West Reading Avenues Winter 2017 - 36
IN THE COMMUNITY
Brings Crowds to
two-day bicycle racing event drew thousands of spectators
to Reading and West Reading in September, with hundreds
of people lining Penn Avenue on a beautiful Saturday
evening to watch the first West Reading Twilight Criterium, a
0.8-mile loop designed to showcase the vibrant community.
The two-day event benefitted the award-winning Reading
Recreation Commission and other local organizations.
On Friday evening, citizen and pro cyclists tested their strength
and skill against the formidable Mount Penn as they raced from
Reading's historic City Park, up the winding switchbacks of Duryea
Drive, to the landmark Pagoda and then on to the summit of the
mountain at the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower.
Cyclists continued with the two-day event on Saturday by racing
in the breathtaking West Reading Twilight Criterium. Onlookers
lined both sides of Penn Avenue to watch racers ride the 0.8-mile
loop. With its shop-lined streets and hundreds of cheering spectators,
the race provided an evening that will be long remembered by
participants and spectators.
The Reading Radsport Festival events included live music, as well
as races for kids, citizen cyclists, and professional cyclists traveling
from all over the country to race in Reading and West Reading.
Race organizers said the event exceeded expectations.
Radsport organizer Kacey Lloyd. "Berks County has an unmatched
cycling tradition and a community that loves bike racing. Bringing
high-level, high-speed racing to this community is a natural fit."
Race festivities kicked off at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, with a
parade and ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Lower Alsace
Township to celebrate the completion of the Skyline Drive Project.
A commemorative parade began at the scenic outlook below the
Fire Tower and ended with a few speeches and a ribbon cutting
ceremony at the finish line of the hill climb.
Events continued Saturday with the West Reading Twilight
Criterium, which featured professional men and women and
amateur men, racing at speeds up to 40 miles per hour for multiple
laps. The featured men's and women's events were held under lights
and sent athletes around three high-speed corners and through
a roundabout for their chance to win a portion of the $10,000
prize purse for each race.
According to Mark Ratcliffe, West Reading's Main street manager,
similar races in West Chester and other locations have drawn
thousands of spectators.
For more information, event photos, and outcomes, visit Reading
Radsport on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also check out the
website at: https://readingradsport.com.
"We were very excited to have worked with the Reading Recreation
Commission to bring professional bike racing to town this year," said
Avenues Winter 2017