SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s 19th annual Sea Gull Century on Saturday, October 6, 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.
A 100-kilometer (64 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. The Ride Magazine has called the century “one of the prettiest big rides in America.” The Washington Post has named it “by far the most popular local century” in the Maryland-Delaware-Virginia region. SU’s Perdue School of Business has estimated the event’s annual economic impact on the Lower Eastern Shore at $2.5 million.
Starting and ending at Salisbury University, the Sea Gull Century began 18 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.
Also a fan favorite year after year is the annual Sea Gull Century print. This year’s design is by Annie Marcotte, a graphic design major at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her original painting, Jim’s Bike, was based on a bicycle owned by a neighbor, who rode it in the Century. Setting the bike at the seashore of Assateague won this year’s Sea Gull Century art contest. Prints from past years and other Century merchandise is available on ride day or online at www.seagullcenturystore.com.
This year’s Century offers two routes: the Assateague Century (100 miles) and the Princess Anne Metric (64 miles). These rides follow the same basic routes and rest stops offered in years past.
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 Assateague wild ponies; and at Adkins Mill Pond, riders fill up on pie à la mode before the final leg home. This year’s bands include The Honeycombs at UMES, Jam Junkies at Milburn Landing and Cherry Bud at Adkins Mill Pond.
Rest stops are sponsored by Comcast, Pohanka Automotive Group, Chesapeake Screen Printing and Pierson Comfort Group. Finish line sponsors are Saturn and MarathonFoto. Beacon Technologies hosts the Friday night welcome reception with the help of in-kind gifts from Pepsi-Cola and Dolle’s Candyland.
“I am very grateful to these businesses, as they help make the Century a success year after year,” said Amy Waters, Century coordinator.
Based on advance registrations, this year’s Century will feature riders throughout the United States and abroad, including Maine, Colorado and the Virgin Islands. 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. Last year, Sea Gull proceeds helped establish a scholarship fund for SU students.
Cyclists and their traveling companions begin arriving in Salisbury Friday, October 5, when there will be an informal ride to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. On Saturday, October 6, riders leave the University on a show-and-go start from 7-9 a.m. on one of the two routes. Sunday, October 7, caps off the weekend with informal rides to the Red Roost and Old Mill crab houses.
Registration is $75 and may be made online at www.seagullcentury.org. For more information call 410-548-2772.