The Late Fall 2013 ETA Newsletter can be viewed in several ways.

Click here to view to entire newsletter as a pdf document.

You can also view individual articles in the newsletter – click any title link listed below:

Sell-Out Crowd for 10th Anniversary Maine Lighthouse Ride
Maine Lighthouse Ride Kitchen Volunteers
Spreading the Word about the Eastern Trail
Bringing the Trail South
Memorial Bridge Opening
What’s All That Construction?
SMMC’s Use of the Eastern Trail

Biddeford Savings Puts ET on the Map(s)
Kennebunk Elementary School Biking Program
The Happiest Bridges in Maine?
SETA Progress
Event Organizers Having a Field Day on the ET
Cyclist Stages Comeback at 2013 MLR
Letter to 2013 MLR Sponsors

Sell-Out Crowd for 10th Anniversary Maine Lighthouse Ride

Century Riders Waiting at Start of MLRAfter ten years, the word is out— the Maine Lighthouse Ride is one of the most popular bicycle rides in New England! Of course it’s hard to argue with miles of beautiful Maine coastline, great weather, and plenty of friendly volunteers. Having capped the ride at 1,000 riders due to concerns from our host communities, the Maine Lighthouse Ride was a complete sell-out three weeks before the ride. Yes, we must be doing something right!

This year, we were ready for the crowds with a tent at Southern Maine Community College to accommodate the overflow….Read the entire “Sell-Out Crowd” article here.

Maine Lighthouse Ride Kitchen Volunteers

This is the thing about a good meal: it’s like a play. If it’s done right, there’s an enormous amount of hustle and bustle behind the scenes, but all the audience usually sees—and enjoys–is the wonderfulness of the end product. As a result, those behind-the-scenes workers, whether they are costume designers or cooks, don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

So let’s hear it for the “lunch ladies” of the ETA’s Maine Lighthouse Ride!— as they jokingly refer to themselves….Read the entire “MLR Kitchen Volunteers” article here.

Spreading the Word about the Eastern Trail by ETA President Bob Hamblen

In the next to last week of October I hit the jackpot. No trip to Foxwoods, or Oxford for that matter, involved. And I haven’t bought a Powerball ticket … uh, ever. Instead, I had the opportunity to chat about the Eastern Trail at three separate events, and this wasn’t a case of the ETA begging for a chance to set up a table so we could try to sell folks on the Trail.

Nope, the ETA was actually invited to attend three meetings and participate in panel discussions; these groups really wanted to hear about the Trail….Read the entire “Spreading the Word” article here.

Bringing the Trail South by Marianne Goodine, Treasurer, Eastern Trail Management District

With the Eastern Trail making its way southward, a very energetic group of trail enthusiasts has been meeting monthly in Wells to collaborate on ways to continue the trail. This group represents the Southern Eastern Trail Alliance (SETA) and consists of representatives from Wells, North Berwick, York, Kittery, and South Berwick.

The group is focused on ideas for fundraising and getting more exposure for the trail….Read the entire “Bringing the Trail South” article here.

Memorial Bridge Opening by Judy Haley

If you build it, they will come! And so they did … by the thousands in Kittery and Portsmouth on August 8, 2013, to participate in the opening of the new Memorial Bridge! Although the morning was overcast with bad weather threatening, spirits were not dampened! Motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, boaters, kayakers — they all began arriving before 7:00 AM. Flags were raised, banners were flying, and excited chatter was deafening; until, that is, the band started to play and the parade of dignitaries, began to march from the Kittery side of the bridge to Portsmouth, where the ribbon cutting ceremony was to be held…..Read the entire “Memorial Bridge Opening” article here.

What’s All That Construction? by Bob LaNigra

What is all that construction going on in Scarborough??

You may have noticed considerable evidence of construction at the Pine Point Road and Black Point Road intersections with the ET. I talked with the Scarborough Town Planner, Dan Bacon, and learned that the town has funded upwards of $400,000 for construction at those crucial points to improve traffic flow and, more important, to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bikers using the Eastern Trail…..Read the entire “What’s All That Construction?” article here.

SMMC’s use of the Eastern Trail by Joe Yuhas

According to Peggy Belanger RN, who is Cancer Care Coordinator and Oncology Nurse Navigator at Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC), access to the Eastern Trail contributes greatly to the programs that she administers. The mere fact that the trail is in such close proximity to the medical center campus encourages creativity and innovation in programing for patients.

Peggy described “Walk Away From Cancer,” which utilizes the trail for the exercise component of the program. This program was specifically designed….Read the entire “SMMC’s Use of the Eastern Trail” article here.

Biddeford Savings Puts ET on the Map(s) by Scott Marcoux

2013 ET Off Road Brochure CoverAn off-road greenway is of little use to travelers without a way for them to navigate it, right? The ETA is continuously looking to disprove the local adage that “you can’t get there from here” [add appropriate downeast accent] with additional tools to show trail users where they are, and where they are going.

In addition to various resources available on our website, and our popular full-color Trail Guides, the ETA this year introduced a quick trifold map that outlines all the completed off-road sections of the ET. Better still, it is free because it is fully funded by Biddeford Savings Bank….Read the entire “Biddeford Savings Trail” article here.

Kennebunk Elementary School Biking Program by Diane I. Dyer

For the third straight year approximately 120 third-grade students at Kennebunk Elementary School (KES) are riding bicycles during October physical education classes. Students are assessed the first week of biking as they ride the 1/2 loop around the school; only then can it be determined if the class is ready for the Eastern Trail. the program started at the beginning of the month there were 10 non-riders. Currently there are only four. The program will resume in May.

Thanks to private donations and to grants from Safe Routes To School, Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, The Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel… Read the entire “Kennebunk Elementary School Biking” article here.

The Happiest Bridges in Maine? by John Andrews

Happiest Bridge?On September 28, 2011, Maine Turnpike Authority dedicated its Eastern Trail bridge, which it had built to close the most challenging gap in the Eastern Trail, a bridge that would allow the ET to connect the southern York County towns of Kennebunk, Wells, North Berwick, South Berwick Eliot and Kittery with the northern towns of Arundel, Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough and South Portland.

It’s also the happiest ET bridge, one of smiles and blasts— as you can see in these photos of two Kennebunk boys as they welcome truckers who often cause ecstatic joy with their friendly horn blasts…. Read the entire “Happiest Bridges in Maine” article here.

SETA Progress by Judy Haley

The summer of 2013 was a busy one for members of SETA, a subcommittee of ETA! Their enthusiasm and dedication were boundless, as the volunteers set up displays and presentations to spread the word of the Eastern Trail and build support at many seasonal outside events and celebrations, emphasizing that the ETA is now concentrating on bringing the trail to and through their towns and villages. Without exception, these York County missionaries reported successes and are eager to continue the efforts for better trail awareness moving south.

They are also proposing more ways to bring the ET experience to new people and communities, for example by organizing outings for youth groups, schools, and interested adults— cycling, cross-country skiing, evening walks… Read the entire “SETA Progress” article here.

Event Organizers Having a Field Day on the ET by Scott Marcoux

The Eastern Trail began with a simple idea: to create a green transportation route for non-motorized travel through southern Maine. But for the growing number of activity groups and organizations now using the trail for a variety of events, the trail’s off-road sections are now, in themselves, also a regular destination.

Once again in 2013, the number of fundraising events hosted on at least part of the ET grew, totaling 15 this year. Returning events from last year included Southern Maine Medical’s Be Healthy 5K, the Rev3 Triathlon in Old Orchard Beach, and the Snowy Egret 5K Run/Walk… Read the entire “Event Organizers” article here.

Cyclist Stages Comeback at 2013 MLR

No doubt most athletic fundraisers have their hidden stories of triumph over adversity, of difficult goals quietly reached. Certainly, those of us who plan and run the Maine Lighthouse Ride have heard or overheard a few of these stories over the years. We are grateful to be able to share one such story with you. Patrick Joyce, who rode the century in the 2013 MLR, found himself facing surgery that might have discouraged others from riding again. Patrick had another plan. Here, in his words, is his story:

I had ridden in the MLR in 2012 and 2011, but my story is a about how the 2013 ride became so important to me….Read the entire “Cyclist Stages Comeback” article here.

Letter to 2013 MLR Sponsors

Dear 2013 Maine Lighthouse Ride Sponsor,

The Eastern Trail Alliance is pleased to convey its thanks— and the thanks of 1,000 bicycling participants— to the partners who co-sponsored the 10th annual Maine Lighthouse Ride. Let us do a little scene-setting for you:

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in southern Maine, the first Saturday after Labor Day. In the early morning, hundreds of vehicles…. Read the entire “Letter to MLR Sponsors ” article here.

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