By Rishon Seaborn
Sea Gull Century returned for its annual 28th year race this Saturday.
The infamous bicycling event included nearly 7,000 participants from near and far as they started and ended at Salisbury University. Even through the rain cyclists were eager to start the day with their routes.
Sea Gull Century is an exciting time for the Eastern Shore. The bicycling event is one of the largest tourist attractions of the fall season as it is projected to bring in about $2.5 million worth of revenue throughout the area.
The cyclists had the options of riding on three different routes: the 100 mile Assateague Century, 100 mile Snow Hill and the 64 mile Princess Anne Metric. This provides the participants with a chance to enjoy the nature of Delmarva’s Eastern Shore.
Cyclist Kim Fisher expressed her happiness for the return of the bicycling event this year.
“I’ve done Sea Gull Century 4 or 5 times so I was really disappointed that it was cancelled last year,” Fisher said. “But I mean you really can’t beat this and it’s for such a good cause too.”
The $90 registration fee and donations that cyclist contribute go towards several of the charities that’s Sea Gull Century supports.
The riders’ efforts assist with the following organizations: ALS Association, American Institute for Cancer Research, ASA of the Eastern Shore, Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Team Chase and Women Supporting Women.
There are also several other local non-profit organizations that benefit from Sea Gull Century. Their contributions provide several Salisbury University grants and scholarships.
A new Sea Gull Century scholarship was developed in memory of the late Robert Schultheis who was this year’s honorary. Schultheis was a 2000 SU graduate and a past rider who’s memory will continue to be remembered.
Despite the weather riders whole-heartedly came ready to bike their way through.
While some were riding there were also cycling vendors inside of Maggs Center showing their support for the cycling community as well.
Mile 1 Athletics Co-owner Diane Bradley shared her enthusiasm for cycling and her contribution to the cycling community.
“”I’ve done Sea Gull Century’s 100 mile ride at least 5 times,” Bradley said. “It really is like the Super bowl for cyclist.”
Bradley’s passion extends beyond the bike as her company caters to cyclist wear for the cyclers.
“This is time to celebrate that you’re a cyclist and this is our passion for our sport,” Bradley said.
Sea Gull Century provides an opportunity for the cycling community to unite through a shared passion and become a part of a larger cause for the sake of others.
“People come from all over the country for this event—it’s kind of a reunion of sorts,” Bradley said. “It’s a time where people from different bike clubs meet, ride, have a good time and then have dinner afterwards. It [the event] certainly captures the pinnacle of the cycling season.”