Saturday, October 05, 2013

Tour Du Port 2013

Last weekend I rode the 2013 edition of the Tour Du Port, a bike ride through Baltimore. There were 15, 25, 40, 50 and 60 mile options. I felt good to say that I didn't take the shortest option. On the other hand, it looks like the extra 10 miles on the 25-mile ride were just a tour of Dundalk, which wasn't particularly exciting. If you did the 40-mile ride, you got to see North Point State Park, which is probably nice, but the second part of my ride seemed sort of tacked-on.

I don't know how many of my fellow riders were in it for the scenery. At one point, everybody seemed to be ignoring the cue sheet directions, but somehow following the painted arrows on the street. I figured out that the directions had us take about a 1/3-mile loop through Federal Hill Park, and most people just skipped that.

View from Federal Hill Park
The view of the harbor from the park was one of the highlights of the trip, so I don't quite understand that. Patterson Park, Fort McHenry, and the rest stop at the Aquarium were also quite nice.

There's another ride through Baltimore called "Tour Dem Parks, Hon" that I think I'd prefer, if I do another one there next year. While some sights on the urban part of the ride were interesting (someone tailgating in a random street parking space for an away game, a couple still dressed in their going-out clothes after likely having been up all night), I'm not a huge fan of city biking compared to being in parks.

Registration at Canton Waterfront Park
All in all, it ended up being my fourth-longest ride, after the ride in Chestertown in June, the ride in Switzerland, and one in Santa Barbara. I think the only way I could do anything significantly longer is if I knew I'd have a long break in the middle (which I did in Switzerland and Santa Barbara).

It was nice doing two of these long rides this year, and I hope I can do two or three of them again in 2014.
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