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Pedaling and paddling with Explore Bangor

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New downtown business to offer bicycle, kayak rentals

BANGOR A business based in bikes and boats is coming to downtown Bangor.

Explore Bangor, now open at 25 Hammond St. (the former home of Metropolitan Soul), is aimed at bringing bicycle, kayak and paddleboard rentals to locals and tourists alike. The store will also offer up a variety of guided tours both over the land and on the water.

'We've got a couple of different kinds of bikes,' said owner Jamie McDonough. 'And we'll have single and double kayaks, along with stand-up paddleboards.'

In addition to the fleet of bicycles and watercraft, the store also sells a variety of gear and other gifts including a selection of socks from McDonough's family's North Carolina-based hosiery.

McDonough came to the area from Greenville, South Carolina about three years ago when her husband a boat designer took a job here. She operated a bike rental place in Greenville before the move, a business that she built from the ground up.

'I had 25 bikes for rent when I first started,' she said. 'It was up to 100 when I sold it. People loved it. And really, it makes for a pretty good day at the office.'

McDonough and her family are lovers of the outdoors; they are longtime bikers and kayakers. And now that they're living in the colder climes of Maine, they've added cross-country skiing into the mix. She's even thinking about possibly introducing cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals onto the menu at Explore Bangor in the future.

The store's website is in the process of being updated; it will eventually play host to more than just information about the store's offerings. Ultimately, the site will feature information about tidal conditions and the like, aimed at ensuring the best possible experience for renters.

'The goal is to put people on the water in desirable conditions,' said McDonough.

One of McDonough's aims with Explore Bangor is to find ways to celebrate the active outdoor lifestyle; she hopes that some of these rentals might lead to people embracing pedals and paddles. To that end, she's trying to ensure that her services are affordable.

'It is really important to me to make this accessible to everybody,' she said. 'Basically, you can go to a movie or you can rent a bike. I hope to keep the cost from being any kind of issue.'

McDonough also mentioned how pleased she was with regards to the reception she has gotten from her fellow business owners.

'People from local businesses have come out and shown me a lot of support,' she said. 'The whole downtown business community has been great; they've been really welcoming.'

Businesses like Explore Bangor are labors of love for the people who drive them people like Jamie McDonough. While there will undoubtedly be obstacles along the way, she is looking forward to the journey.

'I think it's going to be great,' she said with a smile.

(Explore Bangor's hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. You can also find them on Facebook. For questions or more information, you can contact them via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling (207) 573-1328.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 12:53


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