Auclair Cycle & Ski Has Volunteered to Assist Cyclists at the Trek Across Maine for 23 Years

Augusta Bike Shop Will be On-Site at Trek Across Maine this Father’s Day weekend

(May 30, 2013)

On Father’s Day weekend, the American Lung Association of the Northeast will celebrate the 29th annual Trek Across Maine, with more than 2,000 cyclists taking off from Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry and finishing up at Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast. The event is the largest fundraiser for the nonprofit organization nationwide, raising $1.8 million in 2012, with a goal of $2 million for 2013.

Dave Auclair photoThe Trek Across Maine wouldn’t be possible without the help of local bike shops like Auclair Cycle & Ski in Augusta.  Owner Dave Auclair will be volunteering his time at the Trek for the 23rd consecutive year.  The shop will be on site once again to provide mechanical support and other assistance to the many cyclists who descend upon Maine for the annual event held each June. 

Auclair said he first became involved in the Trek Across Maine in 1990 after hearing a lot of buzz about the event from the customers frequenting his shop.  He reached out to the American Lung Association to inquire about the event and see if there was any way he could help. The bike shop owner has been volunteering ever since.

Dave recalls that in 1990, he began volunteering on the Trek’s bicycle service team. He was assigned a location and brought a couple of mechanics along with him as well as an arsenal of supplies so they could assist cyclists who needed service during the course of the ride.  That first year, Dave says there were about 500 cyclists at the Trek.  He has seen the event grow immensely since then and the supplies and staff he brings along with him have steadily increased.

“The Trek is a big commitment, especially with the more than 2,000 cyclists we now have,” says Dave.  “This year I’ll be setting up shop at Sunday River on Thursday at noon and we’ll be working until the lights go out. “

Auclair says there are lots of miscellaneous details that occur that cyclists need help with.  “Some forget their helmets while others need new spokes or tires,” says Auclair. “I’ve even seen people drive in with the rear tire of their bike smoldering because they placed it on the rack too close to the exhaust. We are equipped to handle just about any need that arises.”

Dave says that his tent will be set up at Sunday River and at the finish and start lines at both the University of Maine at Farmington and Colby College.  He’ll have between three and five staff members with him at any given time. Auclair says that all the labor his shop provides to cyclists is essentially free.    The shop even brings an array of cycling equipment and supplies with them that are available for purchase in case trekkers forget something.  The shop accepts both cash and credit cards. 

When asked what he likes most about being involved in the Trek Across Maine, Auclair is quick to point out that it’s the camaraderie.  “We create relationships here at the Trek and make lots of friends.  It’s an event you look forward to every year.  It’s truly inspiring to see everyone coming together to support a shared cause.”

On Friday, June 14, more than 2,000 will leave from Sunday River Ski Resort and make the 180-mile Trek to Belfast. Cyclists come from all over the country to be a part of the weekend. All proceeds benefit the American Lung Association and help fund valuable research, education and advocacy.

To register for the 29th annual Trek Across Maine or to make a donation that could help save lives, visit Biketreknewengland.org.  More about the Lung Association’s other bike treks, including Cycle the Seacoast and the Autumn Escape Bike Trek, is also available at Biketreknewengland.org.