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Cycle Across Maryland Comes to Emmitsburg July 24 – 27

(7/17) They come decked out in colorful outfits, powering efficient green machines, invented over 100 years ago, ruling the roads long before the automobile was king. Over 500 cyclists from the Mid-Atlantic area will converge in Emmitsburg from July 24-27 for the 20th Annual Cycle Across Maryland.

First started in 1989, 300+ brave souls pedaled for a week from Hagerstown over the Conowingo Dam ending at Snow Hill, 300 miles later on the lower Eastern shore. It was quite a trek, half of it under rainy skies, I remember it fondly, being one of those pioneers. It was truly a cycle across Maryland.

CAM XX is now a week-end event. This year’s event works from a home base of Mount St. Mary's University, where all rides will originate. The bikers will stay in dorms, reliving their college days or camping. Starting Friday, the cyclists will have a daily choice of rides from a leisurely 13 miles to 100 miles, the cyclists equivalent to a runner’s marathon.

Friday's and Sunday's rides will tour thru much of Frederick County’s eastern and central scenic back roads, while Saturday’s rides will venture north into Pennsylvania with Gettysburg National Historic Park being the focus. Rest stops will be provided along the routes to refuel and refresh the riders. In addition to the rides, the cyclists will be offered related classes, movies, massages, evening entertainment and a BBQ picnic with country fair on Saturday. Sunday will close the event after the rides with a farewell pizza party.

CAM XX is sponsored by One Less Car, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthful activities such as cycling and walking as transportation alternatives to the automobile. Food and Friends, another non-profit dedicated to feeding the unfortunate in the Washington DC area, will be quite noticeable with 60+ riders, in their distinctive jerseys. Each Food and Friends cyclist has personally raised over $1000 in pledges to make this ride possible.

Registration for CAM is still open at the website. Volunteers are also welcomed to assist, and will be reimbursed on their registration fee.

Cycle Across Maryland 2008 – The Rides

Each day the cyclists will have a choice of ride distances depending on their skills and abilities.

Friday, July 25
13, 30, 43, 60 miles
All the rides head south starting at the college. The 13-mile route visits the Roddy Covered Bridge. The other routes also go through the Utica and Loys Station covered bridges. The longest routes pass by the Walkersville Heritage Farm Park and the five-arch limestone Legore Bridge before returning to the start.

Saturday, July 26
16, 32,62 and 100 miles
The cyclists head north into Pennsylvania and the rides are centered around the Gettysburg National Park. The longest routes feature a metric (62 miles) and a full English Century ride (100 miles), which is a badge of honor for serious cyclists. This century ride is very challenging as it ascends over South Mountain to Pine Grove Furnace State Park before heading south.

Sunday, July 27
19, 31, 46 miles
This loop heads east to Taneytown crossing the Mononacy River. The route continues on to Union Bridge before heading back to the college. The longer ride is hillier, while the others cover rolling terrain.

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