SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s 16th annual Sea Gull Century on Saturday, October 9, brings some 6,000 cyclists to Delmarva, where they’ll enjoy the Shore’s scenery, get plenty of exercise and boost the economy during the largest single-day tourism event in Wicomico County.
“It’s grown from a very small club ride of 68 participants in 1989 to this year, when we’ll have about 6,000 participants from some 35 states,” said Century Chair Paul Ohanian. “It’s a fun cycling event for all.”
A 100-kilometer (62 miles) or 100-mile ride, the Sea Gull Century is a “Best Bicycling in America” event that has been named among the top 10 century rides in the nation by Bicycling magazine. SU’s Perdue School of Business has estimated the event’s annual economic impact on the Lower Eastern Shore at $2.5 million.
For the seventh year, an original limited-edition artwork by a local artist adorns the Sea Gull Century brochure. This year’s print comes from Paul Flexner of the SU Art Department. The print is for sale through the University Galleries and will be on display as part of the seventh-anniversary Sea Gull Century Artists Print Exhibit Friday, October 8, in the Atrium Gallery of the Guerrieri University Center. For more information call 410-548-2547. Starting and ending at Salisbury University, the Sea Gull Century began 15 years ago when a group of cycling enthusiasts banded together to develop a 100-mile century ride. They come—some of them year after year—because of the terrain, the challenge, the food, the entertainment, the chance to explore a new area and the hundreds of friendly volunteers who make the Sea Gull Century happen.
This year’s Century offers two routes: the Assateague Century (100 miles) and the UMES Metric (63 miles). These rides follow the same basic routes and rest stops offered in years past.
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile makes a special appearance at SU for the beginning of the ride, from 6:30-8:30 a.m., then covers the 100-mile route to Assateague, where it will remain on display from 9:30 a.m. until the ride’s end. Bicycle hobbiest and former SU student Erik Standon accompanies the Wienermobile, offering last-minute tune-ups and repairs for participating cyclists.
Always a popular Sea Gull Century attraction, the rest stops between feature plenty of high carbohydrate food and eclectic music: Milburn Landing overlooks the beautiful Pocomoke River; Assateague Island is the 62-mile point for the 100-milers, offering a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and a chance to glimpse the famous Chincoteague ponies; and at Adkins Mill Pond, riders fill up on pie a la mode before the final leg home.
Proceeds from the ride support many organizations and programs both on campus and in the community. Donations to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity are approaching $100,000 as a result of Century contributions. Hundreds of area school children wear bicycle helmets donated by the ride.
Cyclists and their traveling companions begin arriving in Salisbury Friday, October 8, when there will be an informal ride to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. On Saturday, October 9, riders leave the University on a show-and-go start from 7-9 a.m. on one of the two routes. Sunday, October 11, caps off the weekend with informal rides to the Red Roost and Old Mill crab houses.
For more information call 410-543-6030, or visit the Century Web site at www.seagullcentury.org.