If you have ever looked at the ABRT History Timeline, you will notice ABRT has only run a few road races over the last 30 years. Those included the Tour de Crofton (aka Crofton Classic Bike Race or Chris Strader Memorial), The Annapolis Classic (the only ABRT race actually run in the City in West Annapolis), the Snow Valley Grand Prix (a UCI level criterium in Bethesda) and the Tour of Walkersville out by Frederick. As is typical in urbanized areas, these kind of races raise the ire of locals as they are inconvenienced by traffic and lack of access in their neighborhoods and to make matters worse multiple field typically span almost a full day. So often these events only happen for a few years and then move on.
We have always wanted to have a namesake race close to where we ride. After the demise of the Tour of Walkersville, which became too logistically difficult so far away, in 2011 we attempted to move the race to our weekly “Tuesday Night World Championships” group ride course in Harwood, Maryland just west of Annapolis. Stu Waring and Iain Banks worked really hard to set the race up and get it permitted with Anne Arundel County. The planning and promotion for the race was spot on and we had 357 people registered in a large set of fields. Unfortunately, the County denied the permit two weeks out as this race got all twisted up with polemics around complaints from a recent triathalon and we had to cancel it. Since then, we have talked about another road race, but have not been able to make it happen.
Fast forward to 2020 and Team Bike Doctor has taken up the challenge to host this race and ABRT is proud to be a major sponsor. Fortunately, the conditions in Anne Arundel County are much more favorable to cycling (thanks in large part to Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County which we sponsor) so Pat Hogan was able to get the permitting approval. We are all very excited for this race, which takes place on April 4th (BikeReg opens on March 2nd) and we hope the MABRA community will come support this race.
The Tuesday group ride starts early this year on March 10th at 6pm for those who want to get some race pace experience on the course. If you do come to the ride, please familiarize yourself with the route so you don’t get lost or have any miscommunications that cause a safety problem. We gather around the park and ride before so just introduce yourself and then stick around afterward for a post ride chat or bragging rights 😉 Here is an annotated course preview video we made in 2011 and it is still accurate: