SALISBURY, MD---On Saturday, October 5, more than 7,000 cyclists are expected to participate in Salisbury University’s 25th Sea Gull Century bike ride across the Lower Eastern Shore.
Growing from less than 100 participants in its early years, the ride is “among the largest and now oldest on the East Coast,” said coordinator Amy Waters.
The traditional 100-mile Assateague century offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and a glimpse of the wild ponies, while the 100-mile Snow Hill century takes cyclists through a quaint Worcester County town, with galleries and beautiful homes. A 64-mile Princess Anne metric route winds through Somerset County.
Among this year’s rest stops are Washington High School, Nassawango Golf Course, Cypress and Byrd parks, and the Powellville VFW, where riders enjoy pie à la mode before the final leg.
The ride begins with a show-and-go start 7-9 a.m. Saturday; riders should go straight on Bateman Street to South Division Street. Participants finish by 6 p.m. A lawn party with music is 12:30-5:30 p.m. between Perdue Hall and Maggs Gym. On Friday, riders may enjoy a free welcome reception 5-8 p.m. on the lawn, as well as an exercise science lecture, juggling, local artists, snow cones, Fat Tire beer sampling and more.
As part of 25th-year festivities, Century organizers will raffle a CompuTrainer Pro indoor training bike that simulates outdoor rides (retail value $1,500). Riders may enter to win in Maggs Gym, where CompuTrainer will offer short demonstrations for participants to compete on famous courses projected on a large screen.
The Sea Gull Century’s flat terrain is attracting cycling enthusiasts from as far away as the England and Canada, and some 35 states, including Maine, California and Florida. They range in age from 7 to 88, and one is riding for the 25th year.www.seagullcenturystore.com.
All proceeds from the ride support programs on campus and in the community, including student scholarships and faculty grants, Wicomico County’s Habitat for Humanity and other local nonprofits and civic groups. Individual riders also are raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and Women Supporting Women.
Registration is $90 through 7 p.m. Friday, October 4. No day-of registration. For more information call 410-548-2772 or visit www.seagullcentury.org.