Category Archives: St. Mary’s Century
Yes, the election is only six weeks away, and spin doctors are pedaling in overdrive about their candidates. But a different kind of spinning gets our adrendline pumping in Maryland every fall.
I always look forward to this edition of Spokes Magazine because it features so many major cycling competitions, fund-raising rides and fun tours that take place throughout Maryland. This issue was chock full of news about the first successful Tour de Frederick, certain to be come an annual event in the historic piedmont region.
However, the feature article was about the upcoming Seagull Century which originated 21 years ago as a function of the Salisbury State Bicycle Club. From the first outing with 68 riders, the Century has grown to the largest bicycle event in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is on track to exceed the 8,300 registered riders who participated last year.
As a three day event, the Century has significant economic impact in addition to being a rally for cycling enthusiasts. As a “ride” and not necessarily a race (although there is determined competition among some teams who participate) the Century attracts cyclists of all skill levels to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also fills hotel rooms all the way to Ocean City.
Because of the growth of the race, an additional route is being added this year to prevent overcrowding and to give riders another slice of Eastern Shore hospitality.
The St. Mary’s Century takes place next weekend, starting and finishing in Leonardstown at the College of Southern Maryland. Formerly known as the Amish 100, this 21st annual ride sponsored by Patuxent Velo offers the traditional century (100 miles) plus a 62 mile or 35 mile course.
The routes take riders through the scenic peninsula along the river and bay and farmland of Southern Maryland.
Like the Seagull, the St. Mary’s event is considered a tourist boon because of all the overnight visitors it brings to enjoy Maryland hospitality.
Leafing through the pages of Spokes, I was very encouraged to see how many Maryland counties had display ads touting their cycling appeal. Talbot County, which dedicated six heritage bicycle trails last year, portrayed the beauty of the trails and countryside in a colorful collage. Dorchester County, the “Heart of the Chesapeake” showed cyclists enjoying a trail ride along a tidal basin. Caroline County offered their free cycling guide with 11 bike routes through picturesque small towns, while Worcester promoted their View Trail 100, encouraging visitors to explore the beach and countryside.
Fall is definitely the time to pedal around Maryland, whether you enjoy the challenging grades of the mountains, or the gentle roll of the seaside trails. The competitions are fun and exhilarating, but the everyday outings with family and friends remind you how much our state has to offer in outdoor recreation facilities.
Check out these sites to plan your next adventure, get some exercise, or simply explore Maryland.
AND SPEAKING OF CYCLING, Terry is still working on that proposed “Tour de Maryland” at a future date. There should be more to report in a few months.