ROCKLAND, Maine -&nbspThe first participants of the Seventh Annual Lobster Ride and Roll got off on time at 8 a.m. Saturday from Rockland District High School.

Ride organizer Joel Fishman stood on a stepladder above the crowd of bicyclists gathered at the starting line and delivered ride directions over a loudspeaker.

About 850 bicyclists from across the United States and Canada were registered to take part in the ride, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Riders took in scenic country roads following the rock-bound coast, passing Owls Head Light and Marshall Point Light in Port Clyde.

The rides were broken up into four distances of 100 miles, 50 miles, 30 miles and 16 miles. All rides were expected to return to Rockland High School.

The ride is the Bicycle Coalition’ s largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds support programs that serve to educate Maine children on bike safety and Share the Road laws, while advocating for more bike paths and bike “lanes,” bicycle facilities and access.