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Annual Topsham bike tour to benefit waterfront park

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Annual Topsham bike tour to benefit waterfront park

TOPSHAM — It's a tribute to summer in the great outdoors: a bayside bicycle ride that benefits a burgeoning waterfront park.

This year's 10th annual Tour de Merrymeeting Bay bicycle ride will raise money for the Head of Tide Park on Cathance Road, which the town is developing in stages.

The Saturday, Aug. 3, event offers two routes: a 50-mile loop that circles Merrymeeting Bay and the lower areas of the Androscoggin and Kennebec rivers, and a 25-mile "Bowdoinham and Back" option for families and less experienced bicyclists. Both start at the Foreside Recreation Fields at 86 Foreside Road.

Registration is $50 for the longer tour, and begins at 7 a.m., with the trek to begin at 8 a.m. It offers good pavement; bay, river, forest and farmland vistas; some rolling hills, and Maine villages, according to organizers.

Registration is $30 for the shorter trip, which provides views of Merrymeeting Bay and Bowdoinham farmlands. Sign-up is at 9 a.m., with a 10 a.m. ride time.

Both routes have road markings, maps, bicycle mechanics, radio marshals and refreshments. Riders get a free T-shirt and can enjoy a barbecue after the ride.

The town of Topsham and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust have been working together to create and protect Head of Tide Park. The park encompasses the space around the Cathance River's head of tide, and features a 15-foot waterfall. It also offers access to hand-carry boat access to the Cathance, downstream of the falls, and more than seven miles of trails.

Log onto topshammaine.com/tmb or call 729-7694 for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.