Despite record-breaking, 100-degree temperatures that baked the Midcoast the day before, on July 23, more than 700 bicyclists and 100 volunteers met at Oceanside High School Saturday for the 10th annual Maine Lobster Ride and Roll fundraising event.

The event, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, draws riders from all over the United States and Canada, and sometimes from other countries.

The day started with clouds and sprinkles, which kept the temperatures to a more comfortable level than the hot, unhealthy conditions that blasted the area the day before. Even though weathermen promised clearing skies and more soaring heat, bicyclists still showed up Saturday, ready to roll.

The riders usually come for the scenery, camaraderie and fresh lobster rolls. The ride even has its own queen, longtime volunteer Maggie Warren. Dressed in her royal red lobster claw headband and sparkly tiara, she greets returning cyclists by cheering, banging a meditation bowl and ringing a cowbell.

Participants choose from four distance options — 16, 30, 50 and 100 miles.

Chris Christie, owner of Bikesenjava in Rockland, said the key element during the morning of this year’s ride was the cloud cover. “By the time it gets really hot, the ride will be well underway,” he said.

When asked how the heat would affect those on the longer treks, he said the 100-mile, or century riders, are more experienced and usually know how to deal with adverse conditions. “Initially, [ride officials] were talking about extra first-aid staff to take vitals as finishers came back,” Christie said.

Founder of the ride, Joel Fishman of Rockland, along with other cyclists at the ride, said the rain sprinkles at the start would prove helpful. The rain in the Rockland and Thomaston areas did not let up until around 10:30 a.m.

Steve Ebersole of Auburn, a coalition member, gathered with fellow century trekkers around 8 a.m. to wait for that group’s send off. Ebersole said he has done other bike rides, but that this would be the first time he had done a lobster ride. “It’s a good milestone,” Ebersole said. He also said he had trained for the long ride. “I’ll be doing it on a one-gear bike.”

“It’s great cross-training,” said Christie of Saturday’s event. Having many racers who donned the Bikesenjava jerseys they wear during mountain bike races, Christie said he has, over the years, had a fair number of riders participate in the lobster bike ride.

“It’s a great, scenic ride,” said Linda Welch of Scarborough. Welch has ridden in more than a handful of the rides. “It’s long enough to forget the pain,” Welch said. When asked about doing the century ride during what most were calling a heat wave, Welch said the ride was flexible. She could always change her plans at the halfway mark if she felt it necessary.

Before each distance group headed out, Nancy Grant, new coalition executive director, announced the names of those who had been on every Maine Lobster Ride and Roll since the event started. One of those names announced was Alan Lowe of Waldoboro. Lowe was part of the 50-mile ride Saturday.

Grant said the Maine Lobster Ride and Roll is one of the coalition’s largest and most important fundraising events.

VillageSoup sports reporter Holly Vanorse can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at