The Return of the Century
As members of the League staff head to Maryland to ride in the Sea Gull Century this weekend, our thoughts are with the six people injured — some severely — after a driver harassed and then drove into the group on a training ride. Everyone riding a bike has the right to be on the road and to get home safely, whether we are riding for fitness or riding home from the grocery store. Everyone of us on a bike has the right to ride and to not be harassed, whether we’re in rural Texas or on a downtown city street.
We’ve been looking forward to the Sea Gull Century because it encapsulates so much of what we love about riding: challenging ourselves, long days in the saddle, and communities coming together around our shared love of biking. Because we believe life is better when more people ride bikes — spandex or no, flat pedals or no, fixie or no, and on and on — the League will continue fighting for and protecting your right to the road.
Read on to learn more about the Sea Gull Century in this article that appears in our current edition of our American Bicyclist magazine. American Bicyclist is one of the many benefits of League membership (members, keep an eye on your mailboxes!) Not a member? Consider joining to receive the magazine and support our work.
Who doesn’t love a good century ride? The endurance challenge, visiting new and scenic vistas, riding along country roads, and the feeling of a grand shared experience. While the pandemic may have pushed many of us to test our personal limits, we can’t help but sorely miss the camaraderie of a big cycling event.
This year, myself and several League staffers are breaking free of our lonely training routes with the Sea Gull Century on October 9, produced by Salisbury University. Now in its 33rd year, the Sea Gull Century features a traditional 100-mile course, a metric century (63-mile) course, and a virtual option, as well. Both in-person options offer a fun and encouraging vibe through the bucolic Eastern Shore: the 63-mile route visits downtown Pokomoke while the full century passes through Assateague State Park, home to a wide variety of marine bird species and the famed Assateague wild horses.
Did you know? Salisbury University is also a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly University. Find where your alma mater or hometown college ranks: bikeleague.org/university
In a typical year, up to 8,000 riders enjoy a relaxed pace on the relatively flat roads of the Eastern Shore’s seminal event. This year, following covid-19 protocols, ridership is capped at 4,000. The route is fully-supported by staff and volunteers at Salisbury University. Riders will pass through Salisbury, Worcester and Somerset counties, passing small towns, wineries and wellplenished rest stops.
If you can’t make it to Maryland this October, riders anywhere can register for the virtual century ride, which can be completed in up-to seven days, indoors or out. Riders will enjoy a virtual bib number, merch coupon, social media filters and rider resources.
During the weekend, the Eastern Shore comes alive with concerts, the downtown Pocomoke Fall Festival, and even a lobster sale. What’s more, the Sea Gull Century is produced for the benefit of dozens of area charities, funding scholarships and grants at Salisbury University and non-profits like the Salisbury Zoo, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and even the League of American Bicyclists.
Meet League staffers at the Tour of the Shore reception on Friday, October 8, from 4-6pm and join us for the ride bright and early Saturday morning.
More information about the Sea Gull Century can be found at www.seagullcentury.org. For low-cost and high-quality bike shipping, be sure to visit League sponsor BikeFlights.com (League members get a discount!)