Frederick County’s most popular bicycling event, the Tour de Frederick is making dramatic improvements to all aspects of this year’s event, the eighth annual. The event is being run on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County and the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek.

Held the weekend of Aug. 12-13, the routes for this year’s tour are being dramatically improved in order to incorporate the best aspects of previous tours, incorporating three covered bridges and totally avoids crossing busy U.S. 15.

The start and ending location for Saturday’s rides and the venue for the very popular after-party and lunch will move to the air-conditioned Walkersville Fire Hall, 79 W. Frederick St., Walkersville. By moving to this venue, this year’s rides will be more rural in nature with very few trafficked streets.

Event director Carole Heine said “as we approach 1,000 riders in our event, crossing and re-crossing Route 15 was becoming increasingly problematic. This year’s new route is much improved and no longer requires cyclists to cross Route 15. The police road marshals are ecstatic! It also enables us to avoid busy city streets.”

Four routes, ranging from 13 miles to a full century will be featured on Saturday, with a very leisurely 10-mile history bike tour of Frederick City Sunday morning. Ride times are as follows:

  • Aug. 11, 4 to 6:30 p.m. registration
  • Aug. 12, 6:30 a.m. — Wegmans Century Ride, 100 miles
  • Aug. 12, 7 a.m. — McShea Properties Metric Century Ride, 62 miles
  • Aug. 12, 8:30 a.m. — The Will Group Foundation Club Riders Ride, approximately 35 miles
  • Aug. 12, 10:30 a.m. — Morgan Keller Family Ride, approximately 13 miles
  • Aug. 13, 8 a.m. — Cintas 10 Mile History Ride (Frederick Visitor Center, 151 S. East St., Frederick)

The rest stops, featuring plenty of refreshments, ice towels which were highly popular last year, and air conditioning at a few of the stops, were rated by some riders as the best they’ve ever experienced.

“Saturday’s Tour de Frederick was my first 100 miler. Your team did an excellent job organizing and operating this event,” said Don Duff of last year’s event. “I regularly saw the green/yellow shirt folks (support staff) driving by while biking, the rest stops were well- stocked ... The roads were well chosen. I come from a long history of organizing tech teams to grow companies. Very well organized program! Thank you!”

The highly popular century ride this year heads north over rolling terrain into the northern section of Frederick County via the historic Legore Stone Arch Bridge (circa 1900) and then turns west into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, crossing the notable Eisenhower Bridge, circa 1886, and the haunted Sachs Covered Bridge, circa 1854. Riders proceed east through the Gettysburg National Military Park, re-entering Frederick County and circling back westward to Emmitsburg. The final 25 miles go through three of Frederick’s legendary covered bridges. This year’s century route is fairly gentle with only 3,100 feet of climbing.

The metric route this year shares much of the same roads as the century but splits off at Mile 24 into Emmitsburg, then rejoins the century route. The metric route is also gently rolling with only 2,200 feet of climbing.

Already returning as presenting sponsors are Lancaster Craftsman Builders and M&T Bank, route sponsors include Wegmans, McShea Properties, The Will Group Foundation, Morgan Keller and Cintas. Community Champions include Yakabod, Miles & Stockbridge Foundation, PVI Office Furniture, Charles River and Catoctin Woodworks.

“Our amazing rest stop and finish line sponsors include Car Care Crew, The Berkheimer Group at Morgan Stanley, Darius Mark of State Farm Insurance, Cyclefit, The Will Group Foundation, Wegmans, Thermo Fit, and Bill and Sue Blair with their homegrown tomatoes,” TdF director Heine said.

Lisa McDonald, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, said “the Tour de Frederick makes a huge difference in what services we are able to offer the vulnerable youth in our county.”

Rotary Club of Carroll Creek spokesman Greg Light, an avid cyclist, said “this event has become a focal point of our fundraising efforts for both local and international causes every year. That it also happens to be a great event in which to ride your bike is a huge plus. Every year it seems to improve and riders return telling us it’s their favorite organized ride of the year. Our goal is only to continue improving it.”

The Tour de Frederick continues collaborating with the highly spectator-friendly Clustered Spires High Wheel race, which is held Aug. 12 in downtown Frederick, beginning and ending in front of Brewer’s Alley.

Following the High Wheel race, everyone is invited to a live music celebration and dance at Color on the Creek, a few blocks away at the Carroll Creek amphitheater.

Dr. Pete Kremers, the man behind Color on the Creek (www.coloronthecreek.com), is an avid cyclist who rides the Tour de Frederick every year, said the collaboration between the two events couldn’t be more perfect.

For details, or to register go to www.tourdefrederick.com.

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