FORT KENT (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The 2018 Bike Maine event is over and 455 riders have dispersed to their regular lives.

It was a successful event. At the heart of which were 455 riders who are capable of pedaling 50 miles a day.

We asked Bike Maine riders for some tips to folks who might like to use cycling to get into shape or perhaps to participate in The Dempsey Challenge.

"Increase your mileage slowly," said Michelle Riley of Breman. "Going from 20 miles to 50 miles, you can do it, but it's a lot better if you can take your time to build up on it."

That means it would be difficult to get ready for the long Dempsey ride if you're not already on a program.

Candy LeBlanc thinks that cross-training is important and uses CrossFit to build core strength. "I do a lot of squats and lunges," she said.

It takes work to be in good enough shape to bike for four hours. Bill Muldoon had a long career in Maine media. He says to remember that it's a ride and not a race.

"You find your gear and you take your time," he said. "If someone speeds up the hill beside you, don't worry about it."

The Dempsey Challenge is coming up Sept. 29-30. NEWS CENTER Maine will have a half-hour special previewing the ride on Thursday night, Sept. 27. That program will be hosted by Lee Nelson and Cindy Williams.