SALISBURY, MD---It has been two decades since a group of 68 cycling enthusiasts banded together to develop a 100-mile bike ride at Salisbury University and on Saturday, October 4, the Sea Gull Century celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Over the years, the picturesque ride across the Lower Eastern Shore has grown to include two routes: the 100-mile Assateague Century and the 100-kilometer Princess Anne Metric (64 miles). Popular among cycling enthusiasts in the local region and as far away as Maine, Colorado and the Virgin Islands, it has expanded to more than 6,000 riders.
Cyclists participate—many of them year after year—because of the terrain, the challenge, the food, the entertainment and the chance to explore a new area.
To celebrate the anniversary, riders and their families are invited to visit “20 Years of Memories” in Maggs Gymnasium, where they may use computer and audio equipment to record favorite Sea Gull Century memories. Visitors may also explore a “History of Bicycles” exhibit.
This year’s print, “Sea Gull Century Sunrise” by Sue Eagle, depicts a group cyclists passing one of Delmarva’s many scenic waterways in the early hours of the ride. The crisp morning light illuminates the bright fall colors and landscape that are unique to the century. Prints and merchandise will be available on ride day or at www.seagullcenturystore.com.
On Friday night, riders and their companions “Meet at the Boardwalk” for a welcome reception near Maggs Center, while on Saturday they may take part in a Lawn Party outside of Henson Hall. Also new are “out of the saddle” paddles—guided kayak trips led by Adrenaline High—to the nearby Manokin River. Optional rides will allow participants to tour the carving collections in SU’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art or enjoy an all-you-can-eat crab feast at the Old Mill or Red Roost crab houses.
Finish line sponsors are Saturn and MarathonFoto. Other sponsors include Beacon Technologies, AllSport, Dolle’s Candyland and Chesapeake Screen Printing. “I am very grateful to these businesses, as they help make the Century a success year after year,” said Amy Waters, Century coordinator.
Following a show-and-go start from SU between 7-9 a.m., this year’s routes are the same as past years. Always popular rest stops feature high carbohydrate food and eclectic music: Milburn Landing overlooks the Pocomoke River; Assateague Island offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and a chance to glimpse the famous wild ponies; and at Adkins Mill Pond, riders fill up on pie à la mode before the final leg. This year’s bands include Muskrat Sally, the Permilla Project, the Honeycombs and the Jam Junkies.
The century is a “Best Bicycling in America” event named among the top 10 century rides in the nation by Bicycling magazine. The Ride Magazine has called it “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 its annual economic impact on the Lower Eastern Shore up to $2.5 million.
Sea Gull Century proceeds support programs on campus and in the community, including an annual scholarship fund for SU students and more than $100,000 in contributions to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Registration is $75 per person or $90 the weekend of the event, and is available online at www.seagullcentury.org. For more information call 410-548-2772.