POTTSTOWN PA – A bicycle tour across the Schuylkill River Heritage Area from Pottstown to Birdsboro will be held Sept. 22 (2012; Saturday) as a way to introduce the Schuylkill River Trail and the region’s history to both visitors and area residents, the heritage area’s Pottstown office reported Thursday (Aug. 3).
The September event, which begins at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, is called the “The Rails and River Towns Ride.” It offers cyclists a choice of three distances of 9, 18 or 20 miles for their riding and endurance convenience. All include a presentation on the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, upon whose right-of-way the trail is partly built. Participants also can opt to take a guided walking tour of Birdsboro, or a tour of historic Morlatton Village’s four 18th Century buildings.
Refreshments will be provided in Pottstown and Birdsboro. Free T-shirts are given to all who register by Sept. 5. Ride support and complimentary pre-ride bicycle safety checks will be provided by TriCounty Bicycles of Pottstown. Helmets are required. Due to the width of the trail, no bicycle trailers will be permitted.
Cost of the ride is $25 per person if tickets are purchased before Sept. 5; $20 for heritage area members, and $15 children between the ages of 11 and 15. Children age 10 and younger are free.
“One of our goals is to use recreation as a vehicle to encourage people to value the heritage of the Schuylkill River Region,” said Kurt Zwikl, heritage area executive director. “This bike tour series is a natural extension of our work … because it enables us to connect people to historic sites and heritage towns via the trail.”
September’s ride is the first of three being planned for the trail. Also in the works are:
- A 2013 “Cycles and Cemeteries Ride” that will take participants along the trail from Norristown to East Falls, with stops at two cemeteries where Civil War generals are buried; and
- A 2014 “National Parks of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area Ride,” which will feature a two-day ride taking cyclists to three national parks: Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Valley Forge National Historical Park and Independence National Historical Park.