Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-04-24

Wayne Kennamer of Hoover has ridden in more than 60 100-mile bike rides over the past 10 years, and he counts the Old Howard 100 one of his favorites.

"Riding through country and history on low traffic roads, with locals waving and speaking from their porch or yard, and support and friendliness at rest stops made for an outstanding event," he said.

Kennamer was one of a record 229 registrants for the third Old Howard 100. They cycled through Perry and Hale counties on a beautiful spring day made for such an event, opting for routes of from 30 to 100 miles. The riders came from various Alabama towns as well as from Georgia and Tennessee. The Birmingham Bike Club and cycling community gave heavy support.

The oldest rider was John Fuller, 80, of Birmingham, who chose a 55-mile route.

More than 20 Samford faculty and students rode, and more than two dozen or so others served as volunteers at support and gear stops, including members of Greek organizations and Alpha Lambda Delta freshman honorary.

The members of Sigma Chi fraternity took advantage of their location near the Faunsdale Crawfish Festival to supply riders with crawfish meals under the shade of big trees in Magnolia Grove.

Once again, the event was sponsored by the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, and proceeds will go to the Sowing Seeds of Hope ministry in Alabama's Black Belt region. The event has grown each year, from 148 participants in 2005 to 198 last year to this year's total.

"Thanks for an awesome day," said Kennamer, a retiree who works part-time for Birmingham Bicycle Company, where he plans to spread the word about the ride.

The lone casualty occurred when Bill Mathews' trademark Penny Farthing high wheel bicycle succumbed to metal fatigue after 25 years, causing the frame to break and sending Mathews sprawling. The vice president for business affairs was unhurt, he said, and plans to look for a replacement right away.

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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.