By Bruce Cohen - September 25, 2014
As Tour du Port rounds the corner, we want to take a break from preparations to give a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors who help make this event possible. Tour du Port is Bike Maryland’s largest fundraiser and largest ride of the year. The proceeds, through sponsorship, registrations, and merchandise sale keep our staff hard at work fighting for better bicycling in Maryland.
AAA Mid-Atlantic, T. Rowe Price, Agora, Towson University and Care First are all financial sponsors of Bike Maryland who help us not only put on Tour du Port, but also fund our safety and advocacy initiatives. We thank these partners for their commitment to safer cycling and more active advocacy in Maryland.
The only thing cyclists love more than cycling is post-ride refreshments. Coastal Sunbelt Produce and H&S Bakery have been constant supporters at Tour du Port and Larry’s Ride, with in-kind donations. When you enjoy a banana or sandwich at any of our rides, know that it is Coastal Sunbelt Produce and H&S Bakery that enable us to have them in abundant supply. Leftovers are donated along to food banks, and the chain of giving continues.
Back at Canton Waterfront Park, The Gathering is a newcomer this year with food trucks. We are thrilled to literally take our hands out of the “catering” business and pass this important role over to professionals. At Bike Maryland we are cyclists and advocates, not chefs, and we want to provide you with a better lunch than what we can cook up. Thus, six different food trucks.
New Belgium, a previous supporter of the Bike Friendly Maryland Program, is a newcomer to our beverage line-up. Thank you for their in-kind donation and sponsorship of our efforts to offer adult beverages! Now you will be able to drink water, lemonade, or delicious New Belgium Beer! Huzzah!
Parking in Baltimore City can be difficult. Fortunately nearby Rukert Terminals Corporation and Corporate Office Properties Trust have donated the use of their parking lots for riders of Tour du Port. Our use of these lots ends at 3 pm, so please move your cars before then or you will have to pay a parking fee. On-street parking is also available in the surrounding neighborhood, just be sure to check that you are not in a permit restricted area.
Finally, events like Tour du Port thrive with the support of local bicycle shops. Race Pace Bicycles and Joe’s Bike Shop are constant presences at Tour du Port and frequently host our events throughout the year. Race Pace Bicycles will be at Canton Waterfront Park, doing last minute tweaks and tire pumps to get you safely and comfortably on the road. On our 14-mile route we will have Joe’s Bike Shop to the rescue for flats. Performance Bicycles will be at the North Point rest stop on the 30-mile route. This year, on the challenging 50-mile route that reaches up into Loch Raven we will also be supported by Lutherville Bikes and the Cycle Mill. Our cyclists can rest easy knowing that there will be two shops on board with mechanics and supplies ready to help them get rolling again after a flat or other repairable breakdowns on this longer route.
Thanks once again to our terrific sponsors for your commitment to bicycling in Maryland!