Fueled by blueberry pies and lobster rolls, 15 cyclists hailing from Florida to Maine and communities in between pedaled 337 miles on the East Coast Greenway from Calais to Portland, Maine. Riding from July 31 to August 6th, the group enjoyed some of the most scenic and hilly landscapes the ECG route has to offer.
The tour kicked off with an energizing Sunday morning press event at the Wabanaki Culture Center in Calais. Dignitaries from both Canada and the U.S. announced our intent to connect Acadia National Park with Canada’s Fundy National Park via the ECG and the Trans Canada Trail! (Read more in this news article.)
John Ames, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, New Brunswick, Canada
The tour spent evenings in Calais, Machias, Ellsworth, Bangor, Unity, Augusta, Lewiston/Auburn and Portland. Highlights included the rural and rugged Down East Sunrise Trail, the ECG’s longest continuous stretch at 85 miles, the Lewiston Riverside Greenway, the Lisbon Trail system, and the 6.5-mile Kennebec River Rail Trail.
While in the state capital of Augusta, our partners at the Maine Department of Transportation, including Commissioner David Bernhardt and other key MaineDOT personnel, joined us in a press event highlighting the wonderful work MaineDOT has accomplished in installing ECG way finding markers throughout our spine route from Calais to Kittery.
At the tour’s end in Portland, the group was joined by cyclists with Maine Adaptive Sports for a victory lap around Back Cove. (See this news video about the event.)
We estimate the tour’s economic impact to be nearly $20,000, which was spent on lodging, meals and other leisure activities in small rural communities and larger cities throughout Maine. The goals for the tour are to raise funds for the ECGA while nurturing and creating new partnerships and spreading the word about the ECG. All these goals were accomplished while having tons of fun!
We could not have accomplished this wonderful week without our great team of volunteers and all the many friendly folks we met along the route! A special thank you to our support team and volunteers:
- Sue Ellen Bordwell, ECG Maine State Committee Chair
- Ralph Colson, volunteer from Machias, ME
- Debra Coyman, ECGA donor and volunteer from Falmouth, ME
- Judy East, Washington County Council of Governments
- Peter Garrett, Kennebec Messalonskee Trails
- Walt Koenig, our awesome volunteer box truck driver
- Ginger Lawson, ECGA member and volunteer from Falmouth, ME
- Bob Poirier, volunteer from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada
- Steve Rees, Sunrise Trail Coalition and former ECGA Trustee
- Barbara Schneider & Sheila Brennan Nee, Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation
Media about the tour included: It’s Worth the Trip: Great Biking Along the East Coast Greenway | 337-Mile Bike Ride from Calais Reaches Capital | East Coast Greenway Gets Help from Maine DOT (video) | 1 Week, 17 Cyclists, More than 300 Miles (video)
This blog post appeared in our August 2016 E-newsletter. Click this link to read the entire newsletter.