The Old Howard 100

April 16, 2016

The Old Howard 100 is a ride through three counties in Alabama’s historic Black Belt sponsored by Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences. The event benefits Sowing Seeds of Hope, a partnership between Perry County and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that seeks to enhance the quality of work and life in Perry County through improved educational opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development.

perfect centuryProceeds assist Perry County residents who receive care through Samford's year-round health programs. Students and faculty in Samford's nursing, pharmacy, and exercise and sports medicine programs offer regular health-care screenings, evaluations and monitoring services. Sowing Seeds of Hope Executive Director Frances Ford notes that such funds fill a critical void in health-care distribution by providing medication or supplies to newly diagnosed patients.


Starting with the 2013 ride, the Old Howard 100 became part of the Alabama Backroads Cycling Century Series. The new series of 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.

The Old Howard 100 is one of Samford University’s initiatives to promote awareness of and appreciation for Alabama’s Black Belt. The university began there in 1841 as Howard College in the town of Marion. The magnificent antebellum homes still standing throughout the Black Belt bear witness to the region’s great wealth and cultural importance at the time of Howard’s founding. The area is also at the heart of historic civil rights struggles.

The Black Belt was unable to recover economically after the Civil War, so the Alabama Baptist State Convention accepted an offer from Birmingham and moved the college in 1887. It became Samford University in 1965. Howard College of Arts and Sciences pays tribute to the long connection with its first home.


Riders begin at Judson College and ride through downtown Marion, past Marion Military Institute, former home of Howard College. Riders will head west for 17 miles through the Perry County countryside to Newbern, home to the Rural Studio project of Auburn University. Thirty-mile riders will return to Marion from here.

Proceeding north in Hale County, riders will pass through downtown Greensboro on the broad, tree-lined Main Street with its many homes of distinctive architecture—Greek Revival, Federal, Victorian, Gothic Revival—and onto the grounds of Magnolia Grove, built c. 1838, and the ancestral home of Admiral Richmond Hobson, hero of the Spanish-American War. All riders then return to Marion by way of a stop in Folsom at Morningstar Baptist Church. The 45-mile route ends back at Judson.

Century and 75-mile riders continue through Marion and southward, across the Cahaba River and the Perry Lakes wetlands region, to Suttle before splitting: either to return to Marion or to proceed into Dallas County for the final stop at the Selma Public Library. Century riders will be rewarded with views of historic structures, including the Edmund Pettus Bridge and cemeteries framed by Live Oak trees draped with Spanish moss. The return to Marion takes riders through sweeping farm and pasture land.

Routes of approximately 32, 45, 75 and 103 miles are available and are fully supported with five SAG stops at historic sites. SAG support provided by Cahaba Cycles and the Alabama Ham Radio Club.

Schedule & Directions

Ride begins and ends on the grounds of Judson College.

  • 8 a.m. On-site registration begins
  • 8:30 a.m.. Century riders start
  • 9 a.m.. Mass start for all others
  • 12 p.m. Hot dog lunch available
  • 2-5 p.m. Dinner served

Directions to Marion (print map)
302 Bibb Street • Marion, AL 36756
From Birmingham, take I-59 South toward Tuscaloosa (approximately 30 minutes). Take Exit 97 (West Blocton) and turn left on Highway 11/5. In about 3 miles, turn left on Highway 5 (by People’s Bank). Travel 44 miles and turn right on Lafayette Street (by Judson College sign). Watch for Old Howard signs for parking on campus.


Early Registration- $40
Late Registration (after April 8) - $50
Student Rate - $20
Perry, Hale and Dallas County Resident Rate - $20

Registration after April 9, 2016, must be done at the Old Howard 100 Ride on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

For questions please contact Cathy Graham at or 205-726-2071. 

Printable Registration Form

Our Sponsors

The Old Howard 100 would like to thank the following sponsors for their support:

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Blue Cross Blue Shield
Academy Sports
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