Cyclists celebrate at CAM-tour finish

August 01, 1993|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Staff Writer

His mother told him: "For Heaven's sake, take the tour. Find a wife."

Marriage may not be in the offing, but David Pfarr was laughing yesterday and sharing two bottles of champagne with two friends he made on the 350-mile Cycle Across Maryland, which ended at Towson State University after six trying but exhilarating days.

"My mother said, 'With that many people, surely you can find one who likes you,' " related Mr. Pfarr, 34, of Towson, a molecular biologist who works in Gaithersburg.

Kathy Moore, of Glen Burnie and an engineer in the U.S. Coast Guard, said, "We told David we wanted to toast our finish and darned if he didn't show up with two bottles."

Katrina Holt, a health care worker in Arlington, said: "It was the first time for all three of us, and we wanted to celebrate."

They reflected the air of accomplishment and enthusiasm that went with the finish of a ride that began Monday in Cambridge and ended yesterday with a 39-mile leg from Bel Air to Towson State. This was the fifth annual CAM-Tour.

"It was a good tour, well-organized and managed," said Carl Antczak, 53, of Maple Heights, Ohio, and a veteran biker who has ridden in cycle tours in several states, including a 619-miler in Arizona.

"I weighed 375 pounds 20 years ago," said Mr. Antczak, who works for Weight Watchers and is now a trim 180 pounds. "I can't say biking took it off, but it's kept it off.

"The scenery is beautiful in Maryland, especially Carroll County, which we went through Thursday. The views made it all worthwhile," he said.

Several bikers agreed that Wednesday's 10-mile leg, the shortest, was the most testing because of the 104-degree heat in downtown Baltimore.

"They just came off air-conditioned boats and into that heat and traffic, and a couple of tough hills," said tour executive director Pat Bernstein. "Also, they had just cycled 100 miles the day before, the longest leg of the tour.

"This was the first time we had brought them across the bay, and it was quite a logistical challenge," she said, "but I think they enjoyed it."

During the tour, there were a few injuries, a broken shoulder and a broken pelvis being the worst.

"That's unfortunate, but considering all those people riding a total of almost a half-million miles, you have to expect some things to go wrong," Ms. Bernstein said.

The tour tested a new satellite tracking system that will help officials keep track of the bicyclists, staff member Bob White said. "We'll be able to follow the beginning and end of the tour and pretty much know where everyone is located."

Mr. White, of Pasadena, said several amateur radio operators carried radios and kept in touch with a central command.

"It helped us pick up some injured people, and some whose bikes had broken down," he said.

Mr. White's 15-year-old son Corey, a student at Chesapeake High School, was among the participants.

Michael McGee, 6, and his sister, Heather, 5, were waiting with their mother, Diana, at the finish line for Mike McGee with brightly colored signs that said: "We Love You Dad."

Mr. McGee, of Pasadena and an engineer with AAI, completed the journey despite a sprained ankle.

Did he sprain the ankle biking?

"No. I fell down the basement steps at home Wednesday," he said, laughing. "Now I'm going to have a few beers, and I'm not going dancing."

His family followed him in a van throughout the trip, supplementing the bananas handed out at rest stops by supplying him with beer and sandwiches. The 1,400-plus bikers consumed 120 cases of bananas during the trip.

For Lance Brown, 27, sitting on a curb and recovering with a hamburger and a hot dog, the first day, from Cambridge to Federalsburg, was the hardest.

"I guess I wasn't in shape for it, but I got used to it," he said. Mr. Brown, a power-plant operator for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., has been biking for only six weeks.

"Seven of us from the plant did it," he said. "I'll be back next year."

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