Lifeline 100 Century Bike Ride expects to put 1,000 cyclists on Anne Arundel County pavement Sunday
This Sunday, October 3, the seventh annual Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100 Century Ride is expected to include 1,000 cyclists, according to its head organizer, the most ever. The ride, includes 100, 65, 30 and 15-mile routes as well as a free children’s bike rodeo and family fun ride at Kinder Farm Park. “We’ve already set a record for number of participants…more than any other year,” said organizer Jon Korin, who is president of Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (BIKEAAA). “We’re going to limit it to 1,000.” The event routes tour much of the county on the B&A and BWI Loop Trails, going through Millersville, Arnold, Annapolis, Gambrills, Crownsville, Edgewater, Crofton and Galesville among other communities. It has raised over $200,000 for local charities and nonprofits over the years and is made possible through a partnership between the Anne Arundel County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, and Bike AAA. The bike ride is intentionally billed as a ride and not a competition. Participants can compete against themselves, challenging their own personal bests by timing themselves, but that is not the goal of the ride, Korin said. “We want them to just appreciate the joys of cycling,” Korin said. “Not just for recreation, but for transportation, (and also) see the beautiful areas of the county.” It is unique because is it invites people of all bike-riding skill levels to participate. From the family and children’s events to the long-distance treks, there is something for everyone, organizers say. “What’s special about this bike event is how inclusive it is—all ages and abilities” Korin said. “We have a lot of first-timers. Usually they’re determined to finish.” He said for the longer routes some experienced cyclists can complete the ride in five hours, while others will take all day. The event ends at 5:30 p.m. and riders are expected to be off the road by dark. It starts at Kinder Farm Park, which will remain open to the public. “The park is open,” Korin said. “It’s a little crowded because of the events (but) people can cheer the riders.” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman will be participating in the ride, and encouraged fellow residents to get out and enjoy the annual autumn event. He will be riding with the county police department’s cycling team. Pittman said the event “exemplifies the power of partnership by county agencies and nonprofits,” in a press statement Friday. “I urge citizens of all ages and abilities to come join us for this award winning event at Kinder Farm Park,” he stated. Korin, who has rode with Pittman before said the county executive is a capable cyclist. “He rides sometimes,” Korin said. “Probably not as much as he would like.” As for Korin, as much as he loves all-things cycling in Anne Arundel County his duties Sunday will confine him to off-cycle activities, as usual. He has been leading the organization of the event since it began seven years ago. “One day I’m going to deputize somebody so I can see the rest of it,” he joked. Safety for the cyclists is no joke though. Organizers emphasize that those driving vehicles need to be extra careful on Sunday, especially Sunday morning, since there will be so many cyclists out. Under Maryland law, drivers are required to give cyclists at least three feet of space while passing when safe to do so, the press statement reminded the public. And texting in particular can be particularly dangerous as just drifting a few feet on the road could kill a cyclist. But organizers are also determined that both cyclists and drivers can learn to coexist safely on Anne Arundel County roads. It was decided not to do any road closures, so the event doesn’t impede on drivers freedom too. “All users can safely use our roads if they know their rights and responsibilities, and use common courtesy,” Korin said.