Com­mu­nity ral­lies be­hind bike race

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

POTTSTOWN » Jen­nifer Wynne and her fam­ily mem­bers sat in fold­ing chairs out­side their North Hanover Street home all day as swarms of cy­clists zoomed past them. They were en­thralled.

“The first heat that we saw was amaz­ing,” she said. “The high speeds at which they are go­ing. How they’re able to keep the bike steady with­out wip­ing out any.”

This was the sec­ond year in a row for the Pottstown Bike Race, which had stopped be­ing raced some­time in the late 1990s be­fore its tri­umphant re­turn last year. It was the first time Wynne and her fam­ily had wit­nessed the com­pe­ti­tion that be­gan at noon Sun­day.

“I wish that they’d do more like this,” she said. “It’s a great event. It brings the town closer to­gether.”

More than 400 rid­ers were ex­pected to com­pete in the se­ries of races fea­tur­ing sev­eral laps around a 0.9 mile course through­out bor­ough streets with over $5,000 in cash and prizes on the line.

The seven races be­gan at High and Charlotte streets then on to North Evans Street be­fore rid­ers turn on to Wal­nut Street and then again onto North Hanover Street. They then com­pleted a lap by mak­ing their way back to the start­ing point.

Colleen Gulick, one of the race pro­mot­ers, said the weather was beau­ti­ful and it was a great day for the event.

“Every­body in Pottstown came out to sup­port it,” she said. “I would like to hope it’s (be­cause of) the down­town en­vi­ron­ment and there’s a lot go­ing on. We have an an­nouncer with mu­sic and ob­vi­ously some great en­ter­tain­ment through the bike race.”

The en­ter­tain­ment worked both ways as the ath­letes en­joyed see­ing the crowd par­tic­i­pate.

Brent Hin­kle, of Walling­ford, Pa., said as a cy­clist, events like the one in Pottstown are the most fun for the rid­ers.

“Some­times the races are off in far off places,” he said. “Re­ally low traf­fic ar­eas. It’s nice to have it in a down­town that’s will­ing to block it off. That gets peo­ple out and we usu­ally end up with spec­ta­tors and tents things like that which we don’t al­ways have. So it’s a good race.”

Sly Fox Brew­ing Com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives Tim Lauro and Pete Giannopou­los, were among the many ven­dors in at­ten­dance for the event said the bike race was great for the bor­ough.

“It’s a great com­mu­nity event,” said Lauro. “It’s great to see every­body out en­joy­ing the sun­shine and en­joy­ing the cold beer. There’s a good sense of ca­ma­raderie. Selfishly for us, it’s right around the cor­ner from our brew­ery and any­time we can help out the com­mu­nity is fan­tas­tic.”

“It’s re­ally cool to see the com­mu­nity come out and watch the race right here on High Street,” said Giannopou­los. “I think it brings a lot of at­ten­tion to down­town Pottstown. I know we love sup­port­ing Pottstown.”

ERIC DEVLIN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Cy­clists from around the area con­verged on Pottstown Sun­day for the re­turn of the Pottstown Bike Race.

ERIC DEVLIN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Evan Detweiler, 6, of Gilbertsville, com­peted in the Pottstown Bike Race kids race Sun­day.

ERIC DEVLIN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Cy­clists com­pet­ing in the Pottstown Bike Race whipped around a 0.9 mile course for sev­eral laps Sun­day as neigh­bors cheered from the side­walks.

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