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Thursday, September 14, 2006

18th Sea Gull Century Saturday, October 7

Visit www.seagullcentury.org for more.
SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s 18th annual Sea Gull Century on Saturday, October 7, 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 17 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.

“It's great to work on a campus with such enthusiasm and pulling together as a team to make this event a success. The SGC committee members and SU volunteers make my job a lot easier!” said Amy Waters, director of leadership giving and stewardship at SU and chair of the century. “This year’s sponsors are Saturn and Marathonfoto to create a great finish line.”

Also a fan favorite year after year is the annual Sea Gull Century print. This year’s design, “Flock of Cyclists” by California artist Todd Berman, features a group of cyclists and flock of seagulls traversing a waterside Eastern Shore road as sunshine streaks through a blue sky. The design also graces the Century’s 2006 brochure and souvenir T-shirts. Dr. Ellen Lawler, faculty in SU’s Biological Sciences Department, designed the annual patch, featuring a black-headed gull typically found on the West Coast. 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.

Based on advance registrations, this year’s Century will feature at least three riders from outside the continental United States—two from the Netherlands and a returning rider from the Virgin Islands. Within the U.S., 25 of this year’s riders have registered from California, 12 from Florida, five from Vermont and two from Washington state.

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. Hundreds of area school children wear bicycle helmets donated by the ride.

Cyclists and their traveling companions begin arriving in Salisbury Friday, October 6, when there will be an informal ride to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.  On Saturday, October 7, riders leave the University on a show-and-go start from 7-9 a.m. on one of the two routes. Sunday, October 8, 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.



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