So you can ride a bike, but are new to mountain biking?
If you’re interested in riding with others, but aren’t yet ready to join a “regular ride” the Bike Coalition of Maine has skills clinics for “beginner-to-intermediate” that are led by super-nice, top-notch instructors. See Foundations of Mountain Biking on Facebook.
Ready to ride with a group?
The New England Mountain Bike Association website is a good way to keep an eye on what’s happening regionally. They have two chapters where many greater-Portland riders keep in touch on Facebook:
Greater Portland (GPNEMBA) on Facebook
Central Maine (CeMeNEMBA) on Facebook
- About Allspeed group rides (Portland)
- Cyclemania (Portland) often posts on the Rage list (see below) as well as their own list announcing their Thursday night all-abilities ride, usually from the shop just after closing
- Ernie’s Cycle Shop (Westbrook) usually has a “no-drop” Saturday evening ride meeting at the shop at 6pm (they recommend calling to confirm)
- The Portland Gorham Bike & Ski ride leaves from their Portland shop at about 6:15pm on Wednesdays
- The Saco Gorham Bike & Ski all-abilities ride meets at Clifford Park in Biddeford Mondays at 6:30pm
Rage on Portland is a local group that usually gathers for Tuesday night rides in the Portland area as well as other occasional rides. Sign up for the email list here. (Don’t worry, they’re not angry.)
Single Track Sisters is a women-only group that meets Wednesday nights in the Portland area, and often leads an all-levels ride on Monday nights during the summer.
Dirt Divas is a women’s group that rides Monday nights in the Central Maine area, and other rides ad hoc.
MOAC-MTB is a small spinoff from the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club that rides on Tuesday nights in locations ranging from Kennebunkport to Poland.
Looking to get your hands dirty?
A great way to ease into a group is to volunteer for trail work. You’ll be building or maintaining trails alongside like-minded people who can give suggestions or might invite you to join them on a ride. Maybe you’ll come back the next day and ride the trails you’ve just improved.
Volunteers are always welcomed by the stewards of the land we’re riding, such as:
- Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and KCT Volunteers
- Biddeford Recreation
- Cape Elizabeth Conservation Committee
- Cape Elizabeth Land Trust
- Gorham Conservation Commission
- Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission
- Portland Trails
- Presumpscot Regional Land Trust
- Falmouth Land Trust
- Windham Parks & Trails
- Yarmouth Community Services, specifically the West Side Trail
- Cumberland Parks & Recreation Commission
- Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust
- Royal River Conservation Trust
- Bradbury Mountain State Park
- Libby Hill Forest
- Kennebec Estuary Land Trust