SALISBURY – Erin Drew loved to ride her bicycle. She started out actively training to honor the memory of 4-year-old Ben Layton, who lost the battle to leukemia a few years ago. Not a committed athlete before then, she decided to train for the renowned local 100-mile bike ride known as the Seagull Century in 2004 and raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in remembrance of little Ben.
The next several Century rides saw her raising thousands of dollars for charity and mentoring scores of cyclists in the annual event while developing her own prowess as an avid and accomplished rider. She turned her grief into positive benefits for many.
So captivated with the positive features of cycling, she wanted to have some fun with it and made it a wedding anniversary celebration. On July 22, 2006, Erin and her husband Matt celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary with a small group of friends and a 100-mile bike ride. The event, dubbed the “Ball and Chain Century” (an ironic nod to the institution of marriage and a gentle poke toward cyclists who draft too long in a pace line), featured blustery weather, several flats and a small cookout in the Drews’ back yard.
Erin suddenly passed away on June 5. To celebrate her life and to honor her giving and adventurous spirit, the Second Annual Ball and Chain Century is being held on Sunday, July 22 to support the newly-created Erin Drew Foundation.
The foundation was established for two purposes: to provide for the continuing education of her daughters, Ellen and Anna, and to support the causes and efforts in which Erin believed. Proceeds from this event will be used to provide for the girls’ future college education and to aid certain charities, such as Concern America, Mid-Delmarva Family YMCA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Radio Delmarva, WESM, Bike for Peace and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Second Annual Ball and Chain Century Ride will take place rain or shine on July 22, with the start at the Mid-Delmarva Family YMCA. The opening ceremony is at 7:05 a.m. and the start at 7:30 a.m. The event features both metric (63-mile) and full (100-mile) routes through scenic portions of Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties. Riders can expect a flat course with challenging winds, great for group pace lines.
To participate, you can pre-register on Saturday, July 21 from 4-6 p.m. at the Outdoor Pavilion at the YMCA. The morning of the ride, you can register at the YMCA at 6 a.m. The fee, benefiting the Erin Drew Foundation and the charities mentioned above, is $35. An event water bottle and wristband will go to the first 150 riders and there will be food and music for registered participants after the ride at the YMCA.
For information, contact Matt Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Lahey at email@example.com. Registration forms are available at the Mid-Delmarva YMCA.