Thousands expected for Sea Gull Century tour

The 29th annual Sea Gull Century bicycle tour again is expected to draw thousands of cyclists to the Lower Eastern Shore this Saturday.

Participants may choose from the traditional 100-mile Assateague century, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and a glimpse of wild ponies, or the 64-mile Princess Anne metric route, which winds through Somerset County.

This year’s rest stops are:  Washington High School, Byrd Park, Newark Park, Assateague Island State Park, and the Powellville VFW. Riders should consult the Sea Gull Century website at seagullcentury.org for up-to-date maps and directions.

On Friday, cyclists enjoy a free welcome reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on the south lawn of the Patricia R. Guerrier Academic Commons, featuring beer and wine sampling with Evolution Craft Brewing Co., Eastern Shore Distributors and Sposato Family Vineyards.

On Saturday, a show-and-go start is 7 to 9 a.m.; cyclists should go straight on Bateman Street to South Division Street. Campus festivities with music by the Bo Dickerson Band are 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Participants finish by 6 p.m. in Red Square to enjoy pie à la mode.

The Sea Gull Century is among the oldest rides of its kind on the East Coast. The flat terrain attracts cyclists of all ages from across the United States.

The tour 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 Franklin P. Perdue School of Business has estimated its annual economic impact on the Lower Shore at some $7 million.

All proceeds from the Century support programs on campus and in the community, including student scholarships and faculty grants, Wicomico County’s Habitat for Humanity, Women Supporting Women, and other local nonprofits and civic groups.

Registration is $90. Online registration has ended but onsite registration is 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 13. Riders are capped at 7,500.

The Century is a rain or shine event with no alternate date. Merchandise is available on ride day or at seagullcenturystore.com.

 

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