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City to host 500+ cyclists Sept. 12 -14

Aug 29, 2019
Courtesy of: Nora McGrath BikeMaine cyclists camp at Steamboat Landing on the waterfront during an earlier visit to Belfast in 2013.

Some 500 or more bicyclists and volunteers with descend on Belfast Sept. 12-14 as part of the seventh annual BikeMaine event.

Riders will camp for two nights at Steamboat Landing Park along the Belfast waterfront. This is the second time in BikeMaine’s history that Belfast will host riders; they last camped on the waterfront in 2013.

The event is designed to promote Maine as a bicycling destination and to bring new focus, attention and dollars to the regions it passes through. Proceeds from the event support BikeMaine host communities and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s cycling and pedestrian initiatives.

Local service organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Waldo County Woodshed, Waldo County YMCA and the Lion’s Club, will be involved in preparing meals for the cyclists. In return for their service, BikeMaine will provide donations to those organizations.

Local businesses and residents should expect to see riders downtown on Thursday and Friday afternoons, Sept. 12 and 13. Each evening, entertainment will be offered on  Belfast Common, weather permitting. On Thursday night, Waterfall Arts will bring the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, and on Friday night The Leaky Boot Jug Band will perform. Both events are open to the public.

Motorists should expect to see an increase of bicyclists on the road in the greater Belfast area Thursday through Saturday. Front Street, from Miller Street and Commercial Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday until noon on Saturday.

Thursday afternoon, Sept. 12, riders will arrive in town from Rockland. On Friday morning, riders will head out on a loop ride through Waldo and Brooks and over to Monroe before heading back to Belfast.

On Saturday, their final morning in Belfast, BikeMaine riders will depart and head west to Waterville, where this year’s ride concludes.

Locally, the effort to bring the cyclists to Belfast has been a collaboration of Belfast Parks & Recreation Department, Waldo County YMCA, Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce and Our Town Belfast.

Last year’s BikeMaine event traveled to Aroostook County and reported a direct economic impact to the region of $285,000. This year, money spent in the local region is expected to include food, local purchases by riders and fees to community organizations to support the ride.

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