SALISBURY, MD---More than 8,000 cyclists are expected for the 23rd annual Sea Gull Century bike ride across the Lower Eastern Shore on Saturday, October 15.
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 100-mile Snow Hill century that takes them through this quaint Worcester County town, with its galleries and beautiful homes, or a shorter 64-mile Princess Anne metric route through Somerset County.
Among this year’s rest stops are Washington High School and the Powellville VFW, where riders fill up on pie à la mode before the final leg. Other cyclists may relax under the shade of cypress trees at Nassawango Golf Course on the Pocomoke River, see history come to life at the Furnace Town historic site or cool down by Public Landing on the Chincoteague Bay. Some stops feature eclectic music.
Pre-ride activities on Friday, October 14, 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 16, riders may bike to Bordeleau Vineyards for wine tasting, or to Old Mill and Red Roost for all-you-can-eat crab feasts.
Registered Sea Gull Century participants also receive discounted admission to the Autumn Wine Festival, hosted by Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Pemberton Historical Park Saturday-Sunday, October 15-16.
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. Merchandise is available on ride day or at www.seagullcenturystore.com.
All proceeds from the ride 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.