Community rallies behind bike race
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.”
Cyclists from around the area converged on Pottstown Sunday for the return of the Pottstown Bike Race.
Evan Detweiler, 6, of Gilbertsville, competed in the Pottstown Bike Race kids race Sunday.
Cyclists competing in the Pottstown Bike Race whipped around a 0.9 mile course for several laps Sunday as neighbors cheered from the sidewalks.