The Maryland Cycling Classic: Baltimore’s New Block Party
Summer is the ideal time to make the most of one’s community; getting outdoors and participating in local events is a great way to maximize fun during these sunny months. This summer, Baltimore-area residents have a unique opportunity to get out and get involved. After a two-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the great state of Maryland is thrilled to be hosting the Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare over Labor Day weekend. Locals and visitors alike can delight in this four-day family-friendly festival of cycling and community that culminates in a one-of-a-kind race. Activities are available throughout the weekend, with interactive events and plenty of ways to get involved during the race itself.
On Sunday, Sept. 4, this spectacular event, the country’s top-ranked professional road cycling race, will feature 17 teams of world-class athletes from over 20 countries as they tackle a diverse 120-mile journey from scenic countryside right into central Baltimore. The first leg of the race will take riders on a gorgeous trek through the gentle rolling terrain of Baltimore County, around the Prettyboy Reservoir and historic Sagamore Farm. The route then heads south into the heart of Baltimore for a dynamic multi-lap finale. Riders will race along the waterfront and through many of the city’s beloved neighborhoods, culminating in a thrilling dash to the finish line on East Pratt St.
In addition to the celebrations and awards ceremony that will follow the race, the Maryland Cycling Classic will feature a long weekend’s worth of events that celebrate health, fellowship, and the Baltimore community at large. Sept. 1 is Community Day and will feature school appearances by the athletes and other festivities to highlight the joys of cycling and spread awareness for bike and helmet safety. A group ride for the community will take place on Thursday, Sept 1 at Patterson Park. This “Bike Jam” event is for the whole family to have fun and enjoy and attendees are welcome to ride bikes to the park. This event will feature a slow ride around the park with celebrity guest cyclists and ambassadors, along with a bike safety clinic, helmet safety clinics, music, and vendors.
On Sept. 2, the festival will officially kick off with the Team Introductions, a special event taking place on Lancaster St. that will introduce fans to the professional riders on all 17 teams slated to race. The team introduction is free and open to the public. On Sept. 3, the Bridges of Hope Ride will give participants a chance to ride sections of the professional course while supporting the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the medical care of children across the country. To register visit MarylandCyclingClassic.us. In order to ride, a donation can be made on the site or a disclosed amount of money has to be raised in support of the Children’s Foundation.
On Sept. 4, the Maryland Cycling Classic will light up the Baltimore area with a Health & Wellness Festival, Fan Zone, awards ceremony, and family activities at the finish line, creating an all-day “block party” throughout the region.
An event such as this is made even more exciting by the enthusiasm of its spectators. In addition to attending the celebration at the finish line, supporters are welcome to camp out and cheer along the route. Folks are encouraged to decorate the roads with chalk, make signs or flags for their favorite riders, and otherwise support the riders with that unmistakable Baltimore heart and soul. For those looking for a more hands-on way to participate, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to help make sure the race runs smoothly and safely.
At long last, the Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare is becoming a reality, giving the Baltimore community a phenomenal opportunity to come together and celebrate the scope and vibrancy of the area, all while having a blast. For more information, including updates about road closures, athlete announcements, and the full schedule of events, please visit MarylandCyclingClassic.us.
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