HANCOCK - Hancock will host up to 1,000 bicyclists for a few hours on July 31, when riders heading from Seattle to Washington, D.C., stop in town.
The GTE Big Ride, the largest cross country biking event ever, will stop at the parking lot for the Western Maryland Rail Trail during the day, between overnight stays in Cumberland, Md., and Frederick, Md., according to spokesman Andrew Shane.
The Big Ride will raise money for the American Lung Association. The fund-raising goal is more than $8 million.
The ride starts June 15 and concludes Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C.
Hancock Mayor Daniel Murphy said the bike tour is one example of the benefits that the Rail Trail will offer Hancock. The town is counting on the paved 10-mile trail, which runs from Hancock to Fort Frederick along the old Western Maryland Railway right of way, to help spur tourism.
Grand opening for the trail is scheduled for April 30.