Retirement Living Community, Brunswick, Maine
Thornton Oaks Retirement Community

Life in the Bike Lane

Thornton Oaks residents enjoy a wide range of activities. For many, biking is at the top of the list. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Maine third among the states for bicycle friendliness. Brunswick, however, is the only Maine town to earn the League’s “Bicycle-Friendly Community” designation.

“Our carbon footprint has gone way down since we moved to Brunswick,” says Don Hoople, who often cycles into town to pick up groceries. Don notes the “uncluttered” Brunswick roadways. “We were here a couple of weeks before it dawned on me: there are no telephone poles or overhead wires. It’s all underground.”

“There’s so much going on in Brunswick,” says Sally Hoople. “One of my favorite bicycle rides is over to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. It’s so close by I can visit as often as I like.”

“I’ve got several loop routes I do from Thornton Oaks,” says Ned Sprague. “It’s more interesting when you can come back a different way.” Ned often rides the seven miles to the marina on Brunswick’s Mere Point, where he keeps his sailboat.

Jim and Deanna Baxter enjoy the town bike path, which follows the Androscoggin River. Their dog, Bailey, rides on the back of Jim’s bike. The three Baxters also enjoy kayaking. “We keep the kayaks on top of the car and the bikes on the back,” says Deanna. “It’s a lot easier that way to get up and go.”

Deanna and Jim appreciate the can-do spirit they encountered from their first day at Thornton Oaks. Arriving on the heels of a blizzard—not the best timing for a couple from Georgia—they discovered that a large, antique corner cupboard would not fit in the Matthew Terrace elevator. “It was the end of a long day, and I was ready to tell the movers to take it down to the storage unit,” says Deanna. “But the Thornton Oaks maintenance director said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get it up there.’ He and another staff member, and our two movers carried it up three flights of stairs. To me, that was beyond the call, and it’s just one example of how eager they are to help. They really can’t do enough for you here.”

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