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Pedal the Penobscot slated for Sept. 9

Courtesy of Bangor Land Trust
Courtesy of Bangor Land Trust
Participants in a recent Pedal the Penobscot ride depart downtown Bangor as they head out on the Bangor Land Trust fund-raiser.
By Brian Swartz, Of The Weekly Staff

Bicyclists will Pedal the Penobscot on Sunday, Sept. 9 to support the Bangor Land Trust — and BLT Board President Lucy Quimby invites all local bicyclists to “join the ride.”

The Sixth Annual Pedal the Penobscot will raise funds for the Bangor Land Trust, which owns several natural preserves on Bangor’s East Side. “It costs a lot of money to own and manage this land,” including the Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve and the Walden-Parke Preserve, Quimby said. “Pedal the Penobscot is a major fund-raiser for us.”

She indicated that the bike ride also promotes bicycling and “a healthy lifestyle.”

Pedal the Penobscot will begin at the Railroad Street compass rose and will end at the Sea Dog Brewing Co.’s patio overlooking the Penobscot River. Cyclists can select one of four routes:

• A 14-mile ride that actually starts at the Bradley Municipal Building, to which riders and their bikes will be transported from Bangor.

• A 28-mile roundtrip from Bangor to the Bradley Municipal Building.

• A 76-mile roundtrip from Bangor to Enfield and Howland.

• A 100-mile roundtrip that extends the Bangor-Howland route into Glenburn and Hudson.

Pre-registration is $45 per individual, $35 per team member (with at least five riders per team), and $20 per student; the individual and team-member registrations rise to $50 per person on Sept. 9. Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card.

Cyclists can register online at www.bangorlandtrust.org or by phone at (207) 942-1010. Each rider will receive a Pedal the Penobscot T-shirt and a raffle ticket to enter a contest to win prizes like gift certificates to local restaurants and retail stores. Each rider will also receive a one-year BLT membership.

On Sept. 9, the 76- and 100-mile rides will start at 8 a.m., the 14- and 28-mile rides at 10 a.m. Most riders finish their routes by midafternoon. The event will conclude with food and festivities at the Sea Dog.

Cyclists “are fully supported” during their rides, Quimby said. Volunteers will staff three rest stops and transport cyclists and their bikes. The Maine Amateur Ham Radio Club will provide communications, and Dysart’s and other restaurants will donate food.

Pedal the Penobscot will stress safety, Quimby indicated. Cyclists must wear helmets, and an adult must accompany children under age 14. A “sweep” rider will pedal along the routes to ensure that no cyclist has been left behind due to a flat tire or mechanical failure, and every cyclist will be provided with a phone number to call in case of an emergency or a decision to abort the ride.

Businesses sponsoring Pedal the Penobscot include the Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., Maine Distributors, and the Quirk Auto Group. “The generosity of our corporate sponsors has been outstanding,” Quimby said.

Initially called the “Frogs, Logs and Bogs Road Ride,” the BLT fund-raiser transitioned to “a road ride” and a new name in 2010, Quimby said. Participant numbers have increased “every year,” and “for a number of people that do it, it’s a personal best,” she said.

“With a supported ride, cyclists may push themselves farther,” she explained. “It’s a wonderful, exciting thing to push yourself.”

The 2011 ride drew 150 bicyclists. “The weather was superb,” said Shirley Ellis, a BLT board member. “Seven riders did 14 miles.

“The 100-mile [route] is very popular, much more so than I ever expected,” she said. “Last year was the first century ride. About 40 of the riders did it.”

For more information about Pedal the Penobscot, log onto www.bangorlandtrust.org, email info@bangorlandtrust.org, or call (207) 942-1010.

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