Highlights from the Maine Week a Year Tour

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On the beautiful and rugged Down East Sunrise Trail

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.

New Brunswick Canada's Minister of TourismThe 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

Maine_smThe 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.

MEDOT_smWhile 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.) PortlandMaineAdaptiveALL_sm

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:

Enjoy more photos and stories from some of the riders at their blogs: https://exploringbybike.wordpress.com/ and rhisky104.tumblr.com.

Media about the tour included: It’s Worth the Trip: Great Biking Along the East Coast Greenway | 337-Mile Bike Ride from Calais Reaches CapitalEast 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.

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