In less than 90 days, 450 bicyclists and 75 staff members from BikeMaine will descend on Presque Isle!  The Presque Isle BikeMaine committees are hard at work preparing for the event.

Village Logistics is being overseen by the City’s Rec & Parks Department as the BikeMaine “Village” will be on the site of the Sargent Family Community Center.  BikeMaine recently made its first site visit to work with this committee on the location and lay-out of tents, sanitation, parking, security, water and electrical power.

The Emergency Planning Committee led by the City’s Police and Fire Departments have been speaking with Aroostook County Emergency Management to take a look at first aid plans as well as possible emergencies and bad weather contingencies.  Mike Chasse, City Councilor and principal in Bike Board & Ski, who is serving as the “Town Coordinator”, said, “This is a really big deal for the City of Presque Isle.  The event covers the entire county and is larger than the international Biathlons we’ve held here.  Presque Isle is thrilled to be the primary host for the event and wants to showcase our community to the best of our ability to encourage participants to return to the County.”

The Food Committee is being overseen by Rob Ottoviano, head chef at Northern Maine Community College.  Rob and other committee members have now met numerous times with Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative to hash out the dinner and breakfast menus.  BikeMaine requires that the majority of the food served is from local farms, which is an opportunity to flaunt our local foods and bring income into the area.

The Activities and Entertainment Committee, chaired by Kim Smith, has an amazing line-up planned for the BikeMaine participants.  The participants favor cultural heritage activities and, in the past, have felt this category was a bit under-represented. The schedule includes 27 different tours and events around town on registration day for the event, September 8.  Tours include standard offerings such as Presque Isle Historical Society’s guided walking tours of historic downtown Presque Isle, tours of the 1875 Vera Estey House, and city-wide tours aboard Molly the Trolley as well as  tours designed just for this group such as an Agri-Tour to the School Farm, a hops farm, and a malt barley farm.  In addition, a local favorite, Star City Syndicate, has been signed on as the concert band for the event.

The Information Committee has been busy meeting the requirements of BikeMaine to get publicity out for the event as well.  Letters have been sent to all Presque Isle restaurants and you will soon see a Count Down sign at Katahdin Trust on the corner of North and Main Streets.

Last, but certainly not least, the Volunteer Committee co-chaired by Jamie Guerrette of TAMC and Sherry Locke of the United Way of Aroostook are actively seeking volunteers to work the event.  Riders will arrive for registration on September 8, stay overnight, and depart on Sunday morning, September 9.  Riders will return to Presque Isle on September 15.  Volunteers are needed for a variety of duties such as but not limited to staffing the Information Booth on the 8th and 9th, helping set up the food tables and tent, driving buses, serving food, and much more!  If you are interested in helping with this event, please contact either Jamie Guerrette (694-1320, jguerrette@emhs.org) or Sherry Locke (764-5197, sherry@unitedwayaroostook.org).

Remember to share the road during the week of September 8 through 15 (and anytime bicyclists are on the road).  Businesses are also asked to display “Welcome BikeMaine” signs.  In addition, everyone is invited to come out and cheer on the riders as they depart Presque Isle on the morning of September 9 by lining the route along State Street beginning at around 7:30 a.m.  For more information on BikeMaine in Presque Isle, please contact any of the committee chairs.

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