Portland’s CycleMania Celebrates 27 Years Supporting Trek Across Maine

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

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.

The Trek Across Maine wouldn’t be possible without the help of local bike shops like CycleMania located on Federal Street in downtown Portland. Co-owners David Brink and Eddie Quinn will be at the Trek on Friday June 14, setting up shop at Rumford Point.  Brink says the shop takes pride in their long history with the Trek Across Maine.

“This event has really grown over the years and we’ve done a lot to help build the base of cyclists who participate in the event,” says Brink.  “We got involved early on because we felt it was important to get together as a state and support the Lung Association in their efforts to fight lung diseases like lung cancer.  Now, the Trek Across Maine is really the ride in Maine,” says Brink.  “It’s the benchmark by which all other cycling events are judged.”

Brink says he and Quinn are also honored to be stationed at the first stop at the Trek.  They like the first stop because most cycling issues tend to happen right at the beginning of the ride, that very first day.  Brink and Quinn will be busy fixing bikes along with the other bike shops from across the state that come to be a part of Trek weekend.

”Another thing that’s special about the event is that we work right alongside other bike shops,” says Brink.  “We may be competitors every other day but when we’re at the Trek Across Maine we’re a team.  We all come together to support the cyclists here and support the American Lung Association.”

Brink says he and Quinn look forward to seeing people out there having fun on their bikes “The Trek is not a race and everyone is equal out there,” says Brink. “Each year we always meet a lot of nice people and the seasoned trekkers expect to see us.  One of the highlights is seeing our customers out there having a good time. They come into our store in suits and skirts to buy their bikes and gear. At the Trek, we get to see them in their element, sweating and enjoying every minute of it.  That’s rewarding.” 

Since CycleMania has been involved with the event for so many years, Brink says the Lung Association looks to the shop for their ideas and opinions on how to fine tune the event to ensure cyclists have the best experience possible. CycleMania also teams with the Lung Association to help spread the work about the event. 

“The staff that puts the Trek together really does everything they can to make this a great experience for everyone involved,” says Brink.  “It’s a lot of work by a lot of people to put this together and everyone is committed to seeing it succeed.”  says Brink.  “The cyclists are really treated like VIPS all weekend long.  The Trek takes care of all the details for them, from lodging to meals to transporting their bikes.  It’s very well organized and it’s also a great value for cyclists.”

One of the ways CycleMania helps the Lung Association spread the word to cyclists in by hosting information nights at the shop.  This year CycleMania held an informational night in March which attracted 20 people. “People considering a ride like this not only have the usual questions about how to sign up and raise money, they want to know how to prepare themselves physically and what kind of gear they need,” explains Brink. “The Lung Association makes it very easy for people to participate and coaches them on how to raise money.  I provide the answers about how to train.”

While Brink and Quinn will be there to greet cyclists and will work at the event all day Friday, they’ll head back to their busy Portland shop to serve customers the rest of the weekend.  CycleMania will still have a presence at the event all weekend though; the shop donates  two of their mechanics to cover the rest of the Trek.  “It’s important for us to have a presence at the Trek all weekend.  It’s a great event and we’re happy to be a part of it,” says Brink.

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.  

Registration for the Trek's 30th Anniversary ride is open online by visiting TrekMaine30.org and will also be available on-site at this year's Trek. To learn more about the Lung Association’s other bike treks or to make a donation that could help save lives visit Biketreknewengland.org.