I arrived at 2:30 yesterday as walk-in registration for the Sea Gull Century began at 3:00 p.m. I registered and picked up my rider packet. There was a $15 difference between early registration and walk-in. The $15 is essentially insurance should the event be canceled (as it was in 2015). But I think next year I will just register online and avoid check-in (although you still have to appear to go pick up your T-shirt).
After registration I went to Fenwick Island, Delaware for Fishers Popcorn, a required stop for this trip or I would not be welcomed home. With temperatures in low 70s, it was too nice not to ride. I saw, felt, the wind and knew it was coming from the north. I headed north and it was tough riding. I only rode five miles to Bethany Beach before turning around to enjoy the great tailwind back to Fishers.
When I arrived at Division Street, no one was there. No one. I knew I was early but with 5,000 riders on course surely I could not be the first. I wasn’t. I eventually (4 1/2 miles) found the course. They had come down Old Pokomoke Road. I joined the ride there.
Arriving back at the college is always neat. The route goes under US13 through a pedestrian underpass. Coming out the other side you are at the finish with people congratulating you including the Salisbury University cheerleaders. The event is well supported by the University. The track and field team were the volunteers at Rest 2 (and maybe Rest 4). Apple pie and vanilla ice cream were offered at the end (or cherry pie and chocolate ice cream).
Staci asked me if I rode this before and then stated I probably do these all the time. So Staci, here is the answer.
Dear Andrew and Staci,
I used to do century rides all the time. Or I feel like I used to. But I had knee replacement surgery 18 months ago. If that didn’t slow me, I had a memory-loss accident a couple of months later. The only century ride I completed in 2018 was this one. The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo last September I cut short and the Horrible Hundred last November in Florida I also cut short. The latter was because I was with friends who weren’t riding the full 100. I even competed in the World Hillclimb Championships in Santa Barbara and earned the title as Worst Cyclist in the World.
This year we did a planned 95-mile four-country ride in Luxembourg but I was sick so no need to add five miles to call it 100 although some in my group did. In Indiana in August, the Spokes of Hope Century Ride was cut short (65 miles) by thunderstorms. At the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo in Harrisonburg, Va. six days ago, I stopped at 78 miles.
I hope the two of you keep riding. Cycling is healthy, especially when you avoid crashing. For the minutes or hours you are on the bike you are in a different world. Maybe next year you will want to ride the full Century route. If you do, let me know, and I’ll try to ride it with you. But above all, keep riding, and I wish for you Peace on a Bike. – Barry