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Holy Cow! How Much For The Seagull Century!?(26 posts)

Holy Cow! How Much For The Seagull Century!?Gregory Taylor
Apr 29, 2003 5:40 PM
This afternoon the postman brought me a rather spiffy-looking entry form for the 2003 Seagull Century. For those not on the East Coast of the USA, the Seagull is a huge event (6,000+ riders) run by the Salisbury State University in Salisbury Maryland. (Rumours that dieticians at Salisbury State University helped with the development of the infamous "Salisbury Steak" meat disk served in most public school cafeterias since WWII is not true. Salisbury is in the middle of chicken farm country.) Run in October, the event is notable for (1) its complete lack of hills, (2) its huge crowds, and (3) all-you-can-eat pie and ice cream at the final rest stop. The Seagull is a great place to hang out with the tribe, ride a very fast century, and have a few beers at the end of the day.

What made me catch my breath was the cost of riding this year. Early registration (prior to August 15) is $55. After August 15, the price shoots up to $75. No refunds. This is a sizable price increase over last year. For that price you get a long-sleeved tee-shirt, rest stops, sag, and a decent party afterwards (you buy food and beer).

I've done the Seagull for a number of years, but we may have hit my personal limit on what I'm willing to pay to go and ride my bike. I don't know whether the price increase is the result of trying to cash in on the event's huge popularity and gouge riders, or whether it is due to increased cost. Last year's event was wet, and there were a bunch of accidents (including one of the guys that I was riding with) so I could see a big jump in the cost of insurance to cover the event. Still, that's a lot of $$$ for a century.

Anyone else think that this is a bit much?
Don't know but possible reason Insurance coverage Increaseabicirider
Apr 29, 2003 5:54 PM
May be way off here but with the incidents and deaths in organized rides, races latley the cost of Insurance policy may have sky rocketed could be completey wrong though.
Be Safe On The Roads!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Insurance? What are you talking about?pmf1
Apr 30, 2003 5:11 AM
You know that thing you sign before you participate in any biking event -- it absolves the organizers of any and all liability. No matter what happens, you cannot sue them. You agreed to it when you signed up.

I highly doubt the organizers have any insurance. Why would they?
A release does not protect you from being sued . . .ms
Apr 30, 2003 5:25 AM
A release may protect you from being held liable if someone who signs it sues you. But, it does not protect you from being sued. Just the cost of litigating the release issue could put some organizations under. Insurance protects you not only from liability, but also the costs of defending a frivolous suit. Also, the organizers could be sued not only by the participants, but third parties who suffer some injury related to the event. It is my understanding that most organizers have insurance and that obtaining insurance is becoming much more expensive and difficult. That being said, I also wouldn't be surprised if the increased fee for the Seagull also is designed to limit the number of riders and make a little extra profit for the organizers.
Doug Sloan?pmf1
Apr 30, 2003 5:34 AM
My reading of the waiver makes it pretty clear that it takes the organizers off the hook for any liability. But I'm definitely not a lawyer.

It is true that 9/11 and the poor perfomance of the stock market has really hurt insurance companies.

The Saegull flyer has said that the limit is 6000 for several years, yet I always see numbers in the 6500's. I think they sell as many as they can. I doubt anyone gets turned away.
The Waiver attempts to limit liability for simple negligence....Gregory Taylor
Apr 30, 2003 5:41 AM
Even if the waiver is enforcable (state laws vary on how they are interpreted and what they can waive, and I don't practice in Maryland), it does not attempt to waive liablity for gross negligence or intentional torts.
depends, but better to have it than notDougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 6:20 AM
The release probably is effective for ordinary negligence. Sure, they'll still get sued, but it's more likely to get thrown out with the release. The law is a big odds game, and all you can do is attempt to skew the odds in your favor.

The promoter likely has insurance, which usually will step in and defend a suit. So, the insurer is commonly the one to require, even prepare, the release.

Releases don't apply to wrongs caused by third parties, like other cyclists or motorists.

The release probably will be effective for things like having an accident because you hit gravel in the road, going down on a wet descent, etc.

Do they include a set of tires with that ??MR_GRUMPY
Apr 29, 2003 5:56 PM
I'm from the Chicago area, and I've never seen an organized century ride over $25. I guess if they have 6000 riders they can afford to loose 500 of them if they jack up the entry price enough.
Why don't you and your friends start a Tour de Greg. Bring along $15, and buy food whenever you feel like stopping. Total cost = $15
re: Holy Cow! How Much For The Seagull Century!?rwbadley
Apr 29, 2003 6:14 PM
Ouch, I feel your pain. The price for the Markleeville (death) ride has gone up to 75 bucks or something, and I have a hard time with that price also.

Vote with your pocket & skip it. I know price for insurance is probably high etc... but you can find another ride

The flip side is, maybe as an event it is worth it. Ride slower... eat more... and it will maybe balance out :-)

re: Holy Cow! How Much For The Seagull Century!?Hopi4
Apr 29, 2003 6:17 PM
Better yet, Lardbut, (during racing season y'all should drop the other "T") have the Mt. Vernon 10 mile road race organizers organize at 10 mile bike sprint 30 minutes before their race. Golly, that's got a ton o' rush.

How 'bout other bike racers thinking about glomming onto established running races? What the heck, most of the infrastructure's already there.
Now that would be cool....Gregory Taylor
Apr 29, 2003 6:29 PM
....maybe stage it as a time trial. No mass start, and you could get in 20 miles running it up and back.

For those who don't know what me and Hopi4 are jabbering about, there is an annual 10 mile running race on the George Washington Parkway between Alexandria and Mount Vernon, VA. They close down a section of absolutely primo road that runs along the Potomac River that would make a killer time-trial course. Let me repeat that: they actually close down one of the main routes into Alexandria/Washington D.C. for a foot race. Maybe we could interest the organizers in adding a bike event like, say, a time trial.

I think that one of the organizers for the race is Pacers - a store in Old Town. I've met the dude that owns it...
30 laps around Hains Point (nm)macalu
Apr 30, 2003 9:36 AM
Apr 29, 2003 6:48 PM
Just curious what the organization's liability might be- you are on public roads, where it is very difficult to show the state/county/city is liable and if an accident involves another motor vehicle, THEY are liable- plus each event has its own liability waiver... maybe there is a bit of an umbrella policy.

Is it possible there is a fundraising component to the ride and corporate sponsorship has taken a bit of a dip given the economy?
Do they bring topless cheerleaders like at Cape Argus?...Bruno S
Apr 29, 2003 7:05 PM

I've paid 65-70 for a double, but the attendance is in the hundreds not thousands. The San Diego Rock and Roll marathon this year cost about 65 bucks. That is just too much as well.
so you carry dollar bills for tips? :-) nmDougSloan
Apr 29, 2003 7:35 PM
The BEST rest stop at a Century....Gregory Taylor
Apr 30, 2003 5:36 AM
...that I ever pulled up to was at the Ride for the Roses a few years ago. They had a group of young ladies (a sorority? I don't know) who would hold your bike for you while you snagged a bagel and some Gatorade. Neat idea.
I think they price them to keep people awayDougSloan
Apr 29, 2003 7:34 PM
At some point, like the Death Ride, I think they would need to charge $500 to keep people away. I think they start charging higher and higher once the rides get popular, almost to discourage people.

If a ride has a lot of volunteers, I suppose you can put it on pretty cheap. If you have to pay people or reimburse everyone for all expenses, it could cost more.

Plus, many of these things are done for charity. People associated with or supportive of the charity come out and work, but they expect a sizeable income for the charity in return.

Bottom line, you can do a century any day you want, and it costs you about $5-10 worth of food and Gatorade. No need to pay if you don't want to. I've ridden probably 20 times more solo centuries than group or organized, and now I find there are very few that are worth the time, effort, and expense to do. Round up some buddies and do your own, if you don't want to go alone.

Agree With Just About Everything That's Been Said...Gregory Taylor
Apr 30, 2003 5:32 AM
I think that what has happened is that a light bulb went on in someone's head and realized that "Hey, we're turning people away here....we've underpriced this thing!" and decided to jack up the entry fee and see what happens. It's primarily a fundraiser for the school - it's not heavily promoted as a "Charity Ride".

Yes, I could go and do solo centuries. This isn't really about that at all. The attraction of Seagull is that it is more of an "event" than a serious century, and it is fun to participate. It's like going to the county fair, only with bikes instead of farm animals. (In some cases, it actually looks like farm animals riding bikes, but I digress). Plus the guys that I ride with have made doing the Seagull into a tradition. But, frankly, last few editions haven't been $55 or $75 worth of fun, and getting hosed on the entry fee isn't part of the tradition at all.

BTW: .
some perspectiveDougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 6:51 AM
My brother's kids will spend $180 on paintballs for a day of shooting each other.

why would you wanna do it in first place?cyclopathic
Apr 30, 2003 4:05 AM
flat, crowded, boring. This is besides entry fee you have fit about.

granted the friend of mine does every year it because it is a chance to ride with old friends (and meet new single females ;)

Think we are blessed Crista runs 90+ centuries a year, and each of them has much more interesting route then Seagull
Definitely getting excessivepmf1
Apr 30, 2003 5:09 AM
It is the first century I ever rode and I've done it the last 10 years in a row. Last year definitely sucked -- at least the first half did anyway.

Every year it keeps going up. Some of the others in the area (e.g. Reston, Bay Country) are getting kinda pricey as well. I think they're in the $35-$40 neighborhood.

Personally, I'm willing to pay it. Even though the Seagull is a flat, crowded, ugly course that is run too late in the fall, its a tradition for me. My wife and I get a seaside hotel room in Ocean City the night before. We have the same dinner at the same Mexican Restaurant and then dippin donuts in the morning before the ride. I'll keep doing it until I drop (when at that time, admission is $450).

I wish the Winchester Wheelmen started doing the Blue and Grey again. That was a great century. I'd gladly pay $60 for that one.
Nice pre-ride routineFez
Apr 30, 2003 6:48 AM
Mexican dinner the night before, donuts the morning of the ride.

So that's what I've been doing wrong all these years. I was foolishly eating pasta for dinner and cereal for breakfast:P
Oh yeah ....pmf1
Apr 30, 2003 8:39 AM
The Mexican is this seafood burrito full of cream sauce and cheese. Totally decadent. My wife likes the chocolate glazed at Dippin Donuts while I prefer the bearclaw. The food at the ride is far from healthy either. One thing I can't do is the pie and ice cream at mile 85. Yuck. Beers before facing the 3 hour drive home is out too.

If I did it every weekend, I'd be dead in another 5 years.

Hey, its tradition.
Lance's Ride for the Roses $100 donation this year! (nm)Asphalt Addict
Apr 30, 2003 5:20 AM
re: Holy Cow! How Much For The Seagull Century!?commuterguy
Apr 30, 2003 8:33 AM
I have always wanted to do this ride, but not necessarily with thousands of other people. A schedule conflict prevents me from doing the Chesapeake Bay Asthma Ride this year. It costs $40-70 plus you need to get (or pony up) another $200 donation (which would at least be deductable).

If my image upload worked, the attached is the route taken last year for the Asthma ride. Is this the same route as the Seagull? If so, the roads in question won't be closed to traffic--it might make sense to pack a few extra tubes, some extra $ and do an unsupported century with friends (and a cell phone).
sorry, this should be the route mapcommuterguy
Apr 30, 2003 8:34 AM