Maryland Coast Bike Festival Returns To West OC Harbor

Maryland Coast Bike Festival Returns To West OC Harbor
Participants are pictured at last year's Maryland Coast Bike Festival. Submitted Photo

WEST OCEAN CITY – The second annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival will return to the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor this weekend.

On Saturday, May 7, members of the community are invited to join the second annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival. After a successful first year, event coordinator Salty Selt said he is eager to see its return to the harbor.

“I think a bike festival with a festival village is always a fun event,” he said. “There’s a lot to explore and see, and the commercial harbor is a great location.”

Last year, organizers held the first annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival, a series of scenic bike rides that began and concluded at the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor. The event not only had three courses, but a festival village featuring music, food, craft beer, children’s activities and local vendors.

Similar to last year’s event, Selt said this year’s festival will feature three courses, each of which will traverse the Verrazano Bridge onto Assateague Island. The Island Ride (18.5 miles) features a family friendly loop that explores the areas around Assateague Island, while the Surf & Turf (38 miles) and the Metric Century (64 miles) loop around Assateague Island and the scenic back roads of Worcester County.

“There are three courses, all the way from an 18-mile ride for beginners and kids to a 64-mile ride for the more experienced,” he said.

Event organizers noted that riders can take in the scenery from any of the three routes. From shore breaks and wild ponies to rural back country, Selt said each course highlights the Eastern Shore’s unique environment.

“It’s definitely a beautiful ride through Worcester County,” he said. “Riders also like this festival because there are no hills.”

Each of the rides will begin and end at the harbor, Selt added, which will feature vendors, live music, food, craft beer and activities, among other things.

“It’s similar to Harbor Day at the Docks …,” he said. “There will be local businesses, arts and crafts, and Carey Distributors will be there with beer and energy drinks.”

Selt noted that event organizers will also be partnering with 4ocean, a nonprofit dedicated to the ending the ocean plastic crisis. He said the organization will be in attendance to sell products and educate the community.

“We’re proud to have a partnership with 4ocean,” he said. “I think they really drove a lot of people to the event last year.”

Event organizers say last year’s festival garnered around 700 participants, or about double what was expected. Now back for a second year, Selt said there are more than 1,000 registered riders.

But it is not too late to sign up for a ride, he said. Bikers can register for any of the three courses by visiting and clicking on the “Register” tab in the dropdown menu. Selt noted that riders will also have an opportunity to register the morning of the event.

“Packet pickup will be that Friday, May 6, from 4-8 p.m. at Coconuts Beach Bar at Castle in the Sand,” he added.

Every rider will receive a T-shirt, free beverage coupon, well-stocked stations, complimentary cold brew coffee and plenty of free parking just a short walk to the start/finish line.

The Maryland Coast Bike Festival will be held on May 7, with the Metric Century beginning at 7 a.m., the Surf & Turf beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the Island Ride beginning at 8 a.m. The start line will be open for all until 8:30 a.m.

Event organizers are also looking for volunteers to assist the day of the event. Additional information can be found on the event website.

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.