From cycling trails to bike stores to competitive riding groups, there's no denying we live in a bike-centric area. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a cheerful spectator, don't miss these 5 action-packed races in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Can you climb The Wall? The Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic—the new race that replaced the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship this year—is partnering up with Bicycling magazine to allow cyclists of every ability to preview the revamped classic-style course before the pro race. See just how many timed 12-mile laps you can complete in an hour and 15 minutes on the grueling course featuring two climbs on the Manayunk wall and Lemon Hill. Team Director Robin Morton estimates avid recreational cyclists will get in a lap and a half, while the better riders should be able to complete two full laps. Cyclists will receive a swag bag, post-ride breakfast and a chance to meet with athletes from the Cadence Cycling Foundation. Register here.
WHEN: June 2nd, 7:15am – 8:30am
WHERE: Philadelphia, Pa.
Back for its third year, the USA sanctioned Historic Riverton Criterium is a growing professional and amateur cycling event that is not to be missed. This challenging and technically demanding course is flat and fast. It consists of a six corner, .8-mile loop with pro riders expected to circle up to 50 laps at 35mph speeds. Anticipating over 200 riders, the race is set to attract a few big names including, West Chester's Scott Zwizanski of US-based team Optum Pro Cycling. Race Director Carlos Rogers says, "I launched the event as a way to support grassroots bicycle racing, and it's also a great way to showcase the town." This year, Rogers is bringing in food trucks—Cupcakes2GoGo and Mary's Mobile Meals— and live music from cover band Package Goods Orchestra. Spectators can also look forward to a BMX bike raffle, free adjustments from local chiropractors, a fireman's fun race and a kid's race. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Riverton Fire Company. USAC licensed riders can register here.
WHEN: June 9th, 1pm – 6pm
WHERE: Riverton, N.J.
Since its inception in 2005, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium has become one of the most popular pro cycling events in the area, growing in size and importance year after year. Be part of the crowd cheering-on national and local athletes as they push themselves to the limits of their ability to compete in the grueling 32-mile (40 laps) criterium race. The event features tons of family-fun activities at the Market Street block party with face painting, sidewalk chalk and more. The action begins and ends at the intersection of Gay and High Streets, home of the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. This year, the West Chester event will be the seventh race of nine in the prestigious USA CRITS Championship Series, making it one of the last opportunities for riders to protect or improve their standings before the final invitational. Licensed riders can register here.
WHEN: July 6th, all day event
WHERE: West Chester, Pa.
The Chesco Grand Prix downtown criterium series will conclude with the popular Kennett Square finals on Saturday, July 13. The criterium will feature a card of exciting afternoon and evening races for amateurs, elite women and professionals. This year, the course is longer and harder, with an 8-corner, figure-8 style race and an uphill finish. Designed to bring people into town on a summer evening, the Victory Brewing Company sponsored event will include a Victory beer garden, live music, professional announcing, celebrity appearances, youth races and more. Licensed riders can register here.
WHEN: July 13th, 3pm – 9pm
WHERE: Kennett Square, Pa.
Held in conjunction with the Doylestown Arts Festival, the weekend includes two professional races, a recreational ride for cycling enthusiasts, and children's races sponsored by local automotive dealer Jack Thompson. Imagine the race as a day of the Tour de France, but here in Bucks County. Race Director John Eustice says, "The course is designed to give a true, European spectator experience, allowing fans a ringside seat to one of the hardest races imaginable." Day one is the New Hope to Doylestown road race, one of only seven UCI-sanctioned road races in the United States. The grand finale of the weekend will be the 9th annual Thompson Criterium of Doylestown, 35 hilly and technical laps lined with house parties and thousands of spectators.