Over the past few years, bike rides associated with breweries, bake shops and other food and beverage stops have become increasingly ubiquitous. That’s no surprise, event organizers say.
Every Baltimore Bike Party concludes with a photo booth session »
“Cycling and beer go so well together because they are both very social activities,” says Samuel Accardi, general manager of Bikes & Beers, a national company that organizes bike rides culminating with parties at breweries. In Maryland, Bikes & Beers partners with Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing and Frederick’s Flying Dog. Excursions start with coffee and end with an afterparty including beers, photos, giveaways, music and more.
Though bike riding can be a serious sport, food and beverage-oriented bike tours are typically laid back; the rides are often described as “leisurely” and focus more on camaraderie than competition.
“This isn’t a race, nor a marathon; there’s no Tour de France going on here,” says Baltimore Donut Bike Crawl organizer Nikolas X. Hill. “It’s just an enjoyable afternoon.” –Kit Waskom Pollard
Local enthusiasts of biking, sipping and snacking have created tours focused on a variety of food and drinks, all over the state. Check out these options:
BIKES & BEERS l bikesandbeers.com l Currently, Bikes & Beers offers local rides associated with Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore and Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, with plans in the works to add an additional Maryland brewery this year. The rides are about 15 or 30 miles, with pit stops (and snacks) along the way. The afterparties, held at the breweries, include two free beers. Plus, part of the proceeds benefits a cycling charity.
BALTIMORE DONUT BIKE CRAWL l facebook.com/crawltimore l Last year, the Baltimore Donut Bike Crawl, held annually in the spring, visited five donut shops over the course of its 14-mile trail; riders received a donut to enjoy at each shop. A portion of proceeds goes to pediatric ophthalmology research at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.
BIKE & BRUNCH l bikeandbrunchtours.com l Held Saturdays and Sundays, these tours are designed to share the rich legacy of Baltimore’s historically black neighborhoods and culminate—wait for it—with brunch. The 5- to 10-mile tours include the harbor, central business district and various residential neighborhoods and start and end near the same spot.
BIKE SILVER SPRING l facebook.com/groups/bikesilverspring l Bike Silver Spring, a community ride organization, puts together numerous rides, including fun food-oriented events during the spring, summer and fall. Past rides have included stops at bakeries and at The Dairy, the University of Maryland’s ice cream shop.
BALTIMORE BIKE PARTY l baltimorebikeparty.com l Baltimore Bike Party is a volunteer-organized ride that starts in central Baltimore and ends in a different location (often a local brewery). Each ride has a theme and attendees are encouraged to dress in costume for both the ride and the afterparty. Monthly rides are the last Friday evening of each month. Riders meet at St. Mary’s Park in Seton Hill, Baltimore.
DIY WINE TRAIL RIDE l marylandwine.com/wine-trails l One of the beautiful things about bike tours is that they’re easy to organize on your own. If you’re interested in exploring the wine, mead or cider of a particular region of Maryland by bike, check out the Maryland Wineries Association’s handy trail guides to create a route … and start pedaling. –K.W.P.