LEWISTON — The sixth annual Dempsey Challenge is set to start on Oct. 17 — but new to the Challenge this year will be a two-day ride, covering approximately 140 miles. The beautiful scenery, food and sleeping accommodations, as well as guaranteed fun for its riders makes the Dempsey Challenge Two-Day Ride something that riders may not want to miss.

The registration fee to take part in the ride is $150 and a minimum fundraising effort of $1,000 is required. The registration fee helps cover costs for lunch and dinner on Saturday, an overnight stay Saturday night at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Brunswick, breakfast and a traditional Maine lobster bake on Sunday, as well as other event expenses.

Though this ride is not terribly long and averages about 70 miles per day, it is not recommended for novice bicyclists. Routes on both days feature rolling terrain with a few longer climbs thrown in, flattening out near the coast. 

The cyclists will depart on the first day from Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston, traveling along the Androscoggin River before taking on the foothills east of Lewiston. The trail then heads toward the coast with some beautiful views of Maine’s midcoast, south of Brunswick, before reaching Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport on pristine Casco Bay, offering sweeping, panoramic ocean vistas.

On the second day, the riders will take off from Wolfe’s Neck Farm on similar coastal roads before turning east toward Gray and the scenic countryside. After a short northern leg past some picturesque Maine lakes, the two-day riders will meet up with the Dempsey Challenge 50-mile route riders for the final 30 miles.

“We wanted something more challenging than what is already there to be available,” said Aimee Arsenault, the manager for special events and development at the Dempsey Center. “We also wanted to give some cyclists a chance to ride through different areas than usual.”

The ride will finish at Simard-Payne Memorial Park, followed by a lobster meal for all of the cyclists.

The Dempsey Challenge is also working on getting a special celebrity to take part in the event, but they are unable to release who it will be as of yet, according to Arsenault.

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