SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Sea Gull Century bike ride is growing.
On Saturday, October 9, more than 8,000 cyclists are expected for the 22nd annual ride across the Lower Eastern Shore. New for this year is a third route: a 100-mile Snow Hill century that takes riders through this quaint Worcester County town, with its galleries and beautiful homes. Stops along the way include Furnace Town historic site and Public Landing on the Chincoteague Bay.
“The Sea Gull Century has grown tremendously in recent years and the new route will help accommodate the large number of riders on the roads,” said coordinator Amy Waters. “It will also be an inviting change for repeat riders. All routes will, of course, feature rural scenery, friendly faces and delicious, high-carbohydrate food.”
The traditional 100-mile Assateague century offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and a glimpse of the famous wild ponies. Cyclists may also choose a shorter 64-mile Princess Anne metric route through Somerset County.
Among this year’s rest stops are two new locations: Washington High School and the Powellville VFW, where riders fill up on pie à la mode before the final leg. Other riders may relax under the shade of cypress trees at Nassawango Golf Course on the Pocomoke River. Some stops feature eclectic music.
The Sea Gull Century begins with a show-and-go start from 7-9 a.m. near the corner of Bateman and Wayne streets on the east side of the SU campus. Riders finish on the mall outside Henson Hall, and may join their companions for a lawn party from 1-6 p.m.
Pre-ride activities on Friday, October 8, include a “Meet at the Boardwalk” welcome reception from 7-9 p.m. on the mall, or an optional ride to SU’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art for tours of carving collections. On Sunday, October 10, riders may bike to Bordeleau Vineyards for wine tasting, or to Old Mill and Red Roost for all-you-can-eat crab feasts.
Enjoying the flat terrain of the Chesapeake region, cycling enthusiasts came from as far away as Canada, the Virgin Islands and some 39 states for last year’s century. The ride has been called a “Best Bicycling in America” event and also was named among the top 10 century rides in the nation by Bicycling magazine. The Ride Magazine called it “one of the prettiest big rides in America.” Not only is it Wicomico County’s largest one-day tourism event, but the Perdue School of Business has estimated its annual economic impact on the Lower Shore at $2.5 million.
This year’s Sea Gull Century artwork by Susan Maxwell Eagle takes a new pop art poster direction, depicting the energy and vitality of the ride. Merchandise is available on ride day or at www.seagullcenturystore.com.
The Sea Gull Century is sponsored by Beacon Technologies, Chesapeake Screen Printing, Fenwick Islander Bicycle Shop, MarathonFoto, Sherwood of Salisbury and Sposato Landscape Co., Inc. All proceeds support programs on campus and in the community, including student scholarships and the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Individual riders are also raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Registration is $75 per person or $90 the weekend of the event. For more information call 410-548-2772 or visit www.seagullcentury.org.