Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Events: Central Bucks Cycling Club’s Covered Bridges Ride - Online Registration Closes Soon

Events: Central Bucks Cycling Club’s Covered Bridges Ride - Online Registration Closes Soon

The flames of fall color have begun to lick this region. Last week I enjoyed an espresso from Rojo’s while sitting on the bench outside the establishment. The smells of wood fire places combined with rattling dead leaves attached to aspens gave the affirmation that fall is here. If fall is here it must mean the Covered Bridges Ride is fast approaching. 

 

To get a sense of Bucks County in autumn the Central Bucks Cycling Club has continued their Covered Bridges Ride. Attributes necessary for a central Bucks County cycling include: routes need to ride along – or cross over – a major waterway, bounce through at least one covered bridge, route past one of a handful of manmade reservoirs turned into lakes, and rumble over miles and miles of chipped and sealed roads. Throw in a bonus segment with limestone or shale cliffs bordering the road and all that is left are stone farmhouses to complete the experience. 

 

The Covered Bridges Ride sees hundreds of cyclists converge on Tinicum Park in northern Bucks County. The park itself overlooks the Delaware River and features wooded lots, expansive fields, beautiful views of bluffs, and a large barn to events. It is the picturesque starting and ending point that neatly shuffles the parenthesis around the ride. With the leaves beginning their dramatic change, the bluff immediately visible from the parking area makes admiring the fall views instantaneous. These are also the backdrops upon finishing the event as discussions about the routes take hold.

 

With Bucks County being quite hilly, there are routes that are flat, relaxing, and modest in distance. There is also the metric century road route. Then there are a few options in between. The Covered Bridges Ride has a route for each type of rider, from the canal path extraordinaire to the challenging long route, there’s satisfaction for each level of riding. Rest assured there are views that are best shared with compatriots. That’s precisely why you’re here.

 

The stars of the routes are the covered bridges. Luckily the shorter distance along the canal path only visits the Uhlerstown covered bridge and not the climb attached to it. The road routes meander after an immediate covered bridge to find some remote crossings. Toward the end of all the routes – after the rides converge – the bridges come in rapid succession. Each span has its own length, material, and design. Taking a few moments to enjoy each bridge is essential. It doesn’t matter if the group returns ten minutes sooner, there will be views and food at the finish.

 

Should the bike cause issues, the Covered Bridges Ride has a gaggle of support vehicles from various shops around the area. Doylestown Bike Works, Guy’s, Newtown Bike, Firehouse Cycles, and a few others will be present at the ride headquarters as well as on route and at aid stations. 

 

The final aspect regarding the admission (which currently stands at $45 until October 12) is the numerous charities Central Bucks Cycling Club donate the proceeds. Proceeds go to diverse organizations such as the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society, Gearing Up : a non-profit women’s transitional program, as well as bike stewardships and foster care programs. 

 

Consider this ride possible from any standpoint. With the flat twenty-mile course cyclists of all abilities could complete it with an enjoyable day out. Competitive riders with lingering fitness from the 2018 cycling season could revel in the 3,800 feet of climbing over the metric century course. There is something for every ability. With so many reasons to register for the Covered Bridges Ride, the real question is: why not?

 

 

The Covered Bridges Ride takes place October 14. Start times vary depending on course selection. The bridge on River Road south of Tinicum Park is closed. Plan accordingly. Day-of registration fee is $50.

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