I remember the first time I manages to ride with no training wheels.

I felt like a frikkin' Viking. I felt like I had conquered the secrets to the universe, which brought me my very first tastes on childhood independence. Learning to ride a bike basically meant you could leave the neighborhood, whether you had permission or not. As a Gen X kid, safety was never really a concern for me. Helmets were for BMX racers. Not me...

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Recently, an article came out from BuyCycle.com, and they claim that Maine is actually one of the Top 5 best places in the US, to learn how to ride a bike. Naturally, one of the features necessary to excel in that category, is safety. To learn right, you need a safe place to practice, correct?

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Then what in the world is happening in Bangor?

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Granted, sometimes Bangor kind of does feel like Maine's backwards city. It's got some big-city items, yet riddled with small-town inconvenience. And when it comes to riding a bike, this still seems to hold up. While the rest of the state is high-fiving over being a super awesome place for bicyclists, Bangor is sort of doing the opposite.

Young woman with bicycle in the park

According to the BDN, Bangor is currently on track to match up with car/bicycle accident numbers that we haven't seen in years. In 2017, Bangor had 18 cyclists that were hit by cars. Right now, Bangor seemingly averaging one a month. And we haven't even gotten to the real biking "season".

Police line
Chris Bernard

Is Bangor doing anything about it?

Short answer, yes. When new paving and road construction projects allow, the city has been making some effort to widen where they can, and add dedicated bike lanes. But in general, biking enthusiasts all seem to agree that the streets of Bangor are not an ideal place to ride a bike.

Read More: Remember When a Maine Man in the 80's Thought He Won a Corvette?

There are some solid, safe places to go. For instance, the Bangor City Forest welcomes bikers on their trails. There are also other trail systems around town that could accommodate bicycles. But more importantly, cars just need to also pay a bit more attention. Sharing the road works both ways...

Add these spots to your summer travels...

LOOK: Here are just some of the most magical places in Maine

You don't need to break the bank or risk life and limb to feel like you're in another world. Just head to Maine and explore these surprisingly magical spots. Tap or click the photo for more information.

Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz

Here Are 14 Times Bigfoot Has Been Reported in Maine

Gallery Credit: Sean McKenna

Maine's 20 Largest State Parks by Acreage

Maine's 42 state parks and historical sites saw over 3 million visitors in 2021. These popular spots just continue to remain quite popular. They are also extraordinarily diverse to one another in their own right, including the size.

Here are the 20 largest state parks in Maine based on acreage.

Note: Baxter State Park has been omitted since it's not run by the Maine Bureau of Parks & Public Lands.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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