3rd Annual Bike Festival Offers Three Courses, Activities

3rd Annual Bike Festival Offers Three Courses, Activities
Some of the more than 1,000 riders who took part in last year’s event are pictured near the start line. File Photo

WEST OCEAN CITY – Final preparations took place this week for the return of the Maryland Coast Bike Festival.

On Saturday, May 6, community members are invited to join the third annual Maryland Coast Bike Festival. With more than 1,000 riders participating last year, event Coordinator Salty Selt said organizers are gearing up for an even bigger event in 2023.

“This is a bike ride, not a race,” he said. “So it’s a great activity for local families and kids.”

In 2021, 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.

“We were coming out of COVID, and it seemed like adventure sports and outdoor family activities just exploded,” Selt explained. “Our events company, we were looking for something similar to Seagull Century, but in the spring because there wasn’t a large spring bike ride.”

The result, he said, was a successful bike event that attracted more than 700 participants in its first year. The festival only grew in 2022, attracting 1,000 riders from 13 states.

But Selt said the fun doesn’t stop there. Similar to last year’s event, he said this year’s festival will feature three courses, each of which will traverse the Verrazano Bridge onto Assateague Island.

“The first ride goes out at about 8 in the morning and they take anywhere from 45 minutes to four hours depending on the ride each rider chooses,” he explained. “The rides go all throughout Worcester County, Snow Hill, Pocomoke and Berlin.”

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.
“The courses are similar but this year we are riding over the bridge and into the state park,” he said. “So there will be a chance to view the ponies as part of the course.”

Each of the rides will begin and end at the harbor, Selt added, which will feature vendors, live music, food, drinks and activities. Participants will also receive T-shirts, bike mechanics and course support, a free lunch and a free drink, provided by Carey Distributors.

Event organizers say bikers can register for any of the three courses by visiting the event’s webpage and clicking on the “Register” tab in the dropdown menu. The website also features event information, hotel accommodations and an opportunity to donate to the Ulman Foundation, this year’s charitable partner.

For more information, visit marylandcoastbikefestival.com.

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.