Larger Semper Fi Bike Ride Planned

OCEAN CITY – Organizers of a charitable bike ride say plans for a larger Boardwalk event are in the works.

On Sunday, Oct. 17, the second annual Semper Fi Bike Ride will return to the Boardwalk to raise funds for Semper Fi & America’s Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing financial assistance and support to combat wounded and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

First State Detachment Marines’ Bob Broderick told members of the Ocean City Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee this week the returning event is expected to include two new events.

“We have a three-year plan for this program,” he said. “Last year, we just did the Boardwalk ride. This year, we want to add two new components.”

In addition to the Boardwalk bike ride, in which participants will bike from the Inlet to 27th Street and back, organizers are also planning a road course, with options for a 40-mile bike ride and a 60-mile bike ride. Broderick said his organization is working with the Sussex Bike Club and local municipalities to ensure the safety of participants.

“We’re going to have two options …,” he said. “We’re going to go from the Ocean City Inlet to the Indian River Inlet and back, which is a 40-mile ride, and if they want a 60-mile ride they are going to go up to Rehoboth at Gordons Pond. We’re still working out all the details with all the local jurisdictions to make sure we have everything covered.”

Officials noted they are also working with Tres Denk of the Eastern Shore International Mountain Bicycling Association to introduce a fat tire bike ride on the beach from the Inlet parking lot to 3rd Street and back.

“It’s already been approved in the permit …,” Broderick said. “We’re there, if I can put that element together.”

While he said plans for the two new components are still being finalized, Broderick noted the Boardwalk bike ride will be held in the same manner as last year. Registration will be held at the Inlet parking lot beginning at 8:30 a.m. for those who have not pre-registered on the event’s website. The Inlet lot will also be roped off for a Semper Fi Bike Ride festival.

“We have live music, there’ll be some vendor tents set up, and we actually have a raffle we run through the year, where we raffle off a couple of bikes,” he said.

In addition to raising money for Semper Fi & America’s Fund, Broderick said organizers are also hoping to raise awareness of the resort’s biking community. He noted a larger event would attract more people and raise the profile of the bike ride.

“We’re hoping to at least double what we did last year by doubling, tripling the size of the event,” he said.

Next year, for example, the First State Detachment Marines plans to expand the event even further with a “Salute to the Services.” The two-day event will recognize members of the U.S. Armed Forces and those in the public safety sector.

“We want to try and get some heads in beds,” Broderick said. “That’s our overall goal.”

He noted event organizers would keep committee members informed as plans for the Semper Fi Bike Ride are finalized.

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.