Important Rider Information - MLR 2017
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 14th annual MLR will be held September 9, 2017.
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. You will receive a printed map and cue sheet in your rider packet, 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.
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.
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. Registered riders are encouraged to check in and pick up their packets, rider numbers and t-shirts/jerseys (if applicable). We plan to have two options (note: this may change - check closer to the ride date). On Thursday (Sept. 7) from 4 - 6, and on Friday from 11 am - 1 pm. you can check in at
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.
One important part of your packet is the MLR Safety handout. The MLR has enjoyed an excellent safety record and we want to keep it that way! Be considerate, Be safe!
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.
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 www.tripadvisor.com, or AAA for an array of area accommodations.
Rodgers Ski and Sport in Scarborough (332 US Route 1, phone 207-883-3669) has in the past offeed a 20% discount on accessories up to the day of the ride (stay tuned to see if this will continue for the 2017 ride). They also have bikes to rent.
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.
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 $4.00 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 5 pm.
The lighthouses are indicated on your map and cue sheets. Note: Saturday, September 10th will again be Maine Open Lighthouse Day - check this website for information on which lighthouses may be open for touring.
Like to navigate your ride with a 3G compatible cell phone, or a Garmin GPS? 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 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.