One of Charm City’s most charming bicycling events, the annual Tour dem Parks, Hon!, has announced its 2013 date — June 9 — with online registration available starting Feb. 14.
The Valentine’s Day registration date is no coincidence, noted organizer Gary Letteron with a laugh: “We want people to sign up with a spouse or a loved one.”
Launched by Letteron, Light Street Cycles owner Penny Troutner, longtime Baltimore bicycling activist Bob Moore (now deceased), among others, the Tour dem Parks, Hon! ride has grown dramatically in the past decade, with 1,200 or more expected to participate this summer. Routes offered vary from a 12-mile family ride to 25 and 36-mile jaunts, which weave through most of the city’s parks, including some lesser-traveled gems —like Hanlon Park and Herring Run — and a 64-mile metric century for the strong-legged.
“We thought it would be a good idea to help support the park system, and encourage people to get out and do some urban biking,” Letteron said. “Every year, people come back and say, ‘Oh my God, I had no idea,’ about all of the city's parks.
Proceeds from the ride benefit the City’s Park Department, the nonprofit “friends” groups of local parks and environmental organizations.