Get­ting Ready to Hit The Cy­cling Trails

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports -

Don’t let the cool weather fool you. Spring is of­fi­cially here and it’s time to ex­pe­ri­ence Wash­ing­ton by bike. If you’re rar­ing to go — you’ve got your bike tuned and your hel­met on your head — but don’t know what route to take, check out www.bike­wash­ing­ton.org. The Web site is a great re­source for lo­cal bike trails. Routes are listed by name and in­clude a de­scrip­tion, mileage and road con­di­tions — paved vs. crushed stone. The site even rec­om­mends trails based on abil­ity, routes within an hour’s drive, other trail Web sites and a list of events. You also can sign up for the mes­sage list and meet other lo­cal rid­ers.

For road and moun­tain bik­ers who are all warmed up and ready to com­pete, check out th­ese two events tak­ing place in April.

Bike An­napo­lis: Ride for Shel­ter — Third an­nual bike ride to raise money for the home­less in An­napo­lis. Cour­ses range from one to 40 miles. Fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude face paint­ing, bike dec­o­rat­ing, tune­ups and an ob­sta­cle course. All pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the Light House Shel­ter in An­napo­lis. Rides be­gin at 7:30 a.m. next Sun­day; reg­is­tra­tion opens at 7 a.m., Navy-Marine Corps Me­mo­rial Sta­dium, Gate 5, Tay­lor Av­enue, An­napo­lis. For in­for­ma­tion, call 410-263-3962 or visit www.ride­for­shel­ter.com.

Green­brier Chal­lenge — The Po­tomac Velo Club will again spon­sor the Green­brier Chal­lenge on April 29. The Green­brier Chal­lenge, in its fourth year, is one of the big­gest moun­tain bike races in the mid-At­lantic re­gion. Race or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect about 400 ama­teur rac­ers to com­pete on wooded trails that pass lakes and through wild land­scapes. There are races for 50 dif­fer­ent classes di­vided by gen­der, age and abil­ity. All classes have a chance to qual­ify for a spot in the Na­tional Moun­tain Bike Cham­pi­onship in Mount Snow, Vt., July 17-22. With the 2008 Sum­mer Olympics in Bei­jing around the cor­ner, the Green­brier Chal­lenge is one of three races on the East Coast for pro bike rac­ers to gain cred­its to earn a spot on the U.S. cy­cling team. About 60 elite rac­ers are ex­pected to com­pete in the event. Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit lo­cal youth char­i­ties. Or­ga­niz­ers are seek­ing vol­un­teers to set up the course, di­rect traf­fic and clean up af­ter the race. The races take place on the grounds of Green­brier State Park, 21843 Na­tional Pike, Boons­boro, Md. The first race be­gins at 8:15 a.m. Rid­ers can reg­is­ter on-site on race day. For in­for­ma­tion, call 703-569-9875 or visit www. po­tomacvelo.com/green­bri­er­chal­lenge.htm. To reg­is­ter, visit www.bik­ereg.com/events/ reg­is­ter.asp?even­tid=4279 by April 25.

— Lauren Wise­man

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