“Seeing our city, riding past the historic monuments, neighborhoods and parks is such a completely different experience on a bicycle,” said Carol Silldorf, executive director of Bike Maryland, describing what she likes best about the Tour du Port. “Traveling five to 20 miles per hour, without a roof over your head, you experience the sounds and smells of the city. And, early on a Sunday morning, sometimes the surprising quiet of the city.”
Billed as Baltimore’s premier bicycle tour, the popular Tour du Port launches Sunday from Canton’s Waterfront Park. Some 2,000 bicyclists, including many from Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia, are expected.
This weekend’s event, the 19th annual, supports Bike Maryland, a statewide nonprofit advocating for improved bicycle safety and pro-bicycling legislation. The event features five new routes this year, including distances of 12, 28, 40, 50 and 65 miles. Along with touring Baltimore City, routes carry riders through parts of Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties. All routes also enter Fort McHenry for an optional walking tour, as well as break at the National Aquarium for refreshments and banana bread.
All routes return to the Canton Waterfront Park for a post-race party, including live music, vendors and complimentary, healthy lunch (Whole Foods is one of the sponsors). Current weather reports predict sunny, 70-degree temperatures.
A post-ride “Yoga for Cyclists” class also returns this year, including stretching tips to counter normal cyclists' tension areas in the legs, hips, back and shoulders.
On-site registration and check-in for the Tour du Port is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. All bicyclists must begin their route by 9:30 a.m. and finish by 3 p.m. Online registration is $52 until Friday and $60 on-site Sunday, with discounted rates for students. Automobile parking is available at 1500 S. Clinton St.
Rules regarding kids at Tour du Port can be found here.