Despite a rainy start to the weekend Saturday, 450 cyclists from around the country flocked to Head of Falls to enjoy lawn games, tenting, food and drinks before heading out on Sunday morning on the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s seventh annual BikeMaine event.

Their start to the weeklong ride led them to cross the Two Cent Bridge into Winslow on foot, but that was not the last the area will see of them. The cyclists, 339 of whom are from out of state, were set to roll through 35 communities and return to Head of Falls for a celebratory lunch at noon on Sept. 14, Saturday.

Sunday’s first leg of the 324.6-mile trip around midcoast Maine and back winds 55 miles through the rolling hills of Kennebec and Waldo counties to Hope, where riders were to overnight at Alford Lake Camp.

Monday’s ride at 68 miles was longer, stretching to Pemaquid Point before turning riders back to Damariscotta and a night’s stay at the Coastal River Association’s Round Top Farm.

Tuesday’s 53-mile ride through the midcoast was scheduled to end in Rockland where the riders were to receive a layover day before picking the pace back up on Thursday over a 52-mile jaunt to Belfast.

Friday’s 42-mile ride loops Swan Lake and carries riders back to Belfast. Saturday’s 52-mile excursion brings the riders full circle back to lunch at Head of Falls.

Waterville’s proximity to the midcoast and its capacity to handle the event contributed to its selection as a host city by BikeMaine.

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