Soft Shell Century? – It’s easy when it’s flat!
Waterfront views, scenic woodlands and some of Maryland’s most historic locales set the backdrop for the Salisbury Jaycees’ fourth annual Soft Shell Metric Century bike ride in lower Somerset County on Saturday, May 28.
If you’ve ever wondered about pedaling a ‘century’ (100 miles or 100 kilometers), the Eastern Shore is the place to try one. With minimal training you can manage the trek without much trouble. That’s because of our flat, flat, flat terrain. I did the Seagull Century a few years ago. My training was a 10-15 mile ride 4-5 times a week. (Wind sprints meant holding my breath and pedaling for all I was worth when I passed a chicken farm. )
The Jaycees’ ride is shaping up to become a classic. Following a show-and-go start at the Crisfield American Legion Hall (116 Brick Kiln Rd.) from 8-9 a.m., riders have the option of following a 62.1-mile (100-kilometer) or 23.1-mile route. Both routes pass some of Crisfield’s most picturesque and historic areas, including the rustic crab shanties of Jenkins Creek. Riders also will have the chance to see a working watermen’s community in action at the Small Boat Harbor. The Crisfield Heritage Foundation offers free tours of the restored workshop of famed decoy carvers Lem and Steve Ward for this year’s participants.
Cyclists on the 23-mile route will tour the wooded areas of Crisfield and Marion Station, while those braving the full 62-mile route will have the opportunity to see some of the county’s most historic churches as they travel north to Rehobeth before returning to Crisfield, the southernmost point in Maryland. SAG service will be available.
The Jaycees provide rest stops along the way, featuring drinks, snacks and opportunities for riders to relax and socialize. After the ride, cyclists may visit popular local attractions such as Janes Island State Park or enjoy traditional Chesapeake Bay seafood dishes at one of several Crisfield restaurants.
Those spending the night will have the opportunity to mingle with the locals at the annual Soft Shell Spring Fair and Watermen’s Hall of Fame induction at the Crisfield City Dock on Sunday, May 29, sponsored by the Crisfield Lioness/Lions Club and Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
All participants receive T-shirts and assigned numbers. Registration is $30 before Saturday, May 21, $40 after. Registration for children 12 and under is $20 before Saturday, May 21, $30 after. Day-of registration is accepted.
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