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Bike Day at the Maine State Museum
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Yes, it’s true! Women rode to suffrage on bicycles!
Grab your bike and join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and the Maine State Library in a free, fun-filled family event on Saturday, June 22 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine. You’ll commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and at the same time, learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding in a beautiful place. All activities begin in front of the Maine State Museum at 230 State Street in Augusta and will be held rain or shine.
The day’s events begin at 10:00 am with a bicycle rodeo in the parking area in front of the Maine State Museum. Geared to ages 4 – 10, the bicycle rodeo is an obstacle course designed to allow children to have fun while practicing bike handling and safety skills. The obstacle course includes mini roadways, traffic signs, crosswalks, and other roadway features. The rodeo also includes a “helmet check” to ensure all helmets are fitted correctly. An “ABC” bicycle check will also be performed to check the air pressure in bicycle tires, the effectiveness of brakes, and condition of the chain. A bike mechanic from Mathieu’s Cycle & Fitness in Farmingdale will be on site to assist with any necessary bike repairs. The bicycle rodeo concludes at noon. A Liability Waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian in order for kids to participate. All bike riders must wear a helmet.
Beginning at 11:00 am, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will lead a relaxed slow ride starting at the Maine State Museum and continuing to and along the Kennebec River Rail Trail and back. This 2.5 mile round trip ride is for bicyclists of all ages and ends at noon. Participants are welcome to enjoy more of the rail trail on their own if they wish. A signed Liability Waiver form is required for all riders and helmets are mandatory.
Meanwhile, back at the Maine State Museum and Maine State Library, free activities continue the theme of the importance of bicycling to women’s suffrage. Bicycling and other sports brought changes to women’s clothing. So, leave frilly skirts and confining corsets behind and join a bicycling and suffragist fashion contest at 10:30 am. Come dressed as a suffragist or in your favorite biking costume from the past. Prizes will be awarded! You can also get creative and make a suffrage sash to show your support for women’s right to vote! Finally, visit the Maine State Library and the Maine State Museum (free admission all day!) to learn more about women’s long road to the vote.
Along with the Maine State Library, the museum thanks the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for making this event possible. The coalition is a statewide organization that has led the effort since 1992 to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education advocacy, legislation, and encouragement. Learn more at bikemaine.org.