The Cycle Across Maryland bicycle tour, gearing up for its fourth annual two-wheeled vacation (July 26-Aug. 1), is sowing seeds for future riders by distributing 1,200 helmets in 22 elementary schools around the state.
The helmet safety campaign, announced at a press conference yesterday in connection with National Bike Month, has been funded by proceeds from CAM Tour.
"We're directing this year's efforts at the elementary school level to encourage riding safety and wearing of helmets, to reduce bicycle accidents and raise safer riders," says Charles W. Cole Jr., president of principle sponsor First National Bank.
CAM Tour distributed 1,000 helmets to middle school students last fall, following the 1991 around-the-Chesapeake Bay tour, from Solomons to Easton.
The 1992 edition of the weeklong cycle event is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants, says executive director Pat Bernstein. The 300-mile route runs from the mountains of Western Maryland to College Park.
Riders will gather at Frostburg State University July 26, and depart July 27 for overnight stops in Flintstone, Hancock, Middletown (near Frederick), Winfield (in Carroll County) and Olney.
Up to 500 riders will have the opportunity to take a MARC train to the starting point, leaving their cars at the College Park terminus. And the route will allow all riders to pedal at least briefly in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, where the final day's ride will proceed through Rock Creek Park and around the Mall.
A preparation rally for riders, titled "Bikes and Bodies Get Ready," is scheduled all day May 16 at Glenelg Country School in Howard County. Included will be workshops on a variety of bike topics, as well as afternoon training rides ranging from 12 to 40 miles.
For more information on CAM Tour, call (800) 842-BANK (2265).