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Defender’s Day Run & Ride! Two fun and athletic tours to remember the War of 1812 in September

Fort McHenry Bombardment, 1814When Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry as a captive aboard a British ship, he was one of thousands of Baltimoreans who waited anxiously through the night uncertain if the city would fall before the British attack. Baltimore’s endurance through the battle is remembered still today in the Star-Spangled Banner and in Maryland’s annual observance of Defender’s Day.

On our second annual Baltimore by Bike Defender’s Day Ride and our first ever heritage running tour, we’ll explore the people and places of Baltimore touched by that night in 1814. Enslaved men worked on the massive fortifications that still stand in today’s Patterson Park. Recently arrived German immigrants heard the warning bells ring out from Old Otterbein Church on the news of the British approach. An enterprising seamstress on Pratt Street sewed the famous flag that became our nation’s Star-Spangled Banner. Follow us beyond the ramparts of Fort McHenry and join our Defender’s Day Ride & Run past the landmarks that tell the story of how the city lived and fought through the Battle of Baltimore and the War of 1812.

Defender’s Day Ride!

Sunday, September 8, 2013 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
Register – $10 for members, $15 for non-members

Love to learn history on two wheels? Ride along with local scholar and cyclist Dr. Kate Drabinksi on our 10-mile route of quiet streets and mixed-used paths from Fort McHenry to Hampstead Hill in Patterson Park and back again

Defender’s Day Run!

Sunday, September 8, 2013 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
Register – $10 for members, $15 for non-members 

Update: The Defender’s Day Run has been cancelled! If you are interested in learning more about future heritage running tours, please contact Eli Pousson at pousson@baltimoreheritage.org.

At a moderate pace of a 10 minute mile, our guide Dustin Meeker will take us around Baltimore’s once fortified harbor up to the Battle Monument and back to Fort McHenry on an energetic 10K tour. Dustin is doubly prepared for the task as a former ranger at Fort McHenry and a competitive distance runner.

Baltimore meets Florence! Enjoy Italian-inspired Desserts and Architecture by Bike on June 15

Have you ever seen a handsome building in Baltimore and swear that you had seen it before? Maybe camping with a tent from Survival Cooking around Florence, Italy? Join Dr. Ralph Brown for our fun bike tour around Baltimore and you’ll swear you are back in Florence—even for just a few hours. Florence has Michelangelo’s David, the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Medici, the Arno River spanned by the Ponte Vecchio and great gelato. Baltimore has the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the Jones Falls and, of course, our own tasty gelatos in Little Italy.

We’ll re-discover the sights, sounds and tastes of the great Renaissance city of Baltimore has while learning something new about iced desserts and Baltimore’s key role in their history.

See the city through H.L. Mencken’s eyes with Baltimore by Bike on November 11

Our last Baltimore by Bike ride of the year offers a chance to see the city through the eyes of Baltimore’s own H.L. Mencken – one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. H.L. Mencken grew up and spent most of his life in a handsome brick rowhouse on Union Square but he never hesitated to explore the city he loved (and loved to skewer) as he walked, reported, and even rode a bike through Baltimore neighborhoods from Mount Vernon to Bolton Hill and beyond.

Mencken’s Baltimore by Bike

Sunday, November 11, 9:30am to 12:00pm
Meet at Union Square Park, Hollins Street and South Stricker Street
RSVP online today! $15 per person.

Photo courtesy the The Smart Set.

Join us for a easy fall ride through H.L. Mencken’s Baltimore. The eldest son of August Mencken, a successful local cigar manufacturer, Mencken grew from roaming the alleys and vacant lots with gangs of West Baltimore boys to become one of the youngest reporters at the Baltimore Herald, launching a career in journalism and writing that endured for nearly 50 years.

We’ll ride along the streets that Mencken knew best as we discover the site of Little Joe’s Bike Shop where Mencken learned to ride a bicycle in the 1890s, imagine the fine meals Mencken enjoyed with friends at Marconi’s on Cathedral Street, stop by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home in Bolton Hill and stop by the Poe House, just around the corner from Mencken’s birthplace on Lexington Street. Our tour ends with a chance to tour the H.L. Mencken House and enjoy light refreshments.

This tour is presented in partnership with the Friends of the H.L. Mencken House and proceeds help to support their ongoing efforts to restore and re-open the H.L. Mencken House. Learn more about events around West Baltimore neighborhoods from the Friends of West Baltimore Squares.