Riders get ready for Bike the Brandywine on Sept. 22
● By J. Chambless
Both experienced riders and newcomers are welcome at the Bike the Brandywine event.
Explore the scenery, glimpse the
history and discover the lure of the Brandywine River during the
third annual Bike the Brandywine on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Hosted by the Brandywine Conservancy, the ride offers three routes that take in the beautiful Brandywine Creek Greenway and surrounding countryside. Riders can choose from distances of 25, 45 and 80 miles, each with unique experiences for both the recreational or more avid cyclist. Proceeds from the ride benefit the Conservancy’s clean water programs.
Following both the East and West Branch of the Brandywine, the 80-mile loop will guide riders from Chadds Ford all the way to the river’s headwaters in Honey Brook Township. Along the way, riders will experience iconic western Chester County vistas and views of rural landscapes, rich history and active farmland, much of which the Brandywine Conservancy has helped permanently protect and conserve for future generations.
For riders looking for a shorter Brandywine experience, the 45-mile loop follows the West Branch of the river and passes through many historic sites and bucolic countryside. Beginning in Chadds Ford, this route travels to The Laurels Preserve and treks through the King Ranch area in Unionville before winding its way to the historic village of Marshallton.
As an introduction to the Brandywine Creek Greenway for the recreational cyclist, the 25-mile loop closely mirrors the early routes of both the 80- and 45-mile options. Following the West Branch of the Brandywine River through open farmland and scenic river valleys, this route provides a trip through the historic village of Marshallton and its surrounding equestrian and farming landscapes.
Each loop starts and ends at the Chadds Ford Historical Society (1736 N. Creek Rd., Chadds Ford). Well provisioned rest stops are available every 10 to 20 miles, depending on the route. Cyclists of legal drinking age will be entitled to one free pint of Victory beer at the ride’s conclusion. The post-ride celebration at the Chadds Ford Historical Society will also include free lunch for all riders. The event takes place rain or shine on Sept. 22 from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advance registration is $50 per rider, but the fee will increase closer to the date of the event. To register, visit www.brandywine.org/bikeride.
The Brandywine Creek Greenway is a regional planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy and 27 municipal partners in Chester and Delaware counties to create a 30-mile conservation and recreation corridor along both branches of the Brandywine. It stretches from the Delaware state line just south of Chadds Ford to the Pennsylvania Highlands Mega-Greenway at the northern border of Honey Brook Township.
The Brandywine River and its network of parks and trails form the western limit of The Circuit, a regional trail network of the greater Philadelphia region. The vision of the Brandywine Creek Greenway is to build healthier, more sustainable communities, by emphasizing the natural and cultural resources of the area; preserving and protecting the Brandywine River; and creating connections among open space, parks, river access points and area attractions. To learn more, visit www.brandywinegreenway.org.