Sunny skies and warming temperatures are headed this way, which will pair nicely with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s 21st Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour, set to ride on Saturday, April 17, starting at 8 a.m., through the Quiet Resorts. Cyclists of all ages and skill levels are being encouraged to choose between 25-, 35- and 50-mile routes, starting and ending in downtown Bethany Beach.
“We’re really excited for the event,” noted Carrie Subity, membership director and acting executive director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve worked on a lot of improvements this year, which we try to do every year, and because of that, we’ve seen over 100 more registrants than we had at this time last year.”
The ride will start and finish at PNC Bank on the corner of Garfield Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue, and all pre-registered riders will receive a free long-sleeved T-shirt. Completion of the bike tour is optional, and “sag wagons” will be available from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., for those unable to finish.
Members of the Chamber have solicited recommendations and advice from those who frequent the event, and from area bike groups.
“The Chamber has done a lot of outreach for events like this one,” Subity noted. “We’re tailoring more toward bike clubs all over the Eastern Seaboard, and this year, we’ve received help from six or seven more.”
There has been a big push this year for participation from groups and teams, who can sign up at a discounted rate for teams of six or more.
“The tour had really only spread by word of mouth,” said Subity. “In recent years, we’ve surveyed cyclists from years before. The advancements and changes to the event have really helped it grow. Without the participation from the cyclists, the tour couldn’t happen each year. We really appreciate and listen to people in the community.”
Road markings for the different routes will make this year’s ride go even smoother, and more and more riders are getting in on the action.
“The tour is not a race,” emphasized Subity, “and, for a while, the event had been primarily used as a fun ride. Now, we’re seeing more cyclists and enthusiasts using the tour as a training ride for bigger events and rides in the future. The 25- and 35-mile rides used to be the most popular ones, but, now, 60 percent of the participants are signing up for the 50-mile ride.”
Those who pre-register for the event must do so by Friday, April 9, and can do so by stopping into the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce or by visiting www.bethany-fenwick.org to print out a registration form to be mailed in. Payments must be post-marked by April 9 to qualify for the pre-registered rate of $30 per adult and $15 per child ages 5 to 18.
After April 9, registration will cost $35 per adult and $20 per child. Children 4 or younger ride for free.
Groups of six or more can register for $25 but must do so by April 9.
Check-in and registration will be conducted at the Chamber between noon and 8 p.m. on Friday, April 16, and will continue the morning of the tour in downtown Bethany Beach, from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. The event will run until 1 p.m., with finish-line festivities, including refreshments, live music and giveaways in the PNC parking lot, following the ride.
For more information, call the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce at (302) 539-2100.