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One of the Country’s Friendliest States to Bike

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Cyclists on the Michael N. Castle Trail. Photo by Ron Dubick

BICYCLING

TEST YOURSELF

Wilmington Grand Prix Try the 62-mile Gran Fondo, the 31-mile Medio Fondo, the 15-mile Fondo or the Governor’s Ride, all May 16-18. Register soon. wilmgrandprix.com

Broad Creek Byway Bike & Brew Choose from 25-, 50- or 100-mile rides around Laurel and Broad Creek on June 7. There’s beer at the end. broadcreekbywaybiketour.wordpress.com

Iron Hill Twilight Criterium Ready to go pro? Throw elbows with the best. This West Chester race (amateur and professional divisions) offers fast riding around eight city blocks with 90-degree turns. ironhilltwilightcriterium.com

Shorefire Century This White Clay Bicycle Club ride of 35, 65 or 100 miles takes you through the farmland of central Delaware. whiteclaybicycleclub.org

Amish Country Bike Tour On Sept. 6, opt to ride one of five loops, from 15 miles to 100 miles that begin and end at Legislative Mall in Dover. amishcountrybiketour.com

Bike to the Bay The biggest party on two wheels happens Sept. 20-21. Your choice: 17 miles or 175. The party is even better at the finish. bikeded.nationalmssociety.org

HIT THE ROAD

Del. Cycling Route 1 Whether you start in Fenwick Island or the top of New Castle County, this 150-mile trek leads from the beaches through the state’s rural heart to hills and valleys on lightly trafficked or wide-shouldered roads. Take your time. There’s no need to tackle it all at once.

Del. 52-Red Clay Valley With its wide shoulders and legions of riders, Kennett Pike north of Greenville is cycling central. Ditch the main drag. You’ll find shaded creekside riding and hills along Red Clay Creek. The perfect ending: a beer and brew at Buckley’s Tavern.

HIT THE TRAIL

Middle Run County Park-White Clay Creek State Park With a combined 20 miles of bikeable trails in these contiguous areas, you’ll find one for every ability, including an expert run with technical features like a swinging bridge. destateparks.com

First State National Monument Established in March 2013, this hilly terrain features the 1,100-acre Woodlawn property along the Brandywine in North Wilmington. It’s a great starter place. nps.gov/frst/index.htm

A GRAND OLD TIME

Delaware is ranked fifth-most bike-friendly state in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists. Since this is National Bike Month, let’s celebrate. For anyone seeking a friendly introduction to cycling, the Wilmington Grand Prix May 16-18 delivers competitive action with family entertainment. The weekend iincludes the Governor’s Ride for cycling advocates, the Gran Fondo tour for serious recreational riders, the pro-am Monkey Hill Time Trial race against the clock and, of course, criterium races for the pros. Spectators on the Market Street-Rodney Square route will see racers zip by every two minutes, so the action is hot. Tired of watching? All you need is a bike, an open road and an attitude. Chip Nippert, a podiatrist in Wilmington, was out for a beginners ride with the Delaware Trail Spinners club when a fellow mountain biker invited him to complete their race relay team. “I didn’t break any records,” Nippert says. “I thought I was only going to have to do two loops, but it turned out, I had to go back out. That was after drinking two Belgians. I clocked my best time.”

HOOK UP

Bike Delaware This group works to make bicycling a viable option to motorized transportation. Check out its support of trail development, such as a proposed Wilmington-Newark bicycle highway. bikede.org

Delaware Trail Spinners This chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association is made up of mountain bikers dedicated to preserving trails (and riding, of course). trailspinners.org

White Clay Bicycle Club More than 400 cyclists of all kinds share one bond: a love of cycling. With regular weekly spins and large event rides, this group is organized. whiteclaybicycleclub.org

Sussex Cyclists This gang organizes regular rides, from big loops around Sussex to a 15-mile Camp Arrowhead cruise. sussexcyclists.org

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