Nearly 350 cyclists take part in Tour de Chesapeake event

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on May 22, 2013 - 12:24 PM

Photo: Kristen McGeeney of Washington, D.C., looks on as Eli Eliopoulos of BikeBeat makes an adjustment to her bicycle Saturday in preparation for her ride in the Tour de Chesapeake. BikeBeat offered free tire inflations, adjustments and repairs in support of the riders, charging only for any necessary parts. Photo by Kim Robins

Kristen McGeeney of Washington, D.C., looks on as Eli Eliopoulos of BikeBeat makes an adjustment to her bicycle Saturday in preparation for her ride in the Tour de Chesapeake. BikeBeat offered free tire inflations, adjustments and repairs in support of the riders, charging only for any necessary parts. Photo by Kim Robins

The weekend’s 15th annual Tour de Chesapeake in Mathews brought nearly 350 cyclists to the county, proving to be a success even with rain clouds looming most of the day Saturday.

"It was wonderful in spite of Mother Nature’s best efforts," said event director Lynda Smith Greve.

She said Saturday’s overcast weather cooled the temperatures enough to make it more comfortable for the cyclists. "People loved that," she said. "It was great riding weather."

The rain, she said, didn’t hold off for Saturday night’s party at Williams Wharf. However, 150 people still attended. "That was a surprise and it was great," Greve said.

The second annual Made in Mathews "Art deTour" saw a large turnout, though Friday’s "Paddle ’da Bay" adventure day only had a few participants. "I think that will take off and be bigger and better next year as the word spreads," Greve said.

The new water taxi this year, taking cyclists across the East River from Williams Wharf to Mobjack, proved to be a huge success, she added. "A lot more cyclists did the Mobjack route because of it," Greve said. "It was a really nice alternative to Route 14," which she said many cyclists are afraid to maneuver because of its high traffic volume.