Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-02-17

The sixth annual Old Howard 100 Bike Ride will bring bicyclists from throughout the U.S. to three counties in Alabama’s Black Belt Saturday, April 17.

The ride, sponsored by Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, will begin and end at Judson College in Marion, Ala.  Routes of 30, 45, 75 or 100 miles through picturesque countryside are available. All riders will start at 9 a.m.

The 100-mile route goes from downtown Marion through the Perry County countryside into Hale County and Greensboro, back to Marion, south to the  Perry Lakes wetlands region, and to Selma in Dallas County before returning to Marion. Support and Gear rest stops will be at five historic sites: Auburn University’s Rural Studio project in Newbern, Magnolia Grove in Greensboro, Holmstead Plantation in Folsom, a site in Suttle, and First Baptist Church in Selma.

Proceeds from the ride will benefit Sowing Seeds of Hope, a ministry that seeks to improve the quality of life and work in Perry County through improved education opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development. Since the first ride in 2005, more than $13,000 has been raised. Previous rides have brought bicyclists from throughout Alabama, the Southeast and more distant states.

The Old Howard 100 celebrates the rich history of Samford and the Perry County area, where the school was founded as Howard College in Marion in 1841. The school moved to the East Lake area of Birmingham in 1881 and to its present location in Homewood in 1957.

Registration is $35 by April 9, $45 after April 9, $15 students, $10 residents of Perry, Hale and Dallas counties.

For information and registration, call (205) 726-2229.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.