The Cycle of Learning at Mathieu’s

The Cycle of Learning at Mathieu’s

Here’s a question for you: Can one be so knowledgeable about the workings of a bicycle that when out riding you find yourself over analyzing every odd-sounding creak instead of just enjoying the moment?

For me, and I believe the vast majority of cyclists, I haven’t reached that point yet. While I do pay attention to the “noises” emitted by my two-wheeled machines, for the most part, I just like turning the pedals and taking in the view. But having said that, it’s nice to understand the basics of taking care of your bicycle.

Mathieu’s Cycle & Fitness, the bike shop where I work — and learn — and who is a sponsor of my Pedal2Page cycling blog (, conducted a clinic on Oct. 16 at its Farmingdale store to share maintenance tips and connect with cyclists in the community.

“I did the clinic because I like teaching people about bikes,” said Taylor Merk-Wynne, who spearheaded the event and was joined by David Houston, a colleague from Mathieu’s other shop in Oakland.

The two big takeaways for me from the evening were as follows:

— If you are located close to either of Mathieu’s two shops and need assistance buying or fixing a bike, you would be hard-pressed to find a more competent and friendly staff anywhere else. While I’m mostly familiar with the Farmingdale site’s Alan Cummingham and John Waller — two people who have “wrenched” on my bikes for years — seeing Taylor and David in action at the clinic was a remarkable experience. The saying “they’ve forgotten more than I’ll ever know” came to mind as I watched them dispense their knowledge in such a way that even I could understand it. David was diagnosing issues correctly before even examining a bike; a kind of “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” moment, indeed. Simply put, Taylor and David know their stuff.

— When it comes to looking after your bicycle, the most important thing to remember is to keep the drivetrain clean. As Taylor said, “It all starts and ends there.” The two mechanics emphasized the need to remove debris from a bike’s chain and how to properly lubricate it, in addition to discussing how well a bike performs when cassettes and bottom brackets don’t get ignored. All this helps to prolong the life of a bicycle and, ultimately, means less frequency when it comes to replacing parts.

While the turnout for the clinic was small, it was beneficial for those who came; affording individual attention on bikes by staff members. And it was a great opportunity for Mathieu’s Cycle & Fitness to build on its relationships with those who love riding their bicycles. That in itself made holding the clinic — and possibly future ones — worth all the effort.

33 Maine Loop Bike Tours

33 Maine Loop Bike Tours

The Maine Office of Tourism has published a handy book of  33 “bike friendly” routes that cover the entire State.

With its beautiful scenery, bike-friendly roads and shared-use paths, Maine is a great place to cycle. In the mountains, along the coast, through the woods and over the beautiful byways in between, cyclists of all ages and skill levels find that cycling in Maine is a great experience.

MaineDOT has published all of the Maine bike tours in a handy book. The book includes:

MaineDOT Bike Book

  • 33 Loop Bicycle Tours
  • Turn-by-Turn Directions with Tear-Out Pages
  • Multiuse Trails
  • East Coast Greenway & Downeast Sunrise Trail
  • Mountain Biking Rides
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Trails
  • Safety Tips
  • Point of Interest
  • Historic Sites
  • and more!

The Bike Book is available at our Maine Visitor Centers across the state. Visit our Visitor Center page for locations and contact information.

Cool Video Article on Snow Biking In Central Maine

Cool Video Article on Snow Biking In Central Maine

Brian Alexander, Glenn Fenlason, and Jeff Clarke out riding their Snow Bikes in Central Maine. Cycling Outdoors and in the snow is alive and well.

Two of these guys are riding Pugsley Snow Bikes make by Surley. If you are interested in one for yourself, unfortunately, you will have to get in line. The company is sold out until sometime in March so you should be planning for late season snow riding or for next winter.

If you want to “get in line” come on in to our Oakland or Farmingdale stores and we will help you out.

Central Maine Bike Rides

Central Maine Bike Rides



Beautiful Central Maine Bike Ride

A Beautiful Central Maine Bike Ride Route



One of the challenges of riding a bike in Maine is to find good routes to ride that other cyclists have previously enjoyed. There are endless great ride options available but it is difficult to sit down with a map and find a route that is “Cyclist Friendly”. You don’t know if the roadway is falling apart or if it is so narrow it isn’t safe or comfortable to ride. Unless you have a topographical map you have no idea what kind of terrain you will encounter. And no map can tell you what kind of traffic to expect on your ride.

We would like to compile a list of  “user generated” ride resources for great bike rides in Central Maine so this is the beginning.

I recently “Stumbled Upon” such a resource, and I do mean “StumbleUpon” literally. Check out some time. It’s a cool site where you can find categorized web content that millions of users have “voted on”. So for instance you can “stumble” cycling and be shown sites that cycling enthusiasts have voted for to say they are worthy of a visit.

So the first site discovered is the ride finder. You can drill down your search by country, state, and region to fine tune your results. If you use the “advanced search” options you can also select ride distance, hills, and traffic.

My search for “Central Maine” generated a list of 20+ rides.

If you know of a great ride resource please comment below and let us know so we can share it!

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