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Try a Multi-day Bike Ride
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by Bruce Dwyer

Looking for a bicycling adventure this year. Why not try a multi-day ride with a whole bunch of other cyclists. Try going to the web site of the National Bicycle Tour Directors' Association: www.nbdta.com, where you will find information and links to over 60 rides, including rides Mexico and Canada.

Multi-day bike rides have become more and more popular in recent years. The typical format is a ride of five to seven days, cycling 50-80 miles each day, camping on the school grounds in a small rural community with meals offered by a local service group. The ride organizer provides maps and/or cue sheets and/or route markings, sets up rest stops, transports your luggage to the next town, and organizes sites to see during the day and entertainment in the evenings so your trip is an adventure, not just a bike ride. While the concept for these rides is similar, each ride is different, reflecting the culture and terrain of its state, how much you pay, and the organizing group's style. Price varies considerable depending on how much is offered. A typical cost without meals would range between $130-$190. When you pull the map out to marvel at how far you traveled by bike, a point-to-point, or cross state rides give you a much greater sense of accomplishment than a loop ride of the same distance because it only covers a more compact area. However, the loop ride is much less of a logistics endeavor without the extra day to travel by car or bus (and truck for your bike) to get from the ride finish, where you park you car, to the ride start. For the less hardy, most rides give you a list of motels where you can make you own reservation. The number of cyclists on any ride will vary from under 100 to over 10,000. Standing in line becomes an opportunity to meet new friends.

From my own experience, going on one of these multi-day rides is my favorite way to bike. I have done Bike Virginia (for all its fourteen years) as well as rides in Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Mexico. For the last few years, my wife has joined my on several rides where I will concede to the motel option. Some of our best friends are cyclists we met on these rides and we look forward to our bicycle reunions.

So what is the NBTDA? It is an organization of ride directors trying to make his/her ride safer, more fun, and just plan better every year. Most of the ride organizations are non-profits interested in promoting bicycling as a healthful way to have a vacation, while also stimulating interest in bicycling in local communities. The member ride organizations help one another out with the sharing of information on what works well and what does not work.. They work together on solving problems common to all rides. And they offer this fabulous web site to help us find a ride we would like.

So click on www.nbdta.com pick a ride, start training, and next year you can wear a cool T-shirt as proof that you rode your bike 400 miles in one week across/around your favorite state and really toughed it out by camping.

more Ride Schedule

12/4/2016
CC/B/BB/A * 40/50 * MD * 10:00 AM * The Winter Ride * S. Germantown Rec Park-Adv Playground (SGRAP)

12/4/2016
CANCELLED D/C * 16-19 * VA * 2:00 PM * All Sundays On W&OD Trail * Vienna City Hall Parking

Featured Members
Matthew BirnbaumMatt is Chairman of Potomac Pedalers
Linda B. KolkoLinda is the D/C Ride Coordinator for MD & DC

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