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New Trek Across Maine route to pass through Lewiston-Auburn; registration closes May 20

Trek Across Maine and the American Lung Association have announced several new elements and released a detailed map of the new route for the annual three-day bicycle ride. For the 35th anniversary event, taking place June 14-16, the ride will have a new route that will start at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick and showcase more Maine cities and towns, including Bath, Freeport, Auburn, Lewiston, Augusta, and Belgrade.  

Final preparation and planning is still underway, but organizers have already unveiled a detailed map that includes specifics on the roads and streets to be used by the event’s 2000 bicyclists, along with an elevation chart for cyclists to use in planning their training rides. The map may be viewed at trekacrossmaine.org.

The annual Trek Across Maine is the largest fundraising event in the country for the American Lung Association, raising more than $24 million since 1985. Registration for the event is open until May 20 at 11:59 p.m. For more information or to register, see trekacrossmaine.org. 

“We have seen a big spike in interest in the ride this year because of the new route starting in Brunswick, but we also know some of our new trekkers might not realize they have to register by May 20,” said Kim Chamard, manager of development for the American Lung Association. “We have people registered from age 7 to 79 and from as far away as Alaska. We are really excited about how the new communities have rallied around the event, ranging from downtown organizations to corporate sponsors. We have also seen a great response from volunteers in our new communities, but we can always use more.” 

The route still includes the popular tradition of Team Tent City at Colby College in Waterville between days two and three, but includes new rest stops, including L.L. Bean in Freeport. Also new this year will be a virtual Trek, enabling more friends and family to participate and rewarding participants for exercise options that are equivalent to the Trek experience.

The three-day event is expected to have a positive economic impact for several new regions and draw more cyclists from the southern part of the state and across New England. 

For the first time, Brunswick will host the start and finish line at Brunswick Landing. Local businesses like Flight Deck Brewing are expecting an increase in customers. Flight Deck will host a pre-Trek dinner on June 13 and welcome visitors and supporters of the riders for happy hour.

Lewiston, another of the new cities welcoming cyclists this year, is planning Trek Downtown, a block party event on June 14. For the first time in nearly 25 years, the city will close a full city block of Lisbon Street (from Ash to Main Street) to vehicle traffic so community members can come cheer on the cyclists, eat, drink, and visit local businesses. In addition to restaurants offering food and drink specials, there will be food trucks and a beer garden in Dufresne Plaza and live music at 7 p.m. from SKOSH.

“This is a huge opportunity for our city to showcase everything Lewiston has to offer,” said Mike Dostie, board chair of the Downtown Lewiston Association and event chair of Lewiston’s Trek Downtown. “We have a lot local businesses, ranging from shops to restaurants, that will see a spike in customers. 

“With nearly 2,000 people coming to our city, we want to welcome them and give them an experience that will leave a lasting impression so they come back time and again. The positive economic ripple effect of this event will be beneficial for our entire community.”

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