Bike riders across all skill levels will get the chance to tackle a professional cycling course for a good cause this summer.
On June 3, the day of the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, the race’s 14.7-mile closed circuit course will be open to the public between 7 and 10 a.m., before the men’s race begins.
During the Bicycling Magazine Open, participants will have the chance to cruise down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and make their way toward Manayunk to climb the “Manayunk Wall”, a notoriously steep half-mile stretch along Levering Avenue. They can loop around the course up to three times.
“For cyclists, this is like they go to the Indy 500 course and you can take your sports car out on the track and ride around a few times,” David Howard, executive director of Bicycling Magazine, said during a Monday press conference inside Winnie’s LeBus on Main Street in Manayunk.
The morning event is the result of a partnership between Pro Cycling Tours, the Championship’s long-time organizer, Bicycling magazine and Charity of Choice, a nonprofit.
Riders are encouraged to pick a charity to sponsor their ride. Hunter Ziesing, executive director of Charity of Choice, said folks can join a team that’s collectively biking for one cause or raise money individually. Participants are not required to raise money to ride the course.
Winnie Clowry, owner of Winnie’s LeBus, is among those that’s already signed up for the event. She said she does some cycling, but is mostly a runner, having completed the Philadelphia Marathon several times.
“I’m not carrying my bike, I hope, up the Wall,” said Clowry, who will be trained by Michael Chauner, a pro-cycler who rode in the race for the first time last year.
“I’m going to give it my best effort and I think it’ll be great,” she said.