advocacy training. Another important
goal, one that underlies the coalition’s entire reason for being, is to expand and increase our membership. Wearing a helmet Maine law requires all bicyclists under
old to wear a helmet. For bicyclist 16 years
s of all ages, a properly- tted
helmet can be your best protecti
on against head injury in the event
To truly make Maine a better place to bicycle, the coali- of a fall or accident. Wearing a helmet
Buying a helmetu Select a style and
makes sense in all conditions.
size that is comfortable for
you. All new helmets with a ‘CPSC’
sticker have been tested
tion needs to attract all those who ride bicycles - no mat-
to meet government crash standard
comparable protection, regardle
s and will provide
ss of cost. right
no matter what you ride
Damage to a helmet after a crash or
fall isn’t always easy to spot, so replace
a helmet after any signi cant impact,
ter what kind of bike or when, where or why they ride. generally recommended that a helmet
has remained crash-free. P.O. Box 5275
even if it appears OK. It is also
Augusta Maine 04332
be replaced after 5623 4511even if it
Fitting your helmet
Our political muscle in the state is directly related to the
uMany children’s helmets can be
adjusted with sizing pads or rings
for several years of use as your child
grows. It’s important to make sure
your helmet ts properly. In a fall, a
no matter where you ride
helmet that ts poorly will provide
one that ts securely. Your helmet
far less protection against injury than
Tips for staying safe
depth, breadth and size of our community of members. shake your head from side to side.
should t snug and stay in place if
Use sizing pads or universal ring (inside
the helmet) to adjust. If the helmet
can’t be adjusted for a rm and comfortable
t, do not wear it!
We want our coalition to include all Maine people who Your helmet should sit level and low
of two ngers above your eyebrow
on your forehead — about the width
no matter when you ride ride bicycles. As our new membership brochure says, “If
you ride in Maine, Ride with Us.”
Center the buckle under your
chin. Tighten the chin strap as
necessary to achieve a comfortable,
Adjust side straps so they form a V-shape
on each side, below and just in
front of your ears. Most adjustments
to the side straps can be
made easily by taking the helmet
Like any other business or organization, the coalition When adjusted, do the Eyes, Ears
good t :
and Mouth Test to check for a
can benefit from marketing tools that aid our efforts to
EYES - You should see the very edge
of your helmet when you look up
past your eyebrows.
EARS - The straps should meet right Developed with support from
under your ear lobes to form a Y.
broaden and grow our membership. After lots of seri-
MOUTH - The strap should be loose
enough so you can breathe and insert
a nger between the buckle and your
skin, but tight enough that if you
drop your jaw (as in a yawn) you can
feel the helmet pull down on the top
of your head.
no matter why you ride ous thought and work by the coalition’s board, we’ve
chosen to change our logo and brand. The new look
will be used in all of our printed and online commu-
no matter how fast you ride
nications, including safety and membership material in this issue
that will be released during the fall and winter.
ride with us THE RIDE
I hope you enjoy the new look. The logo and related Biking through Blueberry Land ............................................................ 2
materials were designed by coalition member Jodie Students Rebuild Bikes in Sanford .................................................. 6
Lapchick of Lapchick & Co., a firm that specializes in branding for a cause.
Local Advocates ....................................................................................................................... 8
To reach the goals outlined in our strategic plan, we need to recruit parents, teachers, bike commuters, Skiing Program Supports Disabled Cyclists .................. 9
returning adult cyclists, racers, community-based advocates and more. Our membership needs to represent Scenes from Our Summer Rides ...................................................... 10
a broad range of interests, types of cyclists, age ranges and a gender balance. A new look and consistent
Inland Hospital Expands Trail Network ............................ 12
brand will improve our ability to communicate using the Internet, Facebook and other technology that
wasn’t even dreamed out about when our original look was conceived. COMPONENTS
Although our publications and materials have a new look, some things will never change. We are the voice Volunteer Opportunities .................................................................................. 11
of Maine cyclists working to make Maine a better place to bicycle. We are grateful to our members and Spotlight on Gorham Bike and Ski ............................................. 13
volunteers for our successes to date and we look forward to serving you and bicyclists throughout Maine in Ask the Experts .................................................................................................................... 14
the years to come. Yellow Jersey Club ......................................................................................................... 19
Biking through Blueberry Land
by Shoshana Hoose Communications Coordinator
Washington County is my favorite place to bicycle in Maine, so I was eager to try out The old telegraph lines following our route also intrigued us.
the new Down East Sunrise Trail. Completed this fall, Maine’s longest rail trail extends
After 17 miles of bouncing along, we headed back to Machias. Approaching town
85 miles from Washington Junction, east of Ellsworth, to Ayers Junction, just south of
in the late afternoon, we passed several people walking and jogging along the trail.
Calais and the Canadian border. My friend Gretchen Greenberg and I spent two days on
Local residents clearly are taking advantage of this great new resource.
the trail in late July, a trip that coincided perfectly with the wild blueberry harvest.
We ate dinner at Helen’s Restaurant, a Machias institution, enjoying a delicious
Normally road riders, we took hybrids for this adventure. The trail has a crushed rock
slice of blueberry pie. The next morning, fortified by blueberry French toast with
surface with some loose stones, so hybrids or mountain bikes are highly recommend-
blueberry syrup, we drove to a parking lot at the trailhead in Ayers Junction to finish
ed. We made sure to carry extra tubes and tools because there are no bike shops north
riding the 30-mile stretch north of Machias.
of Ellsworth. We picked up a trail map at the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
on Route 1 in Machias. Then, we crossed the road to begin our ride by Station 98, a We stopped to chat with a couple cycling in the other direction. Richard and Nancy
historic railroad station that is being restored. McPhee live in nearby Baileyville. As a snowmobiler, Nancy was involved in the initial
effort 20 years ago to create a trail in the Calais Branch of the Maine Central Railroad.
Heading north, the trail follows a beautiful stretch of the Machias River for a few
“We went to all kinds of meetings from Ellsworth to Calais to Machias,” she recalled.
miles. We biked past red-tinged marsh grass, goldenrod, orange hawkweed and
ripening beach plums. A flock of Canadian geese swam in a cove as two ospreys soared At the time, the trail faced stiff opposition from those hoping that rail service would
overhead. return. But cyclists, pedestrians, snowmobilers and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) users all
came together to push for the trail. McPhee credits Sally Jacobs, founding president
In East Machias, we found a shady spot by the water for a picnic. Hopefully, the trail
of the Sunrise Trail Coalition, with working tirelessly to win support for the project.
eventually will add some picnic tables, benches and outhouses. I also hope someone
writes a guidebook describing the area’s vegetation, wildlife and history; that would Having motorized recreational vehicles share the trail with cyclists, walkers,
enrich the experience of visiting the trail. horseback riders and cross-country skiers creates the potential for safety problems
and unpleasant conditions. But several trail users told me that a respectful attitude
Back on our bicycles, we passed a blueberry processing plant and a field where people
prevails, and that is what we observed. In our two days, we passed a golf cart, a
were raking berries. Farther on, we came to our best find of the day: blueberry bushes
moped and six ATVs as well as eight pedestrians, four joggers and three cyclists; all of
right by the trail laden with ripe, sun-warmed berries. I hope we weren’t infringing on
the vehicles slowed down and made room for us to pass.
private property by helping ourselves; they were too delicious to resist.
Chipmunks skittered across the trail, and frogs croaked in the marshes. The air carried
The trail is 10 to 12 feet wide, flat (at least where we biked) and well marked, with
the scent of pine needles. Near a bend in the trail, a moose emerged from the woods
mileage signs and place names for rivers and brooks. Signs also point out nearby
and gazed at us for a few moments.
services, which are few and far between. Both days, we rode for two hours without
seeing a soul. At the end of our ride, we stopped at
the Blue Bird Ranch Family Restau-
That’s part of the trail’s appeal - it lets you explore a really remote area. Monarch
rant in Machias for a heavenly slice
butterflies flitted in front of us. We stopped to look at tree limbs gnawed by
of blueberry pie topped by blue-
beavers. Several signs alerted us to turtle breeding habitat. Charlie Corliss, who
berry ice cream. We gave thanks to
works for the Maine Department of Conservation as the trail manager, said that
those who worked for more than
snapping turtles and some painted turtles nest in the boggy areas along the trail.
two decades to create the
Down East Sunrise Trail, and
we vowed to return to ride
the rest of the way.
Bicycle Coalition of Maine members
Gretchen Greenberg and Shoshana
Hoose begin their ride on the Down East
Sunrise Trail in Machias.
PAGE 2 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Practical Tips for Biking on the
Down East Sunrise Trail
The closest full-service bike shops to the trail are in Ellsworth. Coffin’s True
Value Hardware on Route 1 in Machias stocks some tubes, tires, cables and
other bike parts.
Sunrise Canoe and Kayak (www.sunrisecanoean-
dkayak.com) in Machias rents mountain bikes and
provides a transport service for people who want to
bike one way on the trail and get picked up.
Cobscook Bay State Park in Edmunds Township is near
the north end of the trail. The park has a campground
with hot showers. For other accommodation options,
contact the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
(www.machiaschamber.org), the Cobscook Bay Area
Chamber of Commerce (www.cobscookbay.com) or
the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce (www.
For updated trail information and maps, visit the Sun-
photos by Shoshana Hoose
rise Trail Coalition’s Web site: www.sunrisetrail.org.
Richard and Nancy McPhee of Baileyville
enjoy a morning of bicycling on the
Down East Sunrise Trail.
Advocates Work Two Decades to Win Support for New Trail
The completion of the Down East Sunrise Trail marks a major victory for bicyclists and ational trail in the rail bed.
photo by Sue Ellen Bordwell
other trail advocates who worked for more than two decades on the project. They They sought and won sup-
prevailed by creating a diverse coalition of trail users, winning support from neighbor- port from every town along
ing towns, making some compromises along the way and selling the project to politi- the trail as well as regional
cal leaders as an economic development boon for one of Maine’s poorest regions. planning and economic
The idea for the trail emerged in the late 1980s, after Maine purchased the Calais development organizations.
Branch of the Maine Central Railroad. A major turning point came
in 1996, when the East Coast
“We said, ‘OK, now we can have our trail,’” recalled Sally Jacobs, a retired University Greenway Alliance decided
of Maine biochemistry professor and longtime Bicycle Coalition of Maine member to include the proposed Sally Jacobs officially opened the Down East Sunrise
from Orono. Jacobs biked each summer with a group of friends on trails in Canada or trail as part of its route from Trail at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September as
Europe. They started sending postcards to Maine’s governor from their travels abroad, Maine to Florida. Sen. Dennis Damon (D-Trenton), MaineDOT Commis-
saying, “We sure wish we could spend our money in Maine instead.” sioner David Cole and Maine Department of Conser-
After lobbying three Maine vation Commissioner Eliza Townsend looked on.
Snowmobilers also were lobbying for use of the railroad line. But railroad support- governors, trail advocates
ers wanted to keep the line intact in the hope that passenger and/or freight service won the support of Gov. John Baldacci in 2005. One compromise was the decision to
would return. keep railroad tracks in place from Ayers Junction to Calais and from Ellsworth to Brewer.
In 1991, MaineDOT announced that it would rip up and sell the tracks on the Calais MaineDOT worked with the Maine Department of Conservation to build the trail. The
Branch to raise money for railroad projects elsewhere in Maine. Trail advocates sale of the steel rails and ties covered construction costs.
strongly objected, insisting that the funds be funneled to the Down East region
instead, and they eventually prevailed. The Sunrise Trail Coalition is helping to promote the completed trail. The all-volunteer
coalition manages the trail’s Web site: www.sunrisetrail.org. Coalition members worked
Over the next several years, bicyclists and pedestrians joined forces with snowmobil- with MaineDOT to produce a trail brochure and they are developing kiosks with trail
ers and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) users to continue their push for a multi-use, recre- information.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 3
From the President Board of Directors
Nancy Grant, Portland
Bicycle Coalition Works with Clubs to John Balicki, Brunswick
Address Common Challenges John Wright, Woolrich
Mark Ishkanian, Readfield
What an amazing season for bicycling! The gorgeous weather was a real boon David Auclair, Winthrop
for cycling, resulting in more bicyclists in Maine riding more miles. We even had John Brooking, Westbrook
the chance to share some of our state’s most beautiful trails with President Barack Richard Cleary, Houlton
Obama and his family. They spent the first afternoon of their July vacation explor- Phil Coffin, Carrabassett Valley
Charley LaFlamme, Founder, Moody
ing Acadia National Park on bicycle.
Dana McEwan, Portland
Laurie McReel, Oakland
My personal highlight for the 2010 bicycling season has been participating in
Julie Osgood, Portland
the new Portland Women’s Velo Club. Started last fall by the Portland bike shop, Dean Read, Bar Harbor
Cyclemania, the club now has 53 paying members and an e-mail list of more than 100 women. The club offers a Fred Robie, Freeport
Monday night “no drop” (i.e. no one left behind) ride into Falmouth and Cumberland and a Saturday “no stop” ride into Larry Rubinstein, Scarborough
Cape Elizabeth. Jane Self, Camden
Nancy Stowell White, Hanover
Thanks to the team’s leaders, the club is extremely inclusive and supportive. Having rarely ridden in a pack before
joining, I’ve found the dynamics of group riding to be challenging but exciting. Team members are extremely patient
in teaching the rules. The club truly has enriched my cycling. I’ve worked harder than usual on the rides, so I am in Buxton Communications
better bicycling shape than I’ve been in a while. I’ve made new friends - and I’ve found that riding in a group is so SW Collins Company
much fun! Dana Connors
Maine Chamber and Business Alliance
While the bike club scene is new for me, many of you have been club riders for years. In fact, there are at least 16 J. Scott Davis
Board of Overseers
clubs all over the state. (You can find a list at www.bikemaine.org/partners/bike-club-members.) The clubs provide Greg Dore
Skowhegan Road Commission
an easy way to find new bicycling friends, a variety of rides of various lengths and paces and a welcoming way for new
cyclists to try out the sport. Jackson Lab
American Lung Association of Maine
But clubs all face a common set of challenges and issues, primarily with motor vehicles and law enforcement. My club
is very careful and mindful of sharing the road with cars; yet, we were pulled over by a Falmouth police officer in mid- Maine Tomorrow
July. The officer did not know Maine bicycling laws and he seemed to be waiting to snag cyclists. Michael Povich
The silver lining of the incident was that it prompted a meeting of members from the various Portland bike clubs and Maine Tourism Association
the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s education director, Jim Tasse. Going forward, the coalition plans to bring together Will Thomas
clubs from all over the state so that we can develop guides for bike clubs, including best practices for group rides, how Eliza Townsend
to work with local law enforcement and how to start a new club. We also will ramp up the Bicycle Coalition’s “Police Maine Department of Conservation
Bicycle Safety and the Law” training program to ensure that law enforcement officers are informed about bicycling Maine Turnpike Authority
laws and the realities of riding on two wheels. Eric Weinrich, Yarmouth
If you’re interested in joining the Bicycle Coalition’s work to support bike clubs, let us know. Ellen Wells
Inland Hospital, Waterville
As always, thanks for your support! Staff
Maine Cyclist is published by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit organization working since 1992 to make Maine a better place to
bicycle. The coalition advocates for Maine cyclists at the Legislature and in Washington, D.C., teaches bicycle safety to thousands of Maine Darcy Whittemore
Central Maine Safe Routes Coordinator
schoolchildren each year, partners with state agencies on a Share the Road media campaign and serves as a resource on local bicycling issues. saferoutes@BikeMaine.org
Maine Cyclist is printed four times a year. Submissions of writing or artwork are encouraged and should be sent to the coalition at Sarah Cushman
Southern Maine Safe Routes Coordinator
PO Box 5275, Augusta, Maine 04332 or emailed to shoshana@BikeMaine.org. email@example.com
The coalition reserves the right to edit to fit budget and space requirements. Cecelia Garton
Newsletter Team: Shoshana Hoose, Editor and Melissa Arndt, Layout/Design cecelia@BikeMaine.org
PAGE 4 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Parent Surveys Help Build Safe Routes
to School Programs
by Darcy Whittemore and Sarah Cushman Safe Routes to School Encouragement Coordinators
The Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford began its bike to school program in 2008
by gathering a group of students - known as the Youth Council - and conducting a
very valuable parent survey.
Parents raised some specific concerns such as the safety of biking through a particu-
lar intersection, said Andy Grief, the center’s executive director. “It helped the Youth
Council know where we needed to concentrate our efforts,” he said. The center used
the feedback to change the program by leading rides on a calmer, more winding
route through the surrounding neighborhood.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School created the parent survey to help
start local walk and bike to school programs and to shape the direction of existing
programs. The two-page survey gathers information about approximate locations Brunswick’s Safe Routes to School team conducted a parent survey to get baseline data and
where students live, parents’ feelings about their children walking and biking feedback about walking and biking to school.
to school and barriers that parents see as inhibiting walking and biking for kids.
Schools and communities can use parent surveys to get the conversation started
about walking and biking to school, to help direct a program’s efforts most efficiently Schools and communities can use parent surveys to get the
and to assist with sustaining a program over the long haul. conversation started about walking and biking to school,
Brunswick schools have used parent surveys to build on their existing walk and to help direct a program’s efforts most efficiently and to
bike to school efforts. The town’s elementary schools held their first walk and bike
to school day in October 2008. Due to great enthusiasm and interest among both assist with sustaining a program over the long haul.
children and adults, the school district began monthly events the next spring that
continue today. instrumental in administering the survey; they knew the normal chain of command
and avenues of communication at each of the elementary schools.
The Brunswick Safe Routes to School team decided to administer the National Cen-
ter’s parent survey last year in order to gain insight into parents’ attitudes towards Information about the survey was sent out through the schools’ newsletters and
walking and biking to school. parents were given about 10 days to respond. A walk and bike to school event and
bicycle helmet fitting preceded the survey, so many parents already were aware of
“We knew the survey would provide us with local data that people would pay atten-
tion to, and that the data could illustrate what we needed to take action on to get
more kids walking and biking to school safely,” explained Amanda Hopkins, program The Brunswick survey identified four major areas of concern: traffic speed, intersec-
director of Access Health and a local partner on walk and bike to school activities. tions and crossing safety, sidewalks or paths and crossing guards. The survey data
is being used to educate the community, to promote improvements and to obtain
Parent surveys also were conducted at Lyseth Elementary School and Lyman Moore
Middle School in Portland this fall. “We were required by the school district to have
the survey translated into six languages in addition to English,” said Sarah Cushman, The Brunswick Safe Routes to School team presented survey findings to the local
Safe Routes to School encouragement coordinator for the southern Maine region. school board and the Brunswick Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee. (The survey report
“That helped boost the information we were able to gather and also encouraged may be found at www.accesshealthme.org/pictures/coffin.pdf.) The team also
new conversations about walking and biking across local and international cultures.” contacted the town to advocate for completion of a Safe Routes sidewalk project.
Some schools have parents do the survey online. Other schools use paper surveys “It has helped open more dialogue about walking and biking between parents,
that are mailed to the National Center for tabulation of results and a finished report students and school staff, and also in the wider community,” said Pat McCabe, the
- all at no cost to the school. Schools across the country have found creative ways to physical education teacher at Longfellow and Coffin Schools and another organizer
guarantee a good return rate on surveys, such as raffling off a handful of grocery gift of walk and bike to school days. The survey also provided baseline data about walk-
cards to participating parents or rewarding the classroom with the highest survey ing and biking to school in Brunswick. “We can re-evaluate down the road and really
return rate by organizing a fun activity. chart our progress,” McCabe said.
“In Brunswick, we had a phenomenal 20 percent return rate!” Hopkins said. She For more information about conducting parent surveys in your community and other
credits that success largely to the town’s Safe Routes to School team that includes Safe Routes to School strategies, please contact the Safe Routes Team at saferoutes@
teachers and parents. Two Brunswick physical education teachers on the team were bikemaine.org or 623-4511.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 5
photos by Shoshana Hoose
Kyla Bragg and Derek Camire learned how to rebuild bicycles last summer at the Nasson Community Bicycle Center in Springvale.
“I’m the type of girl who likes getting her hands dirty and doing stuff.”
Kyla Bragg, Sanford 7th Grader
New Program Trains Sanford Students
to Rebuild Bikes
Maryalice Walker discovered bicycling as a middle school student, and it changed Students in Sanford’s Summer of Service program could choose to spend a week or
her life. “It was my first taste of independence,” she says. “I couldn’t drive a car, more on a variety of activities, including rebuilding bikes, tending community gardens
but I could drive my bike anywhere.” Commuting by bike kept her fit, cleared her and maintaining local trails. On any given day, between four and 10 young people
mind and helped her focus when she arrived at school. At age 17, she joined a showed up at the bike shop.
group of teens on a bike ride across the U.S.
Kyla Bragg, a seventh grader, was one of them. “I’m the type of girl who likes getting
Walker, now 29, shared her love of bicycling with middle school students last her hands dirty and doing stuff,” she said. “This is really cool.”
summer by starting a recycle-a-bike program at the Nasson Community Center
The students built racks to hang bicycles in the basement workshop, and they made
in Springvale. Students rebuilt 21 bikes that were donated to area residents.
tool benches to use when rebuilding the bikes. Kyla and the other students checked
The program proved so successful that the Sanford school department plans to
out each of the 43 donated bikes to identify parts needing repairs. They learned how to
continue it throughout the year.
change tires, fix bike cables, replace brake pads and do other repairs.
The Nasson Community Bicycle Center came about through a lucky convergence
The students learned about bicycle safety from Brian Danz, a mentor in the Sanford
bicycle program. Trained by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine as a bicycle safety educator,
Walker began work in May as a coordinator in the federally funded Learn and Danz helped the students fit their helmets properly, taught them rules of the road and
Serve America Summer of Service program, run by the Sanford schools. A bat led them on group rides.
biologist by training, she expected to oversee students in grades six through nine
At summer’s end, the bicycle program provided rebuilt bikes free to young people and
working on environmental projects. But then she found out that the Sanford
adults from Sanford, Springvale and Acton. In return for a bike, the recipients commit-
Police Department had collected about 30 lost or stolen bicycles.
ted themselves to volunteer in the community. “Now that names and faces are being
At Walker’s request, the police department agreed to donate the bikes for use by connected to the bikes,” said Walker, “the kids have really started to understand what
the students. Soon, lots of other pieces fell into place. their hard work means to others.”
The Nasson Community Center provided a basement space for a bike shop. Lowe’s Summer of Service ended in late August, but Sanford High School has taken on the
of Sanford donated lumber for tool benches. Cyclemania, a Portland bike shop, recycle-a-bike project as part of its Leadership and Resiliency Program. Amy Sewick,
gave the program some cables and helped with the purchase of tools and a repair the program’s coordinator, said she hopes to train high school students in bike repair
stand. The Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford advised Walker about how to and then put them to work fixing bikes every week at the Nasson Community Center.
plan the program. Goodrich’s Bicycle Shop of Sanford, Crum Cycles of Springvale
To find out more about the Nasson Community Bicycle Center, please visit www.san-
and individuals donated additional bikes.
fordlearnandserve.com or e-mail Amy Sewick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAGE 6 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Portland Hires Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator
Portland has become the first community in Maine to hire a bicycle-pedestrian program Portland’s Health and Human Services Department, and the Healthy Maine
coordinator. Bruce Hyman began work in June as part of an obesity prevention project Partnership in the Lakes Region on the initiative.
funded with federal stimulus money.
One of Hyman’s main tasks will be to help Portland develop a Complete
Hyman brings nearly two decades of experience working on bicycle and pedestrian Streets policy. Such a policy ensures that roads are designed and built for all
projects as a transportation and community planner. He helped write greater Portland’s users, including bicyclists, buses, wheelchair users and pedestrians of all ages
original bike-pedestrian plan in the mid-1990s and he updated the plan last year for the and abilities as well as motorists.
His other assignments include:
Bruce Hyman • Making an inventory of the city’s bicycle parking and a priority list for
was hired in
adding more parking. The grant provides $20,000 to buy and install
June as Port-
land’s bicycle- bike racks.
pedestrian • Adding at least four miles of bicycle lanes and shared lanes to the
program city’s 14-mile bicycling network. The grant has $60,000 for these
• Updating the signs that mark the city’s bicycle routes so that they are
easier to use. That might include adding destination information and
distances. The grant includes $10,000 for this project.
• Coordinating pedestrian improvements such as filling gaps in the
sidewalk network and making crossings of busy streets safer.
• Tracking how many people now bike and walk in Portland, and how
that changes over time.
of Maine Receives
Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS). He also served as project
manager on a 2001 engineering feasibility study for the Eastern Trail from Kittery to $18,000 Grant
South Portland. Hyman commutes to work on bike a few times a week, so he has first-
The Alliance for Biking & Walking in Washington, D.C. has awarded
hand knowledge of local roads and trails from a cyclist’s perspective.
an $18,000 grant to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for its Com-
Hyman will help craft policies that encourage walking and biking in Portland. He also munity Spokes Program. The program will recruit and train rural
will coordinate infrastructure improvements such as more bike lanes and more bicycle citizen-advocates to work for local improvements in bicycle and
parking in Maine’s largest city. The federal grant funds his job for 21 months. pedestrian infrastructure as well as state policies that encourage
bicycling and walking.
Portland is one of a growing number of cities nationwide that have added bicycle and
pedestrian staff members - and the positions are showing results, according to the Alli-
“To successfully engage the many villages and small towns in
ance for Bicycling & Walking. A recent Alliance survey of the 50 largest U.S. cities found
Maine, we need trained advocates who are rooted in their own
that those with bicycle and pedestrian staffs had a higher average percentage of bike
communities,” said Allison Vogt, the Bicycle Coalition’s executive
commuters, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. As
director. “By increasing our grassroots muscle in local communities,
the size of a city’s bike-pedestrian staff increased, so did bike commuting levels.
we also will have a bigger impact on state policies.”
Last year, Portland received an honorable mention in the League of American Bicyclists’
Bicycle Friendly Community ranking. The League recommended that the city consider The Alliance, a coalition of more than 160 grassroots biking and
hiring a bicycle-pedestrian coordinator. walking advocacy organizations in North America, awarded four
grants to projects throughout the United States. The Bicycle Coali-
The position was created as part of a state initiative to prevent obesity by increasing
tion of Maine project will serve as a model for rural communities
physical activity and improving nutrition. The federal Communities Putting Prevention
that have challenges with capacity, funding and infrastructure for
to Work program awarded Maine $4.28 million for the initiative. The Maine Center
bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
for Disease Control and Prevention is working with Healthy Portland, a program of
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 7
Spotlight on Local Advocates:
Yarmouth Committee Promotes Bicycling and Walking
Committees in several Maine communities are working to improve biking and walking mention in “USA Today.” The committee plans to offer valet bike parking again at
on local roads. The committees can have a big impact by advocating for paved shoul- next year’s festival.
ders, trails, sidewalks, road sweeping and other improvements. This is one in a series of
The committee’s other achievements include making an inventory of existing
“Maine Cyclist” profiles of local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups.
walking and biking routes in Yarmouth and checking them for safety and comfort,
History: Several Yarmouth town employees and volun- creating several walking and biking maps for the town
teers attended the 2009 Active Communities Conference that will be posted on Yarmouth’s municipal Web site,
in Freeport. They returned home energized to improve holding bike safety rodeos and building a trail to connect
bicycling and walking opportunities in their town and town ball fields with nearby neighborhoods.
funneled their enthusiasm into forming the Yarmouth
Current and future projects: Developing mountain
bike trails in town, installing more bike racks throughout
Membership: Any interested resident may join. Dur- Yarmouth and working more closely with the Volkssport
ing the past year, more than two dozen people have Association, a walking club with many members in
participated in the committee’s activities. A member Yarmouth.
of the Yarmouth Town Council serves as a liaison to the
Lessons learned: Much can be achieved by collaborat-
ing with town officials and volunteers. “Our goal is to
Major achievements: The committee partnered with reach beyond the cycling and walking communities to
the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to provide free valet bicycle connect and partner with the Recreation Committee,
parking at the 2010 Yarmouth Clam Festival. Nearly 400 School Committee” and other town committees, said
people used the service, and it attracted lots of publicity, Sue Ellen Bordwell, a member of the Yarmouth Bicycle/
including a feature story on WMTW (Channel 8) and Pedestrian Committee.
Nearly 400 people used the valet bike parking service at
the 2010 Yarmouth Clam Festival.
Welcome to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s New Members
We welcome these new household members joining from early May through August. We also have 210 new trial members who participated in our sum-
mer events or completed a bicycle educator training.
Carey Huggins Westport Island John Likins Waterville Leona Corrigan Acushnet MA Rebecca Hefty Auburn
Paul Jacques Windham Ellen Peters New Gloucester Christina Pasquini Rockport David Gustafson Harrison
Stephen Ebersole Auburn Maryanne Strand Yarmouth Maryalice Walker Portland Michael Dubois Yarmouth
Peter Southam Bethel Emily Lepage Wolfeboro Falls NH Eileen Delaney Yarmouth Cynthia Densmore Portland
Karen Vellekamp Stow Michael Montgomery Vienna John Gordon Old Orchard Beach Sarah Conner Self Bangor
Sharon Conover Oakland Judith Hotchkiss Deer Isle Jody Ryan Portland Catherine Donovan Presque Isle
Mimi Rigassio Rockland Blaise Masse Lebanon Diane-Marie Colby Searsport Pat & Carol Will Falmouth
Bill McQuaid Brunswick Ali Khavari Brewer Joey M. Engling Hoboken NJ Robert Bolster Winthrop
Mark Rolerson Casco Abby Weissman Stowe VT Leo Todd Limerick Bernard Zike Warren
Anita Brosius-Scott Camden David Waggoner & Deann Marsh Gorham Nancy E. St Laurent Scarborough Ellen Shell Bremen
David Rotford Mexico Marcus Payne Portland Robert Traill III South Portland Sarah Lavalette Portland
Wes Rothermel Belfast Suzanne Brink Cumberland David Doherty Orland Brian & Hollee Black China
Aileen Kennedy Farmington Shirley Kalloch South Portland Theresa Taylor-Libby Topsham Linda Malmquist Dayton
Lise Thibeault Lewiston Jill Norton Lewiston Jim Sinclair Belchertown MA Asa Reed Windham
Jennifer McConnell Winthrop Andrew Abrams & Priya Natarajan Portland Michael Magalski Kennebunk Shannon Belt Portland
Rose Cleary Portland Ester Franklin Portland Garrett Corbin Bangor Donald Roane Sanford
Cynthia Dechenes Brunswick Cecily Rich Yarmouth Beverley Litchfield Scarborough Cynthia Aiken Yarmouth
Bob Boudewijn Portland Roderick Hanson Saco Andrew Parr Bethel Pierre Avignon West Newbury
Roger Lee Belfast Nicholas McKenney Gorham David Smith Famingdale Cris Gansell-Whitcomb Picture Rocks PA
Gary Stern Portland Martha Riehle South Portland Edward Gleason Farmington Matt O’Reilly Falmouth
Meg Albright South Freeport Cameron Edgecomb Lewiston Richard Boisvert Springvale Thomas Archambault Bristol
Lee Ann Smith Palermo Barbara Burdick Ellsworth Richard E. Johnson Acton Marybeth Carmody Boothbay
Laura Lapierre Windham Lillian Wright Hartford Holly Merriam Rockport Rebecca Lincoln Rockland
Tim Mclain Portland Elizabeth Lingenfelter Hampden Delia Austin Brunswick Terrance Parker Portsmouth NH
Alexander Jaegerman Portland Mark Austin Saco Tim Blanchette Falmouth
David Critchfield South Portland Charles Marshall Acushnet MA Kathleen Winn Brunswick
PAGE 8 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Maine Handicapped Skiing Supports Disabled Cyclists
Michael Scheck of Portland named his bicycle PCPPV, short for Pretty Cool “For a lot of the folks we serve,” says Eric Topper, the program’s outreach director,
Pedal-Powered Vehicle. Cycling has become a big part of his life as he regains “the big thing we can do for them is get the wind in their faces…A lap around Back
strength after a stroke that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. Cove is going to be a real big deal. They’re not doing anything for the next three
Scheck, 57, uses his recumbent trike to get around town, commuting two or
three days a week to his job at Goodwill Industries in downtown Portland. He Jeremy Baker is at the other end of the spectrum. A construction accident left Baker
pushes himself to meet fitness goals on his bike, such as riding 60 miles in a paralyzed from the waist down and using a wheelchair at age 26. Bicycling on a
day. And he’s connected with a community of cyclists through a program run hand-powered recumbent trike helped boost his confidence as well as his physical
by Maine Handicapped Skiing. Participating in the program’s biweekly rides at conditioning. (In winter, he mono-skis and competes on Maine Handicapped Ski-
Portland’s Back Cove “always lifts my spirits,” he says. ing’s racing team.) He now can load the bike in his car and transport himself from
his home in Waterford to the Back Cove rides.
In 2009, Baker and a friend biked throughout the warmer months at the Fryeburg
helped Michael Fairgrounds. They’d ride for 30 to 35 miles a day on a fairly flat route.
“This year, I just decided I was going to do hills,” says Baker, now 29 and a full-time
strength after college student. In July, he challenged himself by climbing about two miles up
photo courtesy Maine Handicapped Skiing
a stroke. He Evans Notch, hauling his wheelchair on his bike in case he needed to change a
tire. After descending, he turned around and did the whole ride in the opposite
in a program
run by Maine
Baker says he feels “a sense of freedom, to kind of push the boundaries of what I’m
able to do after my accident.” He planned to compete in the Beach to Beacon race
on his bike for the second year in a row. And he has his sights on an even bigger
challenge in the future: a century ride that includes climbing up three peaks in the
Scheck, the Portland cyclist, bought an adaptive cycle two years ago. Soon after-
Maine Handicapped Skiing runs the cycling program from June through ward, he started biking on his own on city streets. Now, in addition to his 10-mile,
August. Children and adults with permanent, physical disabilities can roundtrip commutes to work, he bikes to the gym, the Yarmouth farmers market,
participate for free, using adaptive cycles that cost upwards of $3,000. They his granddaughter’s field hockey games in Westbrook and lots of other destinations.
receive instruction on the bikes, and trained volunteers accompany them on
While many people feel embarrassed by their disabilities, Scheck says, biking makes
rides around the cove.
him feel “within the standard deviation” of normal.
When Scheck first showed up three years ago, he wasn’t sure how he could Scheck plans to ride his bike through the first snowstorm. Then, he said, “I put it in
ride a bike. As a result of the stroke, he lost his balance as well as the use of the shed, lock it up and pray for April.”
his left side.
Maine Handicapped Skiing depends largely on donations and volunteer help to run
He tried a “tadpole” trike, with two wheels in front and one in back, and that the cycling program and its other offerings, all free to participants. To find out more,
gave him the stability that he needed. He used his hands to cycle, until he please visit www.skimhs.org.
built up his leg strength enough to try foot pedals.
At first, Scheck’s right leg did all of the work; his left leg was strapped onto a A con-
photo by Shoshana Hoose
pedal to keep it from dragging. But the repeated motion of going in circles struction
made his left leg “click in” after a while, he says. His left side continues to gain accident left
strength as a result of biking as well as workouts at the gym.
Maine Handicapped Skiing began the summer cycling program about a
decade ago to help participants stay active and connected to each other be- waist down.
tween ski seasons. One sunny morning last July, Scheck joined 10 others who He started cy-
had disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and spina bifida. cling through
Most rode recumbent trikes, with handlebars, gears and brakes positioned to
run by Maine
suit their abilities. The program also has a couple of upright tandems, used by Handicapped
people who are visually impaired and their volunteer companions. Skiing.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 9
Scenes from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s
2010 Summer Events
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Ninth Annual Women’s Ride in Freeport drew 400
riders reflecting the full spectrum of women cyclists - from triathletes and racers
to friends enjoying a leisurely morning ride through beautiful farm country and
along the coast.
Known for its supportive atmosphere, the ride helped some women meet their
personal fitness goals of biking farther than they ever had before. Lillian Wright
of Auburn and her niece, Rebecca Wright, completed their first-ever 25-mile ride.
“The volunteers are great,” said Wright. “The route is well-marked. And there’s
very little traffic.” Check online soon at www.BikeMaine.org for a video of the
2010 Women’s Ride.
Seven hundred cyclists participated in the Ninth Annual Maine Lobster Ride &
Roll in Rockland, riding a total of 39,226 miles. WMTW (Channel 8) provided live
coverage of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Fifty
volunteers helped out on everything from registering riders to serving freshly
made lobster rolls and greeting cyclists on their return to Rockland District High
Thanks to the volunteer photographers who documented these events: Leah
Arsenault, Ron Levere, Chris Percival and Rick Smith.
Save the eDateplace
Rid & Roll will take
The Tenth Annual Maine Lobster
ck the Bicycle Coalition
on July 23, 2011 in Rockland. Che
aine.org) for updated
of Maine’s Web site (www.BikeM
information about our other 201
PAGE 10 www.BikeMaine.org Fall
Volunteers Needed for
Winter might be on its way… but things are just starting to heat up for next
Want to be a part of the planning teams for either of the Great Maine Bike
Swaps, the Women’s Ride or the Maine Lobster Ride & Roll? The Bicycle Coalition
always is eager to have more members join in the fun and bring new ideas to
make our events bigger and better!
There are open positions on all of the event committees. Meetings will be un-
derway soon to plan next year’s events. For more information about any of the
committees listed below, please contact Allison Vogt, the coalition’s executive
director, at Allison@BikeMaine.org or (207) 623-4511.
Great Portland Bike Swap Committee: Meets monthly from December
through April in Portland, typically on a weekday morning from 8 to 9 a.m.
Great Orono Bike Swap Committee: Meets monthly from January through
April in Orono, typically on a weekday morning from 8 to 9 a.m.
Women’s Ride Committee: Meets monthly from January through May in
Freeport or Brunswick, typically on a weekday morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
Maine Lobster Ride & Roll Committee: Meets monthly year-round in either
Rockland or Augusta, typically on a weekday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 11
Inland Hospital Expands
Waterville Trail Network
photo by Ellen Wells
by Ellen Wells Inland Hospital Community Wellness Coordinator
Your local hospital probably isn’t the first destination that comes to mind as you head
out to exercise. But Inland Hospital in Waterville has become an increasingly popular
meeting place for road cyclists, mountain bikers and walkers alike.
Throughout the summer, dozens of brightly clad cyclists gathered at Inland’s back
parking lot for a popular, weekly tour of nearby communities. Mountain bikers flocked
to a new trailhead to explore the Inland Woods Trail and the miles of singletrack on the
adjacent Pine Ridge Recreation Area. An increasing number of families, dog walkers,
geocachers and other outdoor enthusiasts discovered the new trails and restored recre-
ation area that celebrated its official opening on September 25.
“By improving our facilities and surroundings for our staff, patients and community, we
can encourage physical fitness and social interaction, and ultimately enhance the quality
of life in central Maine,” said John Dalton, Inland’s president and chief executive officer.
The Maine Department of Conservation’s Bureau of Parks and Lands awarded Inland a
$35,000 Recreational Trail Program grant to build the trails on and around its campus.
The grant covered nearly three-quarters of the $48,000 cost, with the balance provided
by the hospital and in-kind donations.
Colby College students worked on a new trail near Inland Hospital in Waterville
Waterville’s Parks and Recreation Department, Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and neigh-
as part of their freshman orientation.
boring landowners joined forces with Inland to support the renaissance of the neglected
Pine Ridge trail system and to add miles of trails for all to enjoy. Thanks to the hard work
of Inland employees, the Central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike As-
transportation. The projects include a crosswalk at the hospital entrance and
sociation, the Maine Conservation Corps and other enthusiastic volunteers, the beautiful
installation of bike racks.
old tote roads, stone walls and pine forests right in Inland’s backyard have become a
destination recreation area. To learn more about the new trails and other improvements, visit www.
inlandhospital.org or contact me at email@example.com or (207) 861-3292.
Inland also is working with MaineDOT and the city of Waterville on projects to enhance
pedestrian safety and to encourage access to the hospital campus via all modes of Ellen Wells serves on the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Advisory Board.
Support the Coalition through
MaineShare’s Workplace Giving
Did you know that you can support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine right at your workplace?
MaineShare provides funds for a clean and healthy environment, fair treatment for all and safe, livable
communities. Through workplace giving, you can donate a few dollars a week out of your paycheck and
direct it to causes that you care about, such as the Bicycle Coalition. MaineShare has provided more than
$80,000 in operating funds for the coalition since it became a member in 1997.
MaineShare is offered as a payroll giving choice at more than 150 workplaces in Maine. If your workplace
is not on the list, contact Hildie at MaineShare (firstname.lastname@example.org), or check out www.maineshare.
org. MaineShare is always looking to partner with more workplaces to provide an easy way for you and
your co-workers to support causes of your choosing.
Since 1989, MaineShare has raised and distributed more than $3 million for statewide groups such as the
Bicycle Coalition of Maine that are working for a clean, healthy and prosperous Maine. With one gift, you
can support a lot of groups you care about. To find out more, visit www.maineshare.org or call 622-0105.
PAGE 12 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Local Initiatives Improve Biking and Walking in Maine
by Dan Stewart MDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager
Everyday is an adventure in planning. Communi- Maine. Safe Routes to School projects were proposed in communities such as Mon-
ties throughout Maine are making changes to mouth, Madison, Hampden, Gouldsboro and Kittery. Communities seeking bicycle
improve the quality of the built environment. My and pedestrian trail connections included Lewiston, Scarborough, South Portland,
job enables me to work with local officials, school Gorham, Brownfield, Richmond, Westbrook, Windham and Augusta.
staff, advocates, planners, environmentalists,
A MaineDOT engineer, my intern Molly Dow and I visited with a group from each
safety experts, law enforcement officers and the
community to discuss their project and to learn about its importance. I had a first-
public. We collaborate on projects and initiatives
hand glimpse of what communities already have accomplished in making more
that improve and enable safe transportation
livable and safe environments, and the visions that they are working to imple-
options, create quality community environments, attract economic development,
ment. Next time, I will bring a professional videographer to document how Maine
improve residents’ health and reduce pollution.
communities are working so hard, at so many levels, to transform themselves, to
As I write this column, I have just returned from a historic event: the opening of the become more livable.
Bayside Trail, a paved connection through the heart of Portland. As I listened to
When you are out and about, take a look at our village centers. Notice the bright,
speakers at the opening ceremony, I realized how important this vision turned to
new crosswalks, sidewalks, park benches and bike lanes. Visit one of the recently
reality is for Maine’s largest city. I thought to myself… people will be walking and
built or expanded bicycle and pedestrian trails such as the Down East Sunrise Trail,
biking on this trail hundreds and perhaps thousands of years into the future as the
Eastern Trail, Mountain Division Rail with Trail or the Kennebec River Rail Trail.
city continues to grow around it. I could hear children’s laughter, as people walked
Experience the results of the visions turned into reality…..Quality Community
and biked together, away from traffic… Munjoy Hill hovered above, downtown
buildings loomed off to the right.
Many are working at the local level; all are making our communities safer and
Most of Maine’s bicycling and walking projects are far less dramatic in scale, but
more livable. What an experience it was to see the passion and dedication of those
just as important to the fabric of their communities. In July, 45 towns and cities
working toward a better tomorrow. If you would like a report showing where these
around the state applied to the MaineDOT Quality Community Program to partner
completed trails and other successful projects are located, or for more information
on improvements for walking and bicycling.
on how you can get involved in making change in your neighborhood, town or city,
Sidewalks were requested in Houlton, Caribou, Machias, Dixfield, Brunswick, Cape give me a call!
Elizabeth, Portland, Kennebunk, Rockland, Rangeley and other towns all over
Dan Stewart can be reached at 624-3252.
Two Join Bicycle Coalition
of Maine’s Board
Dana McEwan of Portland and Laurie McReel of Oakland have joined the Bicycle
Coalition of Maine’s board of directors. Nancy Grant has been elected to a second
term as board president. John Wright is continuing as treasurer and Mark Ishkanian
is serving as secretary.
McEwan bought a used road bike at the Bicycle Coalition’s Great Portland Bike Swap
in 2006 and she’s been hooked on cycling ever since. She rides an average of 3,000
to 3,500 miles a year, including commuting to work and participating in organized Dana McEwan Laurie McReel
events and races. She also writes a blog about cycling and bicycle culture (http://
ing and touring and belongs to the Central Maine Cycling Club. As office manager
McEwan started a weekly women’s ride in Portland in 2008, and she helped found for her husband’s dental practice in Waterville, she schedules lots of vacation time
the Portland Women’s Velo Club in 2009. A lifelong Mainer, she works as an execu- for bike trips.
tive assistant at Norton Financial Service.
McReel is a longtime member of the Bicycle Coalition and a past board member of
McReel has been cycling since she and her husband, John Poirier, gave each other Kennebec Messalonskee Trails. She wants to help the coalition encourage people to
bicycles for wedding presents 33 years ago. She enjoys road riding, mountain bik- get outside, exercise and feel healthier and happier.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 13
Ask the Experts
Charley LaFlamme and John Brooking Explain Rules of the Road
Is Riding Side by Side Legal?
If a single cyclist is allowed to control a narrow
A police officer pulled over a group of southern Maine cyclists in July with the
complaint that they were not riding single file. The officer insisted that riding lane, then two cyclists side by side will cause no
two abreast was against the law. The group happened to include a Bicycle Coali- additional inconvenience to motorized vehicles.
tion of Maine board member, and a flurry of e-mails ensued.
Be careful, however, when frequent opposing traffic makes sharing a two-lane road
It turns out that Maine has no law that specifically addresses riding two abreast.
more difficult. Given the choice between having to slow down and wait behind a cyclist
The officer probably had in mind the law that requires cyclists to ride as far right
or “threading the needle” between the cyclist and oncoming traffic, far too many drivers
as practicable, or the law that prevents impeding traffic. What do these laws
opt for the latter. Cyclists may need to control the lane for their own safety, whether
have to say about the decision to ride side by side or single file?
they ride two abreast or single file.
The ride-to-the-right law states that a bicyclist travelling “less than the normal
The discussion so far has focused on Maine’s “ride to the right” law. What about Maine’s
speed of traffic” should operate “as far to the right as practicable,” except under
a variety of situations which make it not feasible or reasonable. Some of the
explicitly listed exceptions include when a lane is too narrow to share, when the This law states, “A person may not operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to
cyclist is preparing to turn left or when the cyclist is avoiding right-turning cars impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is
or hazardous conditions such as parked cars, bad pavement, sand and debris. The necessary for safe operation of the motor vehicle or in compliance with law.”
law states that shoulder use is allowed but not mandatory.
First, notice the use of the phrase “motor vehicle.” Does this even apply to bicyclists?
If a single cyclist is not restricted to the right side of the lane, then it seems logi- Common sense would say no, but there is some debate about that in Maine. Bicyclists
cal that two or three cyclists side by side should be no different. For example, if are considered drivers of vehicles, but not necessarily of motor vehicles. We are not
a single cyclist is allowed to control a narrow lane, then two cyclists side by side lawyers and we are not aware of a judicial ruling on the issue, so we can’t say for sure.
will cause no additional inconvenience to motorized vehicles.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the impeding law does apply to cyclists. Even
In fact, overtaking drivers may find it more convenient for a large group of cyclists so, not all impeding is illegal. Traffic flow is legally impeded all the time by such things
to ride side by side rather than having each cyclist control the lane sequentially. as a left-turning car ahead needing to wait for oncoming traffic to clear, making both
On a road with two or more lanes in each direction, the cyclists should occupy the left-turner and traffic behind him wait. We also are impeded by stopped school
only the lane farthest to the right, except when changing lanes for a left turn. buses, trains and traffic lights. The statute says the action must prevent the “normal and
reasonable movement of traffic” to be illegal.
When the road or lane is wide enough to be shared with motor traffic (generally
defined as 14 feet or greater), the ride-to-the-right law dictates that bicyclists We consider that faster traffic slowing momentarily for cyclists and possibly needing to
stay as far right as practicable, again excluding certain situations, so that faster look for a safe passing opportunity is very normal and reasonable. Some states give a
vehicles may pass. If there is space for riding two abreast while allowing motor guideline for how many cars need to be stacked up or for how long to constitute illegal
vehicles safe passage, that should be acceptable, though it probably will not impeding, but Maine does not. Common courtesy would dictate that if a group requires
happen often. some amount of impeding to be safe, the group should be sensitive to the car traffic
behind and not impede beyond what would be considered reasonable. If riding single
If the lane can be shared only when cycling single file, then side-by-side riders
file can be done safely, it should be encouraged. If not, consider pulling aside briefly if
should single up when the call of “car back” is passed up the line and allow the
the traffic is stacked up behind you.
car to pass. If the road has a usable shoulder, that might present an opportunity
for continued side-by-side riding, with one person using the shoulder while the Without a specific prohibition against riding abreast or a more quantitative definition
other rides in the shareable lane. of illegal impeding, the “ride-to-the-right” law and the impeding statute both give very
broad guidance that depends on the road configuration. Know your legal rights, but
Although there may not be a strict legal requirement to ride single file in a
also keep in mind your ability to be good ambassadors of cycling by allowing cars to pass
narrow lane, a group might consider doing so anyway. For example, each lane
when it is safe to do so.
of a narrow, two-lane road may itself be too narrow to share. But if there isn’t
much traffic, motorists often are willing to cross the double-yellow line when it Charley LaFlamme, the coalition’s founder and a longtime board member, is a League
is convenient for them, in order to give adequate passing distance to a bicyclist Cycling Instructor (LCI) with more than 35 years of experience teaching bicycle safety to
riding at about the right tire track. A group may consider singling up on a “car children and adults. John Brooking also is an LCI and serves on the coalition board. Send
back” to allow the overtaking motorist to pass even in these narrow lane cases, as your questions about safe bicycle driving to email@example.com and they will be
a gesture towards peaceable relations between cyclists and motorists. answered in future columns.
PAGE 14 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Partners with GoMaine
on Commuter Program
by Jim Tasse Education Director
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has partnered with the GoMaine Commuter
Program to develop a Bicycle Commuter Education Program. A pilot program
was presented at 13 Maine worksites during the spring and summer, and it will
be rolled out statewide in the coming months.
The program offers guidance to businesses that want to promote bicycling
at their worksites. Whether the aim is to improve employees’ health or to
encourage bicycle commuting as part of a “green” worksite culture, the program The staff of Gorham Bike and Ski includes
provides practical advice and information to everyone from wobbly newbies to (from left): Fred Robie, Tim Corcoran, Dave
Palese, Hank Pfeifle, Greg Dolbec, Jamie
Wright and Shannon Carroll.
The program is extremely flexible so that it can fit into worksite schedules,
spaces and formats. Businesses can choose a standard program with three ses- Spotlight on Gorham
sions and a ride, or they can select the information that best suits their needs
from an “a la carte” menu. Bike and Ski
The standard program begins with a session on “Bicycling Basic Equipment,” Jamie Wright opened Gorham Bike and Ski in Gorham 15 years ago. He loved to cycle
covering bike selection and fitting, helmets, shorts, pedals, how to be seen on and wanted to help others benefit from a healthy, active lifestyle.
bike and related topics. The second session, “Basic Bicycle Operation,” teaches
Now located in downtown Portland, the main store continues to serve cyclists of all
how to do a pre-ride check of equipment and the principles of safe bicycle driv-
abilities and ages, from children just learning how to ride to elite athletes competing
ing on roadways. The third session addresses basic maintenance such as tire
at the highest levels of the sport. Gorham Bike and Ski also has a store in Saco and a
repair, more complex traffic questions and other topics raised by the group.
seasonal, cross-country ski store in Jackson, New Hampshire. The store is a longtime
member of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
...the program provides practical advice
“Gorham Bike and Ski prides itself on its customer service,” says Dave Palese, the store’s
and information to everyone from wobbly general manager. “A well-trained and knowledgeable staff is there to understand
newbies to aspiring triathletes. customers’ needs and wants, and then connect them with the right products.”
The store sells Giant and Specialized bikes and services bicycles of all kinds. Customers
The standard program concludes with an optional group ride that demonstrates also can buy and sell used bikes at Gorham Bike and Ski.
basic bike handling maneuvers and vehicular riding in traffic. The program can “The most obvious trend in the industry, at least with our brands, has been an ever-
be fine-tuned to include information on how businesses can encourage bicycle increasing value in the bike lines,” says Palese. “Each year, you simply get better and
commuting by such means as providing showers and bike racks. better bikes for less money - whether you’re talking about family bikes or top-of-the-
Experienced instructors trained in safe cycling practices teach the commuter line carbon road bikes.”
education classes. The program is geared to cyclists at levels ranging from Gorham Bike and Ski sponsors the Southern Maine Cycling Club and a number of bicycle
novice to intermediate/advanced. Special arrangements can be made for races, triathlons and other events, including the Scarborough Crit Series. The store also
expert-level presentations. holds spin classes and workshops for triathletes. “Girls and Gears Night” brings women
into the shop for talks on topics such as bike fit plus special discounts and clinics.
The goal of the education program is to encourage bicycle commuting. Par-
ticipants who sign up for free with GoMaine can take advantage of GoMaine’s Palese says the bike shop’s staff sets it apart.
Emergency Ride Home Guarantee that allows for a free or reimbursed taxi ride
“Over the years, we’ve put together an awesome core group of full-time, year-round
or rental car ride home in the event of a workday emergency.
staff members,” he said. “During the height of the bike season, we have several sea-
To find out more about the Bicycle Commuter Education Program and to sonal employees who come back each year.” When they’re not working, the staff can be
arrange for it to come to your place of business, please contact me at jim@ found biking at favorite places such as Bradbury Mountain State Park.
bikemaine.org (207-623-4511) or contact Erik West of GoMaine at ewest@ Gorham Bike and Ski is located at 693 Congress Street, Portland (773-1700) and 247
gpcog.org (207-774-9891). Main Street, Saco (283-2453). The store’s Web site is http://gorhambike.com.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 15
A Standing Ovation for
the Bicycle Coalition of
by Cecelia Garton Volunteer Coordinator
Putting on an event like the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Women’s Ride
and the Maine Lobster Ride & Roll reminds me of staging a play. People
appreciate and applaud what they see on the day of the event, but there
often is little or no recognition for all that goes on before the production
and behind the scenes.
Here are the people who volunteered on the Women’s Ride and the Maine
Lobster Ride. Committee members are listed in bold type; they devoted
weeks and months to planning the events. Let’s give a standing ovation
for all who made these events a success.
Women’s Ride Volunteers
David Adams Ronald Levere Cathy Robie
Lisa Arsenault William McMurray Fred Robie
Leah Arsenault Margaritt McNulty Jane Self
Tony Barrett Maureen McQuown Richard Smith
tish carr Alison McQuown Sharon Smythe
Sara Dostie Laurie McReel Kim True
Polly Frawley Alan Mills Maggie Warren
Pete Frye Margaret Morrison Nancy White
Steve Garton Ellis Oliver Bill White
Nancy Grant Elizabeth Patten Paul Womer
Wendy Hallenbeck Chris Percival Phyllis Wolfe
Kathleen Hamel Peter Phair Dave Wood
Brooke Hamilton Beth Richardson John Wright
Lindsay Hancock Becca Robie
Maine Lobster Ride & Roll Volunteers
Melissa Arndt Gladys Gugan Ken Pote
Martha Arterberry Robin Jordan Jeanne Pursel
Dave Auclair Charlie Jordan Penny Read
Dawn Baumer Georgia Kellough Steve Ropiak
Beau Beausley Tug Kellough Jane Self
Ellen Bladen Barbara Larson Richard Smith
Rachel Bladen Isabelle Lobley Dave Talley
Rita Blais Anne Logue Kathy Thyng
Chris Bragg Christine Marty Dick Vermeulen
Cindy Bryant Susan Masone Bob Verrill
Carol Butler Ann McMath Maggie Warren
Dennis Camber Jon McMath Pam Watson
Cindy Charlson Joe Patten Chris Wells
Denise Crowell Alan Pease Ellen Wells
Joel Fishman Marnie Pease Charles Wescott
Steve Garton Chris Percival Nancy White
Ray Giglio Peter Phair Sue Winters
Sharon Greenleaf Jim Philbrook Dave Wood
James Gregg Suzanne Philbrook
PAGE 16 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
Bicycle Coalition Participates in Martin’s Point Bridge Committee
by Sue Ellen Bordwell
The Martin’s Point Bridge Advisory Committee is working on plans to replace the MaineDOT expects to issue a request for proposals for the bridge project in October
Route 1 bridge between Falmouth and Portland that is used by many cyclists. 2011 and to award a contract in March 2012. Construction is slated to begin that
Formed in July, the committee will meet for nine to 12 months. July, with a completion date of July 2014.
I am representing the Bicycle Coalition of Maine on the advisory committee. The advisory committee wants the public to have information as the project moves
Other members include officials from Falmouth, Portland and MaineDOT, bridge forward. I am happy to hear your thoughts. You also may contact the project
neighbors, Route 1 business owners, historic preservationists, a representative from coordinator, Leanne Timberlake, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Trails and others interested in the project. Sally Oldham is facilitating the
Sue Ellen Bordwell, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s representative to the Martin’s
committee’s work, using a collaborative approach.
Point Bridge Advisory Committee, can be reached at email@example.com.
The committee has spent some time learning about the bridge’s history and taking
a field visit there. We’ve also become familiar with the Design Build Process, which
combines the project design and construction under one contract. Contracts are
awarded based on technical scoring as well as the cost of the proposal.
New Maine Bicycling Guide
Hot Off the Presses
by Shoshana Hoose Communications Coordinator
I’ve loved my copy of “Explore Maine by Bike” to pieces. When I open the cover,
cue sheets spill out, reminding me of the great rides that I’ve taken from Deer
Isle to Fryeburg, Calais to Kittery and many places in between.
Originally printed in 2003, the popular guidebook has been updated and
expanded. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine partnered with MaineDOT to produce
the new guide covering every region of the state. The book has tours for cyclists
of all abilities, with distances ranging from 10 to 107 miles.
All of the 33 loop tours and other content in the book will be posted at www.
exploremaine.org/bike. Paper copies of the free guide are available at tourist
information centers, bike shops and by calling MaineDOT at 624-3272.
Some highlights of the new edition include:
• Several new or expanded tours, in areas such as Andover and Grafton
Notch, Aroostook County, Bethel, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta,
Fryeburg, Kittery, Medway, Sebasticook Valley and Unity. Some tours The Coalition partnered with MaineDOT
incorporate trails such as the Kennebec River Rail Trail.
• Lots of photographs illustrating local landmarks and attractions. to produce the new guide covering
• Newly formatted cue sheets with turn-by-turn directions. every region of the state. The book has
• A new section on mountain biking trails at state and national parks in
Maine. tours for cyclists of all abilities, with dis-
• Another new section highlighting bike-pedestrian trails that are for non- tances ranging from 10 to 107 miles.
motorized use only. The book also has an expanded list of multi-use trails,
shared with All Terrain Vehicles.
• Helpful information about finding accommodations, including a list of state Congratulations to the team that produced the new guide: Maggie Warren,
parks and phone numbers and Web sites for local Chambers of Commerce. Dave Wood, Pete Phair and Allison Vogt of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and
• A review of Maine bicycle laws and safety tips. Dan Stewart, Steve Killam and Kevin Riley of MaineDOT.
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 17
These bike shops support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s work with annual memberships of $250 or above. Please thank These bicycle clubs support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s
them for their support of the coalition when you’re in their shops. A complete list of member bike shops is on our Web site work with annual memberships of $150 or above.
Belfast Bicycle Club
Auclair Cycle & Ski Center Street Cycles mojo
Augusta 800-734-7171 Brunswick 729-5309 Presque Isle 760-9500
Back Bay Bicycle Cycle Mania* Pat’s Bike Shop
MEMBER BIKE SHOPS
Portland 773-6906 Portland 774-2933 Brewer 989-2900 Casco Bay Bicycle Club
MEMBER BIKE CLUBS
Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop Freeman’s Bicycle Service Rainbow Bicycle & Fitness Portland, cascobaybicycleclub.org
Bar Harbor 288-3886 Portland 347-1577 Auburn 784-7576
Belfast Bicycles Freeport Ski & Bike Rose Bicycle Community Cycling Club of Portland
Belfast 388-0008 Freeport 865-0523 Orono 800-656-3525
Bikesenjava Gorham Bike & Ski
Rockland 596-1004 Portland 773-1700 You can support our member bike shops by
Birgfeld’s Bike Shop
Saco 283-2453 Maine Cycling Club
getting your bicycle tuned during the winter.
Searsport 548-2916 Jerry’s Bike Barn Auburn, www.mainecyclingclub.com
Berwick 752-0580 That helps shops stay busy during the quieter
Cadillac Mountain Sports
Bar Harbor 288-4532 LL Bean Bike, Boat & Ski Store months, and it ensures that your bike will be
Portland Velo Club
Ellsworth 667-7819 Freeport 755-2326 ready to ride as soon as the snow melts.
These businesses support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s work with annual memberships of $250 or above. A complete list of
member businesses is on our Web site (www.BikeMaine.org).
American Diabetes Association GoMaine Commuter Connections Terrance J. DeWan and Assoc.
Portland 888-DIABETES Portland 774-9891 Yarmouth 846-0757
American Lung Association of Maine Kennebec Savings Bank T.Y. Lin International
Augusta 624-0302 Augusta 622-5801 Falmouth 781-4721
Apogee Adventures Maine Hospice Council VBT Bicycling Vacations*
Brunswick 725-7025 Augusta 626-0651 Bristol VT 800-245-3868
Argus Bicycle Company Maine MS Society *Yellow Jersey Club member
Van Buren 868-2200 Falmouth 781-7960
Bay Wrap of Augusta Penobscot Environmental Consulting
Augusta 338-9757 Yarmouth 653-2452
Bread & Roses Bakery*
New York, NY
Downeast Bicycle Specialists* Summer Feet Maine Coast A Bicycle Coalition of Maine women’s
Fryeburg 935-4242 Cycling Adventures light blue T-shirt
Portland 866-857-9544 with dark blue lettering is available for
Duratherm Window* $15 in our
Vassalboro 872-5558 The Tenney Powers Evans Financial Group online store at www.BikeMaine.org. Mem
Flatbread Company or renewing at the $75 level receive a
Portland 772-8777 T-shirt (men’s
style and sizes also are available) or a
water bottle as a
INVEST IN BETTER BICYCLING TODAY!
Please show your support and contribute to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine
$1,000 Yellow Jersey Club
(receive limited edition Yellow Jersey,
Give $75 and receive
$250 Leader our T-shirt
(receive Lighthouse jersey)
$125 Sustainer mens womens
(receive water bottle and T-shirt)
S M L XL
(choose water bottle ___
or shirt size: ) Get Your Newsletter
the “Green” Way
Receive Newsletter Electronically?
PAGE 18 www.BikeMaine.org Fall 2010
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Yellow Jersey Club
Our Yellow Jersey Club is a community of members who have chosen
to support better bicycling in Maine at the incredibly generous
level of $1,000 or more. Members who choose to give at the Yellow
Jersey Club level believe that a significant contribution to the Bicycle
Coalition of Maine is a worthy investment in our past, present and
In addition to receiving the special “Dirigo” yellow jersey, members
of the Yellow Jersey Club are invited to special rides and events and
also to lead the rides at the Maine Lobster Ride & Roll. Yellow Jersey
Club members also receive invitations to special events from Allison
Vogt, the coalition’s executive director.
For more information about joining the Yellow Jersey Club, please
contact Allison at 623-4511 or Allison@BikeMaine.org.
Yellow Jersey Club Members
Harry Ankers Chelsea
Moe & Lorraine Bisson Brunswick
Karen Herold and Mark Isaacson of Cumberland
Mary Breen Ogunquit
Karen Herold and Mark Isaacson began their bicycling life together in 1975 by riding on the David Brink & Ed Quinn Portland
Cabot Trail around Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton. “Cyclists were rare on Cape Breton in those Philip Coffin & Susan Peck Carrabassett Valley
days,” Isaacson recalled. “At one point, we encountered a motorcycle descending while we Tim Downing Vassalboro
were climbing. The driver was so astonished that he drove right off the road,” fortunately Janika Eckert & Rob Johnston Albion
Dan & Lauren Emery North Yarmouth
Dillon Gillies Bethel
Herold and Isaacson have had many bicycle adventures since then as they’ve toured all over Leon & Lisa Gorman Yarmouth
the U.S. and in Scandinavia, Italy, Taiwan and Costa Rica. Bicycling also is a big part of their Ellen Grant & Kevin Carley Kolonia
lives in Maine. The couple, who live in Cumberland, join a group of friends on Thursday Nancy Grant & Mike Boyson Portland
nights during the warmer months for bike rides ending with potluck dinners. Ralph Hamill & Susan Akers
Karen Herold & Mark Isaacson Cumberland
“I like the simplicity of biking, the ease of parking and the little break the journey gives for Mark & Ginger Ishkanian Readfield
one’s own thoughts, which are richer for the rushing fresh air and the bit of exercise,” says Richard Long Orono
Herold. “On vacation expeditions, I love exploring new geographies by bike, because the John & Anne Marshall Addison
pace and the exposure of biking are optimal for learning about new regions.” Gregg & Caroline Marston Bristol, VT
Jeffrey Miller & Lotte Schlegel Washington, D.C.
Isaacson frequently commutes by bike 24-miles roundtrip to his job. He’s an energy Doug Moore Fryeburg
consultant and a smart grid and solar power developer who has worked on hydro and wind Scott & Ponee Roberts Gorham
generation projects. Cathy & Fred Robie Freeport
Larry & Robin Rubinstein Scarborough
The couple joined the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at the Yellow Jersey Club level because they
Peter & Kerry Rubinstein New York, NY
support the coalition’s efforts to create more bicycle infrastructure in Maine and to spread a Jeff Saffer Cape Elizabeth
Share the Road message. Robert Satter Avon, CT
Jane Self & Ken Pote Camden
Isaacson has had many close encounters with vehicles driving in a way that is unsafe and
Cynthia Sortwell South Portland
sometimes deliberately aggressive. “If you can refrain from shouting or obscene gestures,”
Ellen Sudow & Joseph Higdon Washington, D.C.
he said, “you realize the need for public education and the work of the coalition.”
Austin & Manny Watts Bowdoin
Herold appreciates the Bicycle Coalition’s efforts to encourage more people to try biking. Mark & Kitty Wheeler Woolwich
Nancy & Bill White Bethel
“To my mind,” she said, “every bicyclist is helping the public good by easing traffic conges- Garth & Nancy Wilbanks Winterport
tion, parking, road wear, pollution and health insurance costs…The more bikes there are Scott & Kelly Withers South Portland
out on the road, the more drivers will be used to bikes, and the friendlier the communities John & Loren Wright Woolwich
will be for their citizens.”
Fall 2010 www.BikeMaine.org PAGE 19
The BCM is proudly affiliated with:
ABW-LOGO_!Final_OLtext BW.pdf 10/4/2010 7:10:16 PM Augusta, ME
PO Box 5275, Augusta, ME 04332-5275
(207) 623-4511 • info@BikeMaine.org
Thanks to the Bicycle Coalition for Holiday Gifts for Bicyclists
making Maine a better place to bicycle The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s online store at www.BikeMaine.org has lots of
creative holiday gifts for the bicyclists in your life. You’ll find presents to suit every
• The “High Mountains of the Tour”
belt showcasing the terrain of the
Tour de France ($35). The Belted Cow
Company in Yarmouth is donating
www.durathermwindow.com 10 percent of the proceeds from this
www.yorkspiralstair.com Maine-made belt to the coalition.
• A gift membership to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, starting at $35 for a
household. Members receive our quarterly newsletter, “Maine Cyclist,” regular
27th Annual bicycling news updates and discounts on coalition events and at member
Trek Across Maine Visit www.BikeMaine.org for more gift ideas, including T-shirts with the Bicycle
June 17-19, 2011 Coalition’s new logo. All support the coalition’s work to improve bicycling in Maine.
featured the Trek as one of the Sign Up to Get Our Newsletter the “Green” Way
“Top 10 Epic Events for People
Who Just Can’t Stop Cycling!” You can save energy and help the Bicycle Coalition of Maine cut costs by receiving
future copies of “Maine Cyclist” electronically. As an added benefit, you will receive the
Come see for yourself!
newsletter a couple of weeks earlier! We will e-mail you a link to download “Maine
Join Charlie LaFlamme on the Cyclist” four times a year. The file is about 2 MB so before you sign up, be sure you can
2011 Bicycle Coalition of Maine Team!
download a file that large.
Register online at: biketreknewengland.org
or call: 1-888-241-6566 x. 0302
To sign up for this service, please e-mail cecelia@BikeMaine.org and put “electronic
*Be sure to register as part of the coalition’s team!*
newsletter” in the message line.