The Schuylkill River Trail opened with a flourish yesterday. John Mikowychok, Director of Chester County Parks and Recreation and the county staff did a fabulous job of designing and conducting a welcoming celebration for the Trail Opening.
The Trail, I learned was conceived seventy-nine years ago! It's an example that good ideas don't go away. This trail is a great step in the creation sequence where new things are brought into being by teamwork and collaboration. Good on all of you.
I love to ride bikes. I ride them everywhere I can. I don't know why and I certainly don't care, but put me near a bike and you have an instant conversation and a willing riding partner. I am a roadie, a mountain biker, a recumbent rider, a commuter with a folder, and a retro-rider with sneakers.
I have a small stable of these traveling wonders, and I am always tinkering with one of them. So, it has been a long time coming for me to get on this trail and go for a tour.
Now I know that people don't listen to advice. Here is mine. Ride this trail. That's it. Yesterday evening I rode it again to have a sunset ride. I rode from Parkerford to Cromby and back, a bit under 12 miles. The texture is great - the small gravel on a strong solid bed work well. Skinny tire roadie bikers might find it a bit slippery as I did the first time I rode it, but it still provided a nice ride. The trail is ideally suited for your cycle cross, hybrid, mountain bike, recumbent, or folder.
Trail riding is cool because it is inherently social. You meet people, other trail hands out for some good old healthy recreation. Trail riders for the most part are relaxed, friendly, and willing to share their joy. It's written all over their faces, You will see large grins as they whiz by chatting and laughing.
You also see the walkers, the parents with baby strollers, the seniors out for a stroll and teens texting and walking, relaxing with their friends. I even saw an opossum enjoying the crumbs left over from the celebration. And then it hits you. Wow! this place is incredibly beautiful! The river this time of year is spectacular. The trail offers great views of our "hidden river" and makes it accessible to us all. The changing leaves offer a spectacular tapestry of color that will take your breath away. I won't include my descriptions of the trail save to say that the contrast of the hardscrabble back yards of Spring City's old factories juxtaposed against the wild scenic beauty of the river make a visual poetry that one doesn't get to see often. Your job is to see it for yourself.
Get off you backsides. Turn off your TVs, Pump up your tires. Go for a ride. If you need any more motivation, go to your playlist and take a listen to Queen playing "Bicycle."
You can learn more about the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and Trail by visiting these websites:
To Read more about the river pick up this great book by two local authors Laura Catalano and Kurt Zwikl, Along the Schuylkill: http://www.schuylkillriver.org/Along_the_Schuylkill.aspx