Once again, Samford University’s Old Howard 100 Bike Ride will offer bicyclists a pleasant springtime tour through portions of historic Alabama. The seventh annual event, sponsored by Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, will be Saturday, April 16.
The ride, with routes of 30, 45, 75 or 100 miles, will begin and end at Judson College in Marion, Ala., where Samford was founded as Howard College in 1841. 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, the volunteer fire station 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 better education opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development. As a result of the first six rides, more than $15,000 has been raised for the cause. In addition, students and faculty in Samford’s nursing, pharmacy and exercise and sports medicine programs provide ongoing health screenings and other services to area residents.
The Old Howard 100 celebrates the rich history of Samford and its Perry County roots. The school moved from Marion to the East lake area of Birmingham in 1881 and to its present location in Homewood in 1957.
Dozens of Samford students and employees will serve as volunteers at SAG stops to assist with the hundreds of bicyclists expected for the event. Each year, the event draws riders from throughout Alabama and the southeast, and as far away as Massachusetts.
Registration is $35 through April 8, or $45 after April 8, $15 for students, and $10 for residents of Perry, Hale and Dallas counties. For information and registration, call (205) 726-4033, email coordinator Ken Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check the website.