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Bike tour across state ends day in Hancock

July 28, 1999|By GREG SIMMONS

Almost 1,000 bicyclists arrived in Hancock on Tuesday after pedaling 37 miles from Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County, Md.

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About 700 of the participants in the Carrollton Bank Cycle Across Maryland Tour were to mount up again this morning and ride to Williamsport on the fourth day of the tour, which ends Friday in Boonsboro.

Some of the cyclists say the services offered along the tour route make it easier for them to keep riding.

For instance, if a bicycle breaks down on the 360-mile tour, bike shop representatives traveling behind the bikers are ready to repair flat tires or broken derailleurs.

Fernando Daza, 32, of Brookfield, Md., who is cycling in the tour for the 10th time, said the CAM Tour has been the best cycling event in Maryland for the last 11 years.

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Connie Bortz, 41, of Woodbridge, Va., said "it's the amenities that make it worthwhile" to ride in a fully supported ride like the CAM Tour.

Vendors travel with the tour, either to meet the cyclists' needs or to try to gain a competitive edge for their products.

Ray Waxham and Michael Quileza are touring with the CAM Tour as bicycle product representatives. Waxham is a Trek Bicycle representative. He said he brought about 50 bikes along in his truck to loan to riders who want to try a new bike or whose bikes break down.

Quileza, who represents Shimano, a bicycle parts company, said, "We build a rapport ... It's good to have contact with our customers."

Both Quileza and Waxham help fix bikes at the end of the day, along with a group from an Annapolis shop, Family Bikes.

Jonathan Seibold, Family Bikes shop manager, said the biggest problem on the tour so far has been flat tires.

Murray Schrotenboer of Grouseland Tours in Clearville, Pa., runs a mountain bike touring company that caters to beginning and intermediate mountain bikers. He brought along an exhibit and some information about his services.

"These are people who are dedicated to cycling enough to take off a week and spend several hundred dollars, and that's the kind of person I'm looking for," Schrotenboer said.

CAM Corp., the nonprofit organization the runs the CAM tour, rents a shower truck the size of an 18-wheeler and provides food that most riders say is pretty good.

Some of the provisions for the cyclists include 512 gallons of Gatorade, 108 pounds of raisins and 75 pounds of trail mix, according to CAM Corp.

Members of the Dolphin Drill and Dance Team from Hagerstown were selling water and fruit during the tour. While they expected to raise about $600, they had raised about $200 by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The CAM Corp. helps underprivileged children and sponsors helmet programs with fund-raising activities such as the bike tour, organization officials have said.

Cyclists pay up to $200 to participate in the ride.

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