The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is once again partnering with Sly Fox Brewery for the 6th Annual Ride for the River on Sept. 25, a bike ride on the Schuylkill River Trail between Pottstown and Reading.
All participants get free food, a beer or beverage, and reserved parking at Sly Fox’s free Can Jam Music Festival happening the same day as the ride.
Riders will first enjoy a 4-mile, 16-mile, or 35-mile journey on the trail with views of the picturesque Schuylkill River along the route. Then, they have the option to relax afterwards with hours of live music at the festival in Pottstown. People can sign up at schuylkillriver.org/ride.
Sly Fox Brewery produces SRT Ale, a seasonal “ale for the trail” that benefits the Schuylkill River Trail. The brewery has donated about $34,000 over the years to Schuylkill River Greenways’ Safe Crossings Program.
The program funds trail safety improvements such as signage and road markings. Most recently the program has helped fund the construction of the new Richard P. Whittaker M.D. Memorial Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge on the trail over Route 724 in Union Township.
“Schuylkill River Greenways is tremendously appreciative of Sly Fox and other project supporters such as Peggy Whittaker for gifting the community with the trail bridge. This area was very concerning for cyclists because of the steep slope and high-speed cars along Route 724,” said Schuylkill River Greenways Executive Director Elaine Paul Schaefer.
“We’re so excited Ride for the River cyclists will be able to use the bridge during this year’s event!”
The fall bike ride will begin and end at Riverfront Park in Pottstown. The event includes rest stops with water and snacks, ride support, and well-marked routes.
This year’s ride now includes three options. The 35-mile riders will go to Berks Nature in Reading then turn around. The 16-mile riders will go to the Union Township Recreation Area before returning to Pottstown. The 4-mile fun ride is a new option this year great for beginners and families.
Children ages 12 and under can participate in the ride for free but must be with an adult. Schuylkill River Greenways will provide several kid-friendly activities during the event such as a make-your-own bird feeder station, a bird watching guide, and a fun interactive watershed display. There will also be giveaways.
Ride for the River is a fundraiser for Schuylkill River Greenways, which works with partners to build, improve, and promote the Schuylkill River Trail. One of the largest finished trail sections is the Pottstown to Reading stretch, maintained by Schuylkill River Greenways, which totals about 20 miles.
Money raised will support ongoing maintenance of the trail. There are currently 75 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail completed and when finished it will run 120 miles from Frackville in Schuylkill County to Philadelphia.