Locals ride for a cause

17 years ago

Cyclists came from all across Maine and 28 other states June 15-17 to ride 180 miles over three days as a fundraiser for the Maine Lung Association.     The 23rd annual Trek Across Maine, which begins at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel and ends at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Rockland, with overnight stopovers in Farmington and Waterville, featured more than 2,200 registered bikers and raised more than $1.8 million for the cause.
The Trek takes on different meaning to different people – a family tradition on Father’s Day weekend, a way for businesses to promote good health, or a tribute to friends or family members who have lived with, or in many cases, died of lung cancer. This year, the youngest cyclist was 7 years of age, while the oldest was 79.
This year’s event served as a reunion of sorts for Richard Nichols and David Ballard, who graduated four years apart at Presque Isle High School in the late-1950s and early-1960s and met at the finish line.
Among the central Aroostook area’s other participants were Debbie McGann of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Bonnie Wod and Anya Wittington, professors at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, UMPI President Donald Zillman, Andrew Coiley of Fort Fairfield, Kevin Malenfant, Pat Bragdon and Kevin Sjoberg, all of Presque Isle.
“I was in it for the challenge, the cause and the camaraderie,” said Wittington, a first-year Trekker. “Plus, for the overall awareness of the Maine Lung Association and support for healthy endeavors from the campus community.”