Maryland Coast Bike Festival ‘Participation Is About Double What We Expected,” Organizer Reports

Maryland Coast Bike Festival ‘Participation Is About Double What We Expected,” Organizer Reports
Three different scenic rides will be offered during Saturday's Maryland Coast Bike Festival, including the Surf & Turf 35-miler, pictured. File Photo

WEST OCEAN CITY – Event organizers say it is not too late to participate in the first annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival.

On Saturday, May 8, community members are invited to join the inaugural Maryland Coast Bike Festival, a day-long celebration that begins and ends at the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor.

“I think it will be a nice addition to the events being brought to Ocean City,” said event coordinator Salty Selt. “It’s a healthy, family friendly event that we hope to make an annual event.”

The Maryland Coast Bike Festival will kick off with a series of scenic bike rides, Selt said. The Island Ride (17 miles) features a family friendly loop that explores the area around Assateague Island, while the Surf & Turf (35 miles) and Metric Century (62 miles) loops around Assateague Island and the scenic back country of Worcester County.

The rides will begin and end at the harbor’s festival village, which will serve as a day-long party spot featuring live music, food, craft beer, kids’ activities, local vendors and demonstrations. Participants will also have an opportunity to join a cleanup in partnership with 4Ocean. A portion of event proceeds will support the nonprofit.

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“At the village we’re going to have something for everybody,” Selt said.

Online registration to participate in the bike rides closed on Monday. But Selt noted people will still have an opportunity to sign up the day of the festival. Late registration will be held on-site from 6:30-8:30 a.m.

“So far, participation is about double what we expected,” he said. “We will still have walk-up registration on Saturday morning with a $10 late fee applied.”

It should be noted that the event will follow safety protocols consistent with guidelines set by public health officials and established endurance event experts. Start times for the three bike rides will also be staggered to avoid crowds and ensure social distancing.

The Maryland Coast Bike Festival will begin with the Metric Century bike ride at 7:30, followed by the Surf & Turf ride at 8:15 and the Island Ride at 8:45. The start line will be open for all until 9 a.m.

Every rider will receive a T-shirt, a free beverage coupon for a beer or soft drink, bike mechanics and course support, several well-stocked stations along the routes, que sheets and GPS maps, complementary cold brew energy coffee, and free parking a short walk to the start and finish line.

While there is a registration fee for the bike rides, Selt noted the festival village will be free to attendees. He said vendor space is also being provided free of charge to local businesses.

“There’s still time if they have arts and crafts or items they want to sell,” he said. “Contact us on the website, and we’ll make room for them.”

For more information on the Maryland Coast Bike Festival, visit marylandcoastbikefestival.com. Selt encouraged everyone to come out and support the event and its participating local businesses.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.