The 8th annual Pedal the Penobscot Road Ride will be held Sunday, Sept. 7, starting at the Bangor Waterfront, at the intersection of Front and Railroad streets. More than 200 bicyclists are expected to participate in the community event, hosted by the Bangor Land Trust.
“The cyclists are inspiring,” said Donne Sinderson, BLT office manager. “Usually it’s an end of the summer celebration for them — a goal — so they try to go longer than normal.”
Cyclists can choose between five course of different lengths — 14, 28, 50, 76 and 100 miles. The ride is fully supported “sag wagons,” support vehicles that patrol the courses to aid cyclists, and each year, 40-50 volunteers help run the event.
“We had lots of comments last year about how well-organized the ride was and how much the riders enjoyed it,” said BLT president Lucy Quimby in a recent press release. “Not only has the number of riders increased each year, but most of last year’s sponsors are supporting us again this year.”
Last year, 208 cyclists registered for the ride, which is BLT’s biggest fundraising event of the year, accounting for about 25 percent of their operational costs. Funds raised by the event are used to maintain more than 10 miles of multiuse trails on the land trust’s 800-plus acres of preserves, as well as support community programs and work to conserve additional acres for public recreation and wildlife.
“We’re proud to support the Bangor Land Trust once again,” said Susan Faloon, spokesperson for Emera Maine, one of the event’s top sponsors. “They’re doing a wonderful job of keeping Bangor’s wild backyard available for all to enjoy, with well-kept trails and community programs.”
This year’s Celebrity Rider will be broadcaster and business expert Deb Neuman, the land trust announced today.
“If I can do it, anyone can,” said Neuman. “It’s low pressure, not a race. We’re all going to be riding together and supporting each other.”
“I’ll try to have my training wheels off my bike before then,” she added.
In the years that BLT has hosted the event, Quimby has noticed the comradery between riders.
“When people do things in groups, they go it longer and harder,” said Quimby. “It’s the energy that gets shared between people.”
All rides will end at the Bangor Waterfront around 11:30 a.m. Families and friends are invited to cheer on the returning riders.
A post-ride celebration with live music will be held at the nearby Sea Dog Brewing Company 11:30-2:30 p.m. And because this year’s ride falls on Grandparents’ Day, the Bangor Land Trust is planning a special recognition for grandparents who attend the ride.
Route options, which are mapped out online at bangorlandtrust.org under the “events” tab, are:
- The 14-mile ride will be from Bradley to the Bangor waterfront. Cyclists will need to pre-register for the shuttle to Bradley leaving the Bangor waterfront at 10 a.m.
- The 28-mile loop crosses the Penobscot River at Old Town. Cyclists will leave the Bangor Waterfront at 10 a.m.
- The 50-mile loop will leave the Bangor Waterfront at 9 a.m.
- The 76-mile loop will cross the Penobscot River at Howland. Cyclists will leave the Bangor Waterfront at 8 a.m.
- The 100-mile loop will travel through Glenburn and Hudson before joining the 76-mile route to cross the Penobscot at Howland. Cyclists will leave the Bangor Waterfront at 7 a.m.
Up until Sept. 4, registration fees are $45 per cyclist; $35 per team members in teams of 5 or more; and $20 for students. After Sept. 4, the registration cost goes up to $50 per cyclists, team or no team, but stays at $20 for students.
Cyclists can register online, by phone at 942-1010, or on the day of the ride from 6:30 to 9:45 a.m. The first 150 registrants will receive light blue 2014 Pedal the Penobscot T-shirts.
For information about the ride, call the BLT office at 942-1010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLT is currently partnering with the City of Bangor on the Bangor Trails Project to create a city-wide trail system with regional links for walking and biking. To learn about the project, visit bangorlandtrust/bangor-trails-project.html.