Counselors Ride in the Tour d'Admission

Six college counselors are cycling through campuses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

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Across the Atlantic, the world's best cyclists are competing in the Tour de France. In Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, six high school guidance counselors from across the country are participating in the "Tour d'Admission," a 12-day, 400-mile bicycle tour of more than a dozen colleges in the three states, the New York Times reports.

This new take on visiting colleges began a few years ago as the brainchild of Taylor Smith, then a counselor at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Fla., who sought to combine his love for cycling and his desire to use his summer vacation months to visit colleges. That first year, Smith took the trip with his wife. They visited schools between Niagara Falls and New York City. In subsequent years, more counselors/cycling enthusiasts joined Smith for tours of schools in Minnesota and Iowa.

Though the group travels at a moderate pace of about 12 mph, some days' rides can exceed 60 miles, a task not for those who are out of shape.

As Lauren Cunniffe, a counselor at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Mass., puts it, colleges are often best observed slowly, like from a perch atop a bicycle. "You see so much more," Cunniffe says. This year, the counselors visited Elizabethtown College, Franklin and Marshall, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Delaware, St. Johns College in Annapolis, Md., and other schools.