(NEWS CENTER) -- We're just six months away from this year's Bike-Maine event and it's already sold out!
September's route will take 400 riders across the down east coast, through Hancock and Washington Counties.
Preparations are underway for the big, seven day ride. Zach Schmesser is the event director for Bike-Maine with more on this year's ride.
Watch the video above for the full interview:
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is proud to announce that BikeMaine 2016 has sold out in record time. This is the soonest the event has filled in the four-year history of the weeklong September ride. Four hundred cyclists will be at the start on Schoodic Point on September 10 for the 350-mile adventure. BikeMaine is the largest 7-day ride in the northeastern United States and is modeled after successful rides in other parts of the country. This years' ride will have riders from thirty-five states and a half dozen countries.
"We are thrilled to sellout the BikeMaine event before the end of winter," said Zach Schmesser, Coalition Events Director. "Every year we have endeavored to carefully grow BikeMaine while maintaining a ride that has garnered sterling reviews from participants. We are thrilled that the reputation of our ride and the great cycling found in Maine has resulted in our earliest sellout ever," continued Schmesser. "Especially exciting for us was our ability to nearly double the number of in-state participants, in part because we are traveling to a part of the state that is less familiar to Mainers."
Each year, BikeMaine chooses a different route and a new part of the state to explore. The 2016 edition of BikeMaine will cover 355 miles along the "Bold Coast" of Maine, exploring Washington and Hancock Counties. The event will take place from September 10-17 and allows riders to explore the people, places, culture, and food of Maine.
The first three BikeMaine rides generated a total of over $1 million in direct economic impact to different regions of the state through rider spending as well as the sourcing of local products and services for the ride. "BikeMaine perfectly aligns with a years-long regional effort to shine a light on the unique and little-known natural and cultural assets that characterize the Bold Coast," said Coalition executive director Nancy Grant. The Coalition is collaborating with Washington County Council of Governments and Bold Coast communities to turn BikeMaine 2016 into a sustainable, permanent bike route after the September 2016 event is over.
The 2016 loop route will begin and end in Winter Harbor, and will include the following host communities: Jonesport, Machias, Eastport (two nights), Lubec and Milbridge. During the seven-day event, riders will experience spectacular, untouched natural beauty and the freshest and tastiest food Maine has to offer. Along the 355-mile route, cyclists will discover Maine's history and culture with the assistance and encouragement of host community organizations and residents.
Working with local civic organizations, BikeMaine provides 18 meals made from locally sourced, seasonal foods, ample beverages and snacks, baggage transport, mechanical and medical support and a camping site that includes showers, restrooms, and evening entertainment.
BikeMaine, in support of its mission to promote bicycling, healthy lifestyles and economic development, is proud to have Presenting Sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and supporting sponsors Vermont's Original Bag Balm, Maine Beer Company, Norway Savings Bank and Poland Spring on board again this year.
Grant funding for BikeMaine has been generously provided by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Horizon Foundation, The Betterment Fund and the Maine Tourism Marketing Partnership Program. Key BikeMaine partnerships include Capital Ambulance and The Nature Conservancy. Media partners include WCSH6, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, the Bangor Daily News and Maine Magazine.