The Maine Lighthouse Ride is an annual cycling event that serves as a major fundraiser for the Eastern Trail Alliance. Riders suit up for one of four distances: 25, 40, 62 and 100 miles – all with views of Southern Maine’s lighthouses. This year’s ride drew 1,285 cyclists – some from as far away as California. I, along with three other friends, rode the 62 mile “metric century” (100 kilometer) route and enjoyed every minute of it.
Starting from the Southern Maine Community College campus within eyeshot of the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland, the course took us along the Eastern Trail and through Scarborough Marsh – eventually passing all the major area beaches on its way to and from Camp Ellis in Saco. The weather was refreshingly cool and the filtered sunshine made for a pleasant day.
Although I ride these roads frequently on my own, doing so with 1,200 other like-minded people is a whole different experience. Seeing how other cyclists gear up and equip their bicycles elicits both some good ideas and some chuckles. Overhearing people “from away” marvel at the natural beauty of our rocky coastline makes me appreciate my Maine roots. Encountering the many volunteers that help make the ride safe makes me thankful that there are people willing to give up a perfectly good late summer Saturday to allow this event to take place.
I photographed this gorgeous light at Pine Point in Scarborough several days before the Lighthouse Ride
Riding in and amongst a large group of cyclists demands a bit more attention than when out on the roads by one’s self. Although I trust my riding partners to point out road hazards and other potential obstacles, I was pleased to see the vast majority of riders doing the same. A constant chorus of “car back” and “walkers ahead” could be heard on every stretch of the course.
Since the rather drab weather wasn’t conducive to good photography, I have included some images taken at other times while out on my bicycle training for this ride. Some were shot with my cell phone and others with my “real” camera
This was my first lighthouse ride and won’t be the last!