While most of us were soaking up the last few rays of warm weather and sunshine this past weekend, a mass of cyclists were working up a sweat under the sun. Last Saturday, Sea Gull Century went off without a hitch. Despite the lingering Indian summer heat, the 25th anniversary was a huge success with 7,100 cyclists, one hundred more than predicted, coming out to support the community.
The bicycling event began on Friday when the participants descended on Salisbury University’s campus. Cyclist and Seagull Century committee member Dave Gutoskey reported “the atmosphere is electric the Friday of the ride.” Cyclists came together and enjoyed a pre-race expo that displayed a wide selection of biking equipment. Between the cyclists, family members and spectators, the visiting number of visitors in Salisbury for the event topped out at around 10,000 people.
“The morning of the ride is nothing short of a festival of cycling enthusiasts” Gutoskey gushed. The event began with a jolt of excitement as bikers from all walks of life pedaled off into the distance. Many participants wore gear that displayed flags of national origin or names of cities where cyclists had completed previous bike tours.
The hot weather prompted worries of dehydration, but most severe cases were avoided. With temperatures reaching the 90’s in Salisbury, the ride was more difficult to complete than past years. However, many geographical aspects of the area allow for a smooth ride explained cyclist Mike Boolukos, adding “one of the great things about the century is the roads.” Century members traveled a fairly easy course due to the flat landscape, little traffic in rural areas, and picturesque setting of “farm fields and forests of the Eastern Shore,” as Boolukos said. Boolukos also explained that the smooth ride and friendly riding conditions allow the Seagull Century to be “within reach of most recreational cyclists.”
The event also went off without a hitch in huge part because of the help from the community. Whether it was helping to set up the event, putting up road blocks, or directing traffic, the support of the community was key. Gutoskey noted that “the ride involves Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties…and this incredible bicycling event would not be possible without their comprehensive commitment.”
After the sweaty journey, participants got off their bikes and relaxed with their family and friends. Post-ride activities included sampling of Fat Tire beers, live music and a Sea Gull Century Dinner hosted by Commons Dining.
Despite the heat, the blue sky and warm weather coincided perfectly with the sunny disposition of all the event’s participants. Gutoskey reported, “I have ridden many rides sponsored by a variety of organizations throughout the region and as enjoyable as they are, there isn’t one that can compare to the Sea Gull Century in the Mid-Atlantic region.”