SALISBURY, MD – It’s a big weekend for cycling enthusiasts across Delmarva. The 27th Sea Gull Century has the spotlight. Salisbury resident Claire Williams has ridden every year in the event. She also has no plans of slowing down.
Claire took some time to answer questions about her experience in the Sea Gull Century.
1. What got you involved into cycling?
Growing up in Baltimore, my family was a member of the Baltimore Bicycle Club and my passion for distance cycling started through their organized rides.
2. What is it about the Sea Gull Century that you absolutely love?
I love the fact that the route follows the beautiful back roads of the Eastern Shore and is flat. I also have some terrific memories of doing this ride the first 10-12 years with my kids with the early years on a tandem with my son, pulling a trailer with my daughter. Later, my daughter joined me on the tandem and my son road alongside on his single bike. I very proud to say that my son rode his first century on a single bike at the age of nine. So, I guess what I really love is the memories that follow.
3. You have ridden in all 26th Sea Gull Century’s. Wow, how do you keep coming back year after year?
Because I live locally, there is no reason not to ride this century. I have ridden many century rides in different states across the country and this is by far one of the best organized rides I have participated in.
I am also extremely motivated to continue participating since I ride and train with a terrific group of cyclists from Salisbury University. Although many of them had ridden this ride together over the years, I joined them for the 2008 century and since that time we continue to ride it together as a team.
4. Was there ever a year that you were close to missing the Sea Gull Century?
5. For cyclists out there hesitant to try the Sea Gull Century for the first time, what’s some advice you would give?
For someone who has never completed a century before, the Sea Gull Century is the perfect ride. Obviously, it is important to train and know your limits. There are cyclists of all abilities and the sheer number of riders will give them the opportunity to meet many people along the route. The camaraderie of the cyclists and conversations held along the way will make the miles go by quickly. My advice would be to ride it at a pace comfortable to them and not try and push their speed to match someone else. It is better to take longer to finish the ride then to try and maintain a speed that is out of their comfort zone. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the people and enjoy your accomplishment.
6. The big question, when do you see this streak ending of riding in every Sea Gull Century?
It was never a goal to ride every single Sea Gull Century, it just happened. The only thing that would keep me from riding this particular ride would be a health or family-related matter. Family comes first.