Larry Black and his two daughters stood out from the crowd in last week's Cycle Across Maryland Tour.
The trio was pedaling the same bike -- a $7,000 triplet.
Mr. Black, owner of Mount Airy Bicycle and Fitness, and his daughters Sarah, 10, and Laurel, 6, attracted crowds and photographers as they cruised the CAM Tour route on their three-seat bike.
"We got a lot of encouragement and cheers from the people along the way," Mr. Black said. "The kids liked the novelty and the visibility, the fun and the speed. We can't wait for the next one."
The Black family had the only triplet in the CAM Tour.
"It's the first aluminum triplet the world has ever produced," Mr. Black said. "This was its maiden voyage."
The price for the aluminum triplet is about $7,000. The steel version of the bike costs between $3,000 and $5,000, Mr. Black said.
It was a last-minute decision to enter his family in the CAM Tour.
His daughters had returned from a trip the morning of July 30, the first day of the CAM Tour.
"We were on the road to Oakland [in Garrett County] that afternoon," Mr. Black said.
This year's CAM Tour, which attracted 1,200 bicyclists, covered 320 miles from Oakland to Baltimore. The first stages included mountainous areas of Western Maryland with stops in Frostburg, Hancock and Williamsport, then moved east to Hagerstown, Frederick and Ellicott City.
Mr. Black said he was impressed by his daughters' stamina on the hot, hilly rides.
"There were minimal complaints," he said. "Of course, we broke up the trip with candy stops, and I did most of the pedaling."
For Mr. Black's daughters, the highlights of the trip were flying into Frostburg at 60 mph off Savage Mountain -- elevation 2,850 feet -- and eating lemon peppermint sticks in Williamsport.
"I think Sarah had six of them," Mr. Black said.
Laurel and Sarah weren't bothered by sleeping in sweltering school gyms, and they enjoyed sightseeing along the way.
"They learned how to deal with tough conditions, like the heat and the hills," Mr. Black said. "They wanted to get out and do things, and not just sit around and rest."
The Black girls completed four days of the seven-day tour in Williamsport, then left to see the Chincoteague pony swim.
After his daughters left, Mr. Black switched to a standard bicycle and rode through the fifth day to Ellicott City. He said he had to be at work in his Mount Airy bike shop Saturday, and couldn't ride to Baltimore, where the tour ended at the Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus.
Mr. Black said CAM Tour leaders used the triplet bike to transport tired riders back to Baltimore.
On Sunday, he and a friend finished third in a tandem race in Pennsylvania.
"Riding the tandem was like taking off lead boots after the triplet," he said.