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It's Official: Phoenixville's Getting a Bike Race

The borough council approved a course for the June 30 Phoenixville Criterium on Tuesday night.

It took six months, four separate versions of the course, and a few sleepless nights, but it’s finally settled: Phoenixville is getting a bike race.

On June 30 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Phoenixville Criterium–the third leg of the inaugural Chesco Grand Prix cycling series–is coming to the borough, the council unanimously decided at its regular meeting on Tuesday night. The final sticking point the body resolved was the race's course.

Middle ward representative Jennifer Mayo–who’s been a vocal advocate of bringing the criterium to Phoenixville, calling the race “her baby”–said the new course is a win for all parties.

“We heard some concerns from local businesses about access from the northside and also some concerns from businesses on the south of Main Street,” she said, in reference to at its May 29 special meeting.

“But this is a better course and allows better traffic flow in and out.”

The design is this: the looping, 1.3 mile track begins (and ends) at 220 W. Bridge Street, hooks left on Main Street, makes a sharp left onto Vanderslice Street, hangs right onto Franklin Avenue before making another right onto High Street, turns right back onto Main Street, then goes right on Church, right on Gay, and right on Bridge.

“This is actually quite close to one of of the first iterations of the original course,” Mayo said of the map mayor Leo Scoda, police chief William Mossman, and borough manager E. Jean Krack designed.

The race will also feature, as planned, a VIP tent and expo area, as well as a fenced off beer garden sponsored by Downingtown's Victory Brewery.

Mayo said she expects the event will have a spirit similar to Manayunk’s annual bike race.

“We’re already expecting 5,000 people,” she said, going as far as to compare a feature of the Phoenixville course to Manayunk’s infamous “wall.”

“When the racers turn on to Vanderslice, it’s a very steep and narrow turn. It should be a challenge.”

For some, it already has been.

The race day schedule is below:

  • 11 a.m.: The borough will start dropping fencing at the corners. Roads will remain open.
  • 12 p.m.: Bridge Street between Gay and Main will be closed to setup the finish line. The 100 block of Bridge will be close to setup the VIP tent.
  • 1 p.m.: The borough will begin closing the course and opening detours.
  • 2 p.m.: Racing begins
  • 7:45 p.m.: Racing ends. The borough will open up the course to traffic, except the finish line area.
  • 7:50 p.m.: Awards ceremony
  • 9 p.m.: All of Bridge Street will be reopened.
Ed Roper June 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Who's excited? I am. I'm stoked. Well done Jen Mayo. Finally somebody is trying to do some stuff that can set Phoenixville on the map! This is an active town, and finally some events that embrace that are welcomed. I'm not gonna complain about the parking issue, people just need to deal with it. I live downtown and don't care if it's gonna back traffic up, I'm going to make sure I got enough provisions for the day, park my car, chill out and enjoy what should be a really cool race. I hope others do the same.
Jon June 13, 2012 at 04:47 PM
This is great news! Thank you Jenn for pursuing what should be a great annual event-
Michael Hill June 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Thanks Jenn for championing the race. We need more forward thinking individuals like you to promote the town.
Jimi June 13, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Downingtown's Victory brewing supplying the beer tent?? Where's Sly Fox? No interest? Not asked? Way cool event either way!
Jaxxon June 13, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Hurrah!
Chris Kuok June 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM
It's gonna be a great event. It's sad that our borough president doesn't get it. Instead of asking what's in it for us (like he did), he should've been asking how can we make this the best event possible. Don't let the detractors take away from this event. This is the first year and there will be many obstacles and hurdles to overcome. Just take it one step at a time and this event can hopefully turn into a great annual event such as Blobfest, Firebird, Jazz & Dogwood Festivals...... and not to mention our awesome First Friday Events.
Ed Roper June 13, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Kirkner just doesn't get it. He just doesn't seem to care about thinking outside the box or doing anything else to give Phoenixville the spotlight. But I've been yelling about that for a few years now. Can't wait til his term is done.
Tony Riley-Hill June 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Kirkner doesn't have a clue. It would be nice if he traveled outside his bubble to see that he is holding our town back. He is so cocky and rude and oblivious to what is going on around him. I can't wait for him to get out of his imaginary world of power-but that can only happen if the people of Phoenixville vote him out in November. Getting rid of him is definitely a positive.
Tony Riley-Hill June 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Bring on the bike race!!
Michael Hill June 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Has anyone ever seen Kirkner at any event in town? Or downtown other than for borough meetings? The man is seriously out of touch with Phoenixville, as well as the rest of the world. He is stuck in the archaic past. There is nothing wrong with paying tribute to the great history of Phoenixville, but he seems stuck in a time warp. He only votes based on his own biased opinions and not for the ward he represents. He needs to go in order for Phoenixville to grow. We need to accept events like this with open arms. More events like this will help the shops downtown. People find parking during Blobfest and the Firebird they will find parking again. People say they don’t want Phoenixville to be the next Manayunk or New Hope. I wonder why?
Chris Kuok June 14, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Look, I appreciate the service he does but the guy (Kirkner) is a blowhard and seems to have a huge chip on his shoulder about something. His statement about the bike race proved it. None of those people ever supported the first bike event we had in town and they won't support this one.
Ike June 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I dont care either way , but wasnt there a bike race i few years back that cause alot of problems. I know it says inaugural Chesco Grand Prix cycling series , but is this the same one? And i know Kirkner is a hard guy to like , but do some of yall have to go the childish way of name calling? He does put i lot of time in to the boro , way more than sweeping up. I WAS JUST WANDERING IF THIS BIKE RACE WAS THE ONE AND ARE THEY GOING TO FIX IT SO THAT THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS.

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