Selma will host last leg of Old Howard 100

Published 11:50 pm Monday, March 9, 2009

Samford’s University’s Old Howard 100 Bike Ride will include a pit stop in Selma.

The ride will begin and end at Judson College in Marion on April 18 at 9 a.m. First Baptist Church Selma will serve as the ride’s final rest stop. The event is seen as a homecoming opportunity for participants, as well as an opportunity for Samford — founded as Howard College in Marion in 1841 before subsequent moves to Birmingham and Homewood — to celebrate its ties with the Black Belt.

“It’s a really great way for Samford to maintain its historic connection with area,” said Old Howard 100 coordinator Bridget Rose. “One stated goal is some sort of immediate economic impact. We do hope there will be some folks that bring family members and stay in the area.”

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The route is designed to take cyclists by a number of historic sites in the region, including the grave site Jimmie Lee Jackson, a Perry County man who was shot to death by Alabama state troopers, and other civil rights landmarks.

“We wanted to promote that part of our state’s history,” said Rose. “We encourage Samford students to come see those sites first-hand.”

Several options are available to riders, whether they want to ride the full 100-mile trek, or participate in a more limited role. Shorter routes of 75, 45 and 35 miles are available. Registration is $35 prior to April 10 and $45 after that date. Judson students can register for $15, and residents of Perry, Hale or Dallas County can register for $10.

“It makes me really happy when people in the area want to be involved,” said Rose. “We want any of the local cyclists to be able to ride at a discounted rate.”

Proceeds from the ride will benefit Sowing Seeds of Hope, a partnership between Perry County and the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that seeks to improve the quality of life and work in Perry County through improved educational opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development.

For more information, call Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences at (205) 726-2771.