Some people go on the Cycle Across Maryland bicycle tour for the scenery. Some go for exercise. Carroll County Transportation Planner Steven C. Horn is going along for the ride.
"I really enjoy riding," said Mr. Horn, who will join more than 1,300 people in this year's CAM tour. It will be his first bike tour.
"Since I work about a half-mile from my office, I figured I'd get a bike. I guess it just progressed from there."
The CAM tour, sponsored for the fifth year by First National Bank, has drawn cycle enthusiasts of all ages and from all over the country for a week-long "cyclabration" through Maryland's cities, suburbs and towns.
For the Greens of Sykesville, it's been a family event since 1990, when Anthony Green and his son Matthew began an odyssey across the state that started the tradition of their family's annual cycling experience.
Mr. Green, 47, and Matt, 18, will be joined this year by Mr. Green's daughter Valerie, 15.
"I've had at least one of my kids with me every year," Mr. Green said. "In 1990, there was Matt. The next year he couldn't go, so I talked my older daughter, Cindy, into going.
"Last year was a record year when all three of them went with me. Valerie even brought a friend."
The journey began yesterday at South Dorchester High School in Cambridge. The tour will go across the Eastern Shore with overnight stops in Federalsburg and Chestertown.
Wednesday, the cyclists will board cruise ships in Rock Hall and sail across the Chesapeake Bay and into Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
They will continue their intrastate adventure by biking through Catonsville, Westminster and Bel Air, with overnight stays along the way.
On their way through Bel Air, the riders will travel over the Little Gunpowder River by way of the Jericho covered bridge, circa 1800, and pass the Jerusalem Mill, built in 1772 by a gun-manufacturing Quaker named David Lee.
The tour is to conclude Saturday at Towson State University.
"The catch phrase of the tour is 'Capture the Essence of Maryland,' so there is a lot of contrast in the areas," said Sarah Pick, director of public relations for the CAM tour. "We are lucky that Maryland has so many beautiful areas to choose from."
The cyclists will camp overnight at various colleges along the trail -- including Western Maryland College on Thursday -- and rest at such midday stops as Pickles' Pub across from Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore and the New Windsor Service Center.
Ms. Pick said that all the participants appear to be enthusiastic about the tour, but not all of them are "typically athletic.
"They are just a lot of people who enjoy riding and have fun with it," Ms. Pick said.
Mr. Green said he likes to have fun on the ride, but also likes the challenge of "Century Day." On that day, cyclists are invited to try riding 100 miles instead of the average 50 miles.
Mr. Horn said he's not sure if he can stand -- or sit -- for the ride of the "century."
"I'm going to have to wait until that day to see how I feel," said Mr. Horn. "I'm not sure if 100 miles is in my best interests . . . or in my butt."