Samford's ninth annual Old Howard 100 Bike Ride is set for Saturday, April 20. The ride, sponsored by Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences, will begin and end in Marion, Ala., where the university was founded as Howard College in 1841.
The charity ride, on low-traffic roads through Perry, Hale, and Dallas counties, attracts cyclists of all skill levels, many returning every year to enjoy a ride that takes them through countryside and small towns important to Alabama's history. It will begin at 9 a.m. (registration starts at 8 a.m.) on the grounds of Judson College in Marion.
Riders can choose routes of 34, 43, 75, and 101 miles or join the group at the ride start but turn back before the town of Newbern. The routes are fully supported with five SAG stops at historic sites, and Cahaba Cycles will supply a SAG wagon.
Last year's ride raised $3,181 for the Sowing Seeds of Hope ministry in Perry County, one of the state's most impoverished counties. Since the ride's founding in 2005, it has raised $24,829 to support the ministry, which seeks to improve the quality of life and work in the county through better education opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development.
Starting with the 2013 ride The Old Howard 100 is part of the Alabama Backroads Cycling Century Series. The new series of 10 rides seeks to promote the growth and development of long-distance cycling in the state of Alabama, encourage participation in established Alabama century (100-mile) rides, recognize and reward individuals for their accomplishments, and benefit the charities and advocacy efforts supported by each of the events.
Howard College relocated to the young industrial city of Birmingham in 1887. The school relocated again to its present campus in 1957 and became Samford University in 1965. Howard College of Arts and Sciences remains at the heart of the university, and stays in touch with its roots in part through the Old Howard 100. Samford also serves Perry county through year-round health programs led by students and faculty in the university's nursing, pharmacy, and exercise and sports medicine programs.Information and registration at http://howard.samford.edu/oldhoward/
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