Cyclist for all Seasons – Mark Wheeler, M.D (ret.)

Born and raised on the West Coast, Mark practiced medicine in Portland, Oregon for 30 years then moved to Maine and lived for twenty-two years in Woolwich before moving to Bath. Mark first started riding, like most of us, about the age of 8. After experimenting with running, but having seen so many patients with blown-out knees from the sport, he decided biking was infinitely safer and better on the body. He got into biking seriously in 1994 and in 1996 rode across America. This cemented his love of the bicycle (and also gained him many new friends.) There’s nothing like experiencing this great land at 10 miles an hour in the company of like-minded people, meeting people along the way, and absorbing the incredible landscape. What can you see at 70-mph on an Interstate? He has also made it a point of really seeing the state of Maine having participated in every one of the annual BikeMaine five-day rides through some part of the state.

Since the 1990s he has made it a mission to introduce other people to the joys of riding (and as a result has made many more new friends.) In Maine beginning in 1999, he and another avid rider began leading bicycle trips to the Hudson Valley and on a “Four Island” trip in Maine for a company, Bike Escapades. For the past decade he has planned and led Saturday morning and Tuesday rides for cyclists of mixed abilities, rides which range from 20-30 miles, taking advantage of the marvelous rural road network around Bath, Brunswick, and Wiscasset always with a stop for coffee, a treat, and good camaraderie.

In the meantime, he “interns” at the Bath Bike and Ski shop in Woolwich and has added to his medical skills a very handy competence in bike repair. For those who ride with him there’s nothing like the security of having a physician and mechanic along.

Some years back, Mark began collecting unwanted bicycles for the Community Bicycle Center of Biddeford which provides some good life skills for kids by teaching them bike building and bike repair and giving them a chance to earn a bike. More recently he has been fixing up appropriate bikes himself and delivering them to Catholic Charities of Maine, the state organization authorized by the federal government to manage the settlement of refugees and asylum-seekers. Bikes provide essential transportation.

Mark has also been a strong supporter of the state-wide bicycling advocacy group, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and is a member of their “Yellow Jersey” group.

When asked, “What’s important about bicycling to you,” he replied, “The most gratifying thing is the pleasure of moving along and being part of the landscape, not whizzing by at 50 mph. I enjoy greeting folks along the way, stopping to check something of interest, and especially sharing the experience with fellow riders.

“I’m tired of cars. I hope that people will come to their senses and live in communities where they can walk or take a short bike ride to their usual destinations—grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, doctor’s office, or friend’s house and Bath is a great example of the kind of place where such a life style is possible.”

Updates on Bath City Infrastructure

Updates to the built environment to improve bicycling and walking in the City of Bath during the past six months include:

  1. Restriping along High Street to calm traffic and encourage a safe environment for all road users.
  2. Creation and widening of the sidewalk on Congress Street over Route 1. In addition to improving the safety of this stretch of road, this improvement joins the multi-use path from the junction of High and Congress Streets, past the future high school and Atlantic Townhouse, over Route 1 to the CVS on State Road and the adjacent Residence Inn. See picture below.
  3. Installation of additional signage at the intersection of High and Center Street and Court Street to improve safety of all those transiting the intersection.
  4. Repaved sidewalks on Middle (Centre to Winter), Chestnut, and Andrews Streets in conjunction with natural gas work.


Welcome from Kevin Shute

Hello and welcome to the first post of the City of Bath Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee blog.  The intent of this blog is to inform residents of the work of the advisory committee, provide suggestions on places within the city ( and region) to walk or bike, promote safety education, tips on the health benefits of an active lifestyle and furnish a calendar of upcoming bicycle and pedestrian events.

Bath is compact, 13 square miles. The majority of our population resides within two miles or less from schools, recreational facilities, medical offices, the Y, downtown businesses and the shopping center. A perfect reason why our hard working volunteer committee works diligently to make Bath a safer community for walkers , cyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation.

In May 2018 the Bath City Council formally adopted a revised Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The original plan was developed in 2011, and over the past five years many of the goals of the original plan have been achieved and it became time for a look forward to the next five years. Areas of focus in the 2018 revision, include infrastructure, education, advocacy and collaboration. All items, important to providing a comprehensive plan that addresses the health, safety and social needs of all Bath residents as they relate to bicycle and pedestrian issues.

We welcome input from the citizens we represent. Residents are encouraged to read the revised Bike/Ped Plan ( found on the City of Bath website), and provide us with your thoughts and concerns. The committee meets the third Thursday of the month at 4pm at the Bath Parks and Recreation Department located at 4 Sheridan Road. Please feel free to attend our meetings or if you have an item for our monthly agenda please forward them to Ben Averill, City Planner,

Kevin Shute, Chair