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January 9, 2019

BikeMaine 2019 ride sells out in record time

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
BikeMaine Village at Manson Park in Pittsfield in September, one of the host communities of 2017's event. The 10-day yearly bike trek has added $3 million to the state's economy since 2013, organizers said. The 2019 tour will visit midcoast and central Maine.

The seventh annual BikeMaine ride has sold out in record time, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine announced.

The week-long cycling tour, which will be held from Sept. 7-14 in the Kennebec River Valley and midcoast regions, has a 450-rider limit.

Registration, which opened on the last night of the 2018 ride, was filled in 15 weeks — "a true testament to the growing popularity of the event," organizers said in the news release.

The event has contributed more than $3.1 million to the state's economy since the first ride, in 2013.

Last year's sold-out ride in northern Aroostook County contributed $742,000 in direct economic impact, said Will Elting, ride director, in the news release. That included $455,000 spent by riders beyond their event registration fees, and $287,000 spent by the Coalition to produce the event, which includes most meals for the participants. Whenever possible, food is purchased from Maine farmers, producers, and lobstermen, highlighting Maine products and local services, Elting said.

The specifics of the 2019 course will be released at the events annual kickoff party on Saturday, Feb. 9, in Belfast. The event still seeks volunteers, the release said.

"BikeMaine is an opportunity to showcase the splendor and natural beauty of Maine, along with its people, culture, and food," Elting said in the release. "It's a very popular cycling event, drawing registrants from across the country and around the world, and we're excited to work alongside the people who live and work in central and midcoast Maine to create a once-in-a-lifetime cycling vacation for those fortunate enough to attend."

The BikeMaine daily schedule is developed to allow participants to enjoy a carefully curated ride each morning, while leaving time to explore the hospitable and welcoming host communities each afternoon. Many local businesses, lodging establishments, bars, restaurants, and gift shops have reported record sales around BikeMaine's visit to their communities in past years.

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