Important Rider Information (FAQ)

MLR Important Rider Information (FAQ)

Important Rider Information - MLR 2020

This page contains important information for those who have already registered for the Maine Lighthouse Ride. It will be updated as needed, especially as we get closer to the ride date!
Note: There will be no registration on the day of the ride - you MUST be pre-registered.

Maine Lighthouse Ride LogoCongratulations on choosing the Maine Lighthouse Ride!

The Maine Lighthouse Ride (MLR) is a bicycle ride that showcases 9 lighthouses along the beautiful coast of southern Maine, run at one of the best times of year – mid-September. The MLR is the primary fundraising event that supports the Eastern Trail Alliance, a non-profit on a mission to promote the Eastern Trail (ET), a 65-mile off-road trail that will connect Kittery with South Portland, Maine. The 16th annual MLR will be held September 7, 2019.

Where Does this ride start?

The MLR begins and ends on the shores of beautiful Casco Bay, one of the East Coast’s finest deepwater ports. You will find registration, parking, and the start/finish line on the oceanfront campus of Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Exit 6A from I-295.  To create a greener experience, Route Maps and Cue sheets are available for you here to print or download and there are road markings (always in orange color), signs, and even some volunteers along the route to help you along.  Please note this is a tobacco-free free event.  SMCC is a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus as are all of our rest stops.

What time should I show up for my ride?

Riders picking up their packets the day of the ride should arrive at least forty-five minutes before their ride’s scheduled start time, to find parking and use the facilities before heading to the starting area. However, we urge you to pick up your ride materials early to avoid the crowds on ride day (see next item) Port-a-potties and a hand-washing station will be located behind the Culinary Arts Building, circled in red on the map here. Reminder: Showers are not available at the ride.

Finding Parking: Here is a map of the parking areas – everyone will be directed first to lot A until full, then lots D & C (lots circled in orange on the map), with additional free parking available at nearby picturesque Bug Light Park, just past the guard shack.

Will the event be held if there is rain?

The ride will take place rain or shine. Should the weather conditions be deemed unsafe for participants, or in the case of extreme unforeseen events, the Eastern Trail Alliance reserves the right to cancel or alter the event at any point before or during the event. Riders and volunteers will be notified via email as soon as decision is made. We will post any cancellations on our website and Facebook pages promptly. There will be NO REFUNDS in the case of changes or cancellations. Your registration fee will be graciously accepted as a donation to the Eastern Trail Alliance. There are no "rain dates" for this event.

Can I Check In Early and Pick Up My Ride Materials?

rodgers logo mlrEarly Rider Packet pickup at Rodgers!Registered riders are encouraged to check in and pick up their packets, rider numbers and socks. There are usually two options for early packet pick-up: On Thursday from 4 - 6pm you can check in at Rodgers Ski and Sport, 332 U.S. Route 1 Scarborough, ME (207) 883-3669. You can also check in on Friday from 4 - 6 pm at the ride start, Southern Maine Community College, Culinary Arts Building. If you cannot make these times, you may still pick up your packet between 6:15 and 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, but please be there a minimum of 45 minutes before your scheduled ride start.

If you wish to pick up a friend or family member’s packet, you must have them print and sign this waiver (link), and bring it with you.

Please review this MLR Safety Reminders handout for a great ride experience. The MLR has enjoyed an excellent safety record and we want to keep it that way! Be considerate, Be safe!

What are the ride start times?

  • Century (100 miler) - 7:00 AM
  • Metric Century (62 miler) - 7:30 AM
  • 40 miler - 8:00 AM

May we leave early?

We recommend against leaving early, as the rest stops will not yet be open for riders, and Support Vehicles will not yet be on the course.  Rest stop hours vary - view specific hours here.

Are there accommodations nearby?

There are several locally owned and run motels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and chain hotels within minutes of the MLR course. Many resources are provided on our Lodging and campground page.  You can choose to stay in Greater Portland, or choose a smaller community with more low-key surroundings. Also check, or AAA for an array of area accommodations.

Are there Any Sponsor Discounts?

Rodgers Ski and Sport in Scarborough (332 US Route 1, phone 207-883-3669) will be offering a 20% discount on accessories up to the day of the ride (stay tuned to see if this will continue for the 2019 ride). They also have bikes to rent.

What if I run into problems during the ride?

You’ll never be far from assistance during the MLR. There is a friendly, well informed cast of volunteers – over 85 at last year’s ride – who can answer questions and lend expertise with directions, mechanical issues, and more. There are 5 rest stops between the start in South Portland, and the southernmost point of the century ride in Kennebunkport. Plus, there are Support Vehicles cruising the course equipped with tire pumps, spare inner tubes, water and snacks, cell phone, bike rack and seats for passengers, so no matter what issues you may encounter, help is close at hand.

What kind of food and snacks are available on the ride?

There are snacks, fruit, and healthy food at all rest stops, as well as water and energy drinks for water bottle refills. Rest stop hours vary according to expected ride times - view specific hours here.

Back by Popular Demand – Beer and Pizza and Ice Cream! Thank You to our magnificent sponsors; Shipyard Beer, Portland Pie and Friendly’s! Join us under the dining tent behind the Culinary Arts Building. A cash donation of $5 per beer (limit two servings per rider, your rider bib will be marked per donation and bring an ID – We will be checking).

Gluten free pizza will be available, as well as a full salad bar, watermelon, lemonade and water.

Please note — Food will be served between 11 am and 4:30 pm.

Where are the rest stops? How late are they open? How far is it between them? Do they all have food/bathrooms?

  • MLR Rest Stop Mileage 2019Click image for larger viewRest stop locations are indicated on your cue sheets; click here for a chart of distances between the rest stops. The last rest stop, Kettle Cove, closes at 4:00 PM.
    • 1. Ferry Beach, Scarborough
    • 2. Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth
    • 3. Old Orchard Beach Memorial Park
    • 4. Fortunes Rock, Biddeford
    • 5. Kennebunkport Bicycle Co., Arundel.
  • Mileages vary. Several are as close as 10 miles and the longest is 23 miles. There are posters at SMCC and each rest stop showing specific mileages for each.
  • Each rest stop has bathrooms and offers water and Gatorade, granola energy bars, bananas, oranges, chips, candy; Two have PB&J sandwiches, crackers with cheese or PB

Where are the lighthouses? Can we tour them?

The lighthouses are indicated on your map and cue sheets, which you can download here for viewing and printing.

What Other Info Is Available on the web?

Check out our Trail Maps page. And if the whole notion of the Eastern Trail intrigues you, delve into it more deeply throughout our web site, including the history of the ET, an archive of stories and news about the trail, our latest e-newsletter, past studies and reports, minutes of meetings and much more.

My plans have changed - can I get a refund?

Sorry, but registration fees cannot be refunded or transferred to a future year. Those fees help support the work to expand and maintain this wonderful trail resource, and we look forward to you being able to join us in the future.

More questions? We’d be happy to help. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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