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Lincolnville volunteers feed Bike Maine riders

Sourcing local foods benefits Maine food producers
By Susan Mustapich | Sep 12, 2019
Photo by: Susan Mustapich More than 400 Bike Maine riders stopped at the Lincolnville Community Center for lunch Sept. 12.
Lunch in Lincolnville Bike Maine 2019
(Video by: Susan Mustapich)

LINCOLNVILLE — Gallons of freshly made marinara sauce, mountains of meatballs and great piles of pasta were served at lunchtime in the Lincolnville Community Building Sept. 12 to more than 400 Bike Maine riders.

The seventh annual Bike Maine promoted a "two-wheel" tour amidst Midcoast Maine's mountains, seaside villages, vibrant waterfronts and flourishing foodie scene.

The ride began in Waterville Sept. 8 with an overnight stay at Alford Lake Camp in Hope. On day two, riders toured around Damiscotta Lake and Pemiquid Peninsula. Days three and four, bikers headed to Rockland for a two-day stay.

Day five, Sept. 12, riders headed to Rockport with a stop at Beech Hill and Rockport Harbor. They continued along back roads through Camden, and on Route 52 past Lake Megunticook, to Lincolnville Center's Community Building.

The big lunch was hosted by the United Christian Church. It was a joint effort between local volunteers and Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, which coordinated three meals a day, made with locally sourced foods. Maine Farm and Sea works to maximize the amount of local food used in institutional food service operations. Purveying local ingredients for Bike Maine's annual rides brings more than $30,000 to the Maine economy, according to the organization.

Gallons of homemade marinara sauce were made at Dolce Vita Farm & Bakery in Lincolnville, known for pizzas, breads and baked goods. Huge bags of pasta from Terra Cotta in South Portland were boiled outdoors in gas-fired lobster cookers under the watchful eye of Dave Seddon of Maine Farm & Sea, with the assistance of a crew of local volunteers. Inside the community building, another team of volunteers worked with Ali Mediate and Joanna Benoit of Maine Farm & Sea, heating the sauce and meatballs from Pineland Farms, filling serving bowls with fresh local greens from Three Bug Farm and putting out baguettes and desserts from Dot's in Lincolnville Beach and coolers filled with Rock City Coffee cold brew.

Mediate and Benoit were helped by a host of local volunteers, coordinated by Robin Brawn, including Roberta Heald, Cyrene Segona, Mary Bok, Judy Cookson, Susan Silverio and Judy Papian.

Lincolnville Center's Community Building was at mile 25 of the 51-mile ride on day five. The lead riders did not stop at the organized rest stop at mile 14 and arrived in Linconville Center around 10 a.m.

One of the first riders to arrive on his recumbant bicycle was a man who hails from the Canadian Maritimes. This is his sixth time returning to Bike Maine, which he said attracts riders from around the country, Canada and from as far away as Europe. The group includes about 20 organizers, 75 volunteers and more than 400 riders, he said, of which 170  were from Maine. While the riders this year ranged from 27 to 80 years old, the average age is 61, he said.

This is the first time he has visited Rockland, where Bike Maine set up camp at Snow Marine Park for two nights. In addition to the tented eating area, shower trucks and hundreds of small tents were something out of the ordinary to see there. A traditional lobster feast, kayaking and walking to town to visit restaurants and shops were part of the two-day stay for the riders. He pointed out that Bike Maine brings economic benefits to local areas where the riders stop. They filled every restaurant in Rockland, he said.

By lunchtime Sept. 12, the aroma of marinara sauce filled the Lincolnville Community Building, as pasta cooked and a long line of physically fit and hungry riders formed outside.

For other riders, the nearby Lincolnville General Store was a draw. The store was busy feeding those who discovered the prepared hot foods, sandwiches, desserts and beverages and decided not to wait in line for lunch.

Back at the Community Building, Seddon gave the signal at 11:30 a.m. that the pasta was ready. The first-in-line bikers filed in, efficiently filled their plates, and found seats with friends they had made along the ride.

The large ad hoc meal, put together by Bike Maine organizers, Maine Farm & Sea, and local volunteers they had just met, went smoothly. Within an hour, all were fed and ready to pedal north on Route 52 to Belfast, where they would spend the night.

Day six, the ride toured the rural roads of Waldo County, and back to Belfast for a second overnight. Day seven, the last of the tour, brought riders through Morrill and Freedom, areas known for organic farms, and Albion, where Johnny's Seeds started. Bike Maine 2019 wrapped up in Waterville.

Riders are served local and Maine-made foods at the Lincolnville Community Center: Dolce Vita marinara sauce, Terra Cotta pasta, Pineland Farms Meatballs, salad from Three Bug Farm, bread from Dot's and Rock City coffee. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
More than 400 Bike Maine riders had lunch in Lincolnville Center, with the help of local volunteers coordinated by Robin Brawn and Ali Mediate and Joanna Benoit of Maine Farm and Sea. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
From left, the pasta crew led by Dave Seddon of Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, included local volunteers: Richard Glock, Andy Andrews, Niel Wienges and Bob Hollingsworth at the Lincolnville Community Center Bike Maine 2019 lunch stop September 12. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 16, 2019 14:30

Only Maine could make such a good feed! Good fellowship for sure!

Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Sep 14, 2019 16:16

That ride looks golden!

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