Out There (28)

1,300th place: The last guy to finish Trek Across Maine 2016

Nobody wants to be last.  This is something I had not really thought about before cycling 180 miles in the 2016 Trek Across Maine: a three-day fundraiser for the American Lung Association. But on Day 3, around the halfway mark between Waterville and The End at Belfast, I looked behind me and saw a purple van with flashing lights, the Sweep vehicle, and realized I was riding last behind 1,300 cyclists. I’m not sure how…

Five upcoming 5K races near Portland

If  endorphins and adrenaline are your drugs of choice, there is no shortage of 5k races with spectular scenery minutes from Portland. It's a distance almost anyone can manage and a chance to visit the area while getting healthier. Below is just  a sample of upcoming 5K races just in the first couple of weeks of July from Westbrook to Boothbay Harbor:   1. Rocky Coast Road Race Date and Time: Saturday, July 2 at…

The perils and potholes facing bicyclists: Bike commuters talk about tricky dynamics of riding in Maine

It's the season of bicycles, rampant traffic and potholes. These three factors can create a tricky situation for the hundreds of people who pedal rather than drive. "Anybody who is in (a crash), even if they feel it is a very small bicycle crash, we encourage them to contact police," said Brian Allenby, communications manager for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (bikemaine.org). The information can help guide policy, Allenby noted. Driver inattention is a culprit…

Bike! Bingo Baby

Don't be surprised if you hear bicyclists bellowing "bingo" through the city this month. That's because they're winners playing Bike! Bingo, a game its organizer hopes to get more people biking and having a positive experience on two wheels. Plus, it's a potential bit of a boon for participating businesses. Ian Klepetar is the man responsible for bringing bike bingo to Portland. He's the executive director of Bicycle Benefits, a non-profit organization looking to foster…

Spring fever infects Sunday River

Batman needed cash. He stood along with mere mortals in a long line inside Sunday River's White Cap Lodge waiting his turn at the ATM. Even the caped crusader had to bailed out this ski season by mechanization as resorts had by snowmaking. It seemed a fitting symbol for this winter that never was that has given forth to a ho-hum spring. Just as turns were getting sweet, Mother Nature flipped the thermostat to summer…

Still standing in April

And then there were two. Sunday River and Sugarloaf are Maine's beacons for spring skiers and riders, staying resilient during a season plagued by warm temperatures and lack of natural snowfall, and brought to you by snowmakers and groomers. No doubt the economic dominoes will continue to fall across ski country and beyond from retail shops to restaurants. Yet the season started out with promise when Sunday River blew the cobwebs off the snow guns…

Feeling it with Maine Adaptive

It's easy to get misty-eyed or swallow a lump in your throat if you spend some time around the people involved with Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation. That's because it's all about good vibrations.  "There are days you wake up tired and want to stay in bed, but then you get to the mountain and see the children," said Portland's Meghan Donovan, 32, a first-year volunteer with the program.  "I had one student this year…

Spring's silly and celebratory sides

Spring's playful traits are on display across ski country this time of year. As snow takes on church supper qualities like corn, mashed potatoes and chowder, there is a celebration of the season, of the people who embrace the winter mountain lifestyle, of friends coming together for some barbecues, adult beverages and catching up. It's also a season of thrills, chills and spills, of short pants, crazy shirts and goggle tans. This is the time…

Wescott's riding the comeback trail

Seth Wescott's back. "More than anything else, I'm just happy to be healthy," said Wescott by phone Monday from New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport where he had landed after competing last weekend in the Veysonnaz World Cup in Switzerland. "I'm still fighting the physical stuff, the bumps and bruises. But I'm fine with how the winter went considering I basically took two years off. I see where everyone stands now and have a lot…

Crown month for XC

Typically, March is the crowning month for cross-country skiing in Maine. The event calendar is loaded with school title races and marathons which attract myriad entrants from top-caliber competitors to recreational participants looking for a day-long tour at their own pace. Generally, there is snow, a well-built up base. But this winter of both manmade and man-moved snow has been particularly challenging to not only alpine areas, but Nordic touring centers. Still, the snow show…
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