By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
POTTSTOWN >> People can come along for the ride along the Schuylkill River Trail to Reading then end at a festival filled with food, beer and music.
More than 200 people have signed up for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area’s first Ride for the River on Saturday. The bicycling journey is being held in partnership with the annual Sly Fox Can Jam Festival which is an all-day free event. Bicyclists will begin and end at the Sly Fox Brewery, 331 Circle of Progress Drive.
There are two length options available for the ride. The full journey is 40 miles and involves going to Reading Riverfront Park then returning to the festival. The shorter option is 16 miles and riders will go to the Union Township Recreation Area before travelling back to the festival. The 40-mile ride begins at 9 a.m. while the 16-mile ride will follow at 10 a.m. The cost for both is $45 with advance registration and $50 the day of the event. Registration for the bike ride also includes a free voucher for one meal and one 16 ounce beer at the Can Jam Festival. People can use the beer voucher for a soda if preferred.
This isn’t the first time the heritage area has partnered with Sly Fox Brewery. A portion of the brewery’s SRT Ale sales goes toward the upkeep of the Schuylkill River Trail.
Laura Catalano, Schuylkill River Heritage Area communications director, said they combined the ride with the Can Jam because it was a great way to get people to participate in two community events at the same time.
“It was a good way to make a fun event that much more fun,” she said.
Catalano said participants can start the day with some exercise then return for a relaxing time at the festival. The Can Jam has a musical lineup from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. There’s no cost to come listen to the performances.
Ride for the River is also a fundraiser for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area to help the organization maintain the sections of the trail they manage which includes Berks County. Catalano said Ride for the River was created to give the public an opportunity to experience that specific section with a group.
“We’re pretty proud of this piece of trail. We think it’s a great amenity for the region,” she said.
Catalano said participants of the ride will also be able to celebrate the connection that is available between Pottstown and Reading. She said it a great section for exercise and safety. Catalano has bicycled along the section to Reading several times and said she enjoys it.
“When you’re out on the trail, you really feel like you’re kind of out in nature,” Catalano said.
She said she believes the ride will be a great event especially since there is already so many people that are interested.
“We do hope to make this an annual event,” she said.
For more information about Ride for the River and to register online, visit www.bikereg.com/ride-for-the-river. Online registration ends Thursday but there will also be registration available on the day of the event. For more about the Can Jam Festival, visit www.slyfoxbeer.com/canjam.
The Mercury is engaged in a long-term effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living. In addition to articles in the newspaper and on our website, Fit for Life features a blog with recipes, health tips such as getting fit without breaking the bank and other tools all available free online. Visit the website at pottsmercfit4life.wordpress.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercFit4Lifeand follow our efforts on Twitter @MercFit4Life.
Michilea Patterson is the Fit for Life reporter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.