class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s 17th annual Sea Gull Century on Saturday, October 8, 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.
class=""MsoNormal"">A 100-kilometer (63 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. Ride magazine calls it “one of the prettiest big rides in America.” SU’s Perdue School of Business has estimated the event’s annual economic impact on the Lower Eastern Shore at $2.5 million.
class=""MsoNormal"">The Ride Magazine calls the century “one of the prettiest big rides in America.” The Washington Post names it “by far the most popular local century” in the Maryland-Delaware-Virginia region.
class=""MsoNormal"">Its riders agree. “Cycling through the Delmarva Peninsula when the morning sun is breaking through the mist is something one does not easily forget,” said Peter Batchelor, a semi-retired professor from North Carolina State University, who rides in his seventh Sea Gull event this year.
class=""MsoNormal"">“The charm and beauty of the Eastern Shore make seven or eight hours of riding worth it,” said Mark Hammert of Woodbine, MD, who participates his 10th Sea Gull this year, along with first-year rider and wife Debbie.
class=""MsoNormal"">For the eighth year, an original limited-edition artwork by a local artist adorns the Sea Gull Century brochure. This year’s print, “Madone 5.9,” comes from Nancy Mysak and depicts the bicycle ridden by Lance Armstrong’s 2004 Tour de France team in front of Holloway Hall. 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 7, in the Atrium Gallery of the Guerrieri University Center. For more information call 410-548-2547.
class=""MsoNormal"">Starting and ending at Salisbury University, the Sea Gull Century began 16 years ago when a group of 68 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.
class=""MsoNormal"">“It's great to work on a campus with such enthusiasm and pulling together as a team to make this event a success,” said Amy Waters, director of leadership giving and stewardship at SU and chair of this year’s Century. “The committee has been extremely helpful and positive.”
class=""MsoNormal"">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.
class=""MsoNormal"">Always popular Sea Gull Century attractions, the rest stops 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 ? la mode before the final leg home.
class=""MsoNormal"">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 have exceeded $100,000 as a result of Century contributions. Hundreds of area school children wear bicycle helmets donated by the ride.
class=""MsoNormal"">Cyclists and their traveling companions begin arriving in Salisbury Friday, October 7, when there will be an informal ride through Salisbury City Park with a stop at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. On Saturday, October 8, riders leave the University on a show-and-go start from 7-9 a.m. on one of the two routes. Sunday, October 9, caps off the weekend with informal rides to the Red Roost and Old Mill crab houses.
class=""MsoNormal"">Registration is $75 and may be made online or by telephone. Sponsors include Saturn of Bowie, MD; Old Mill Crab House; Chesapeake Screen Printing; MetroSport Washington, DC; and Beacon Technologies, Inc. For more information call 410-548-2772 or visit the Century Web site at www.seagullcentury.org. "