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Old 05-11-11, 09:40 AM   #1
Neil_B
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The Historian vs SRT

Completion of the long running Schuylkill River Trail project is getting a bit closer. In nearby Phoenixville there's a stretch under construction, PENDOT is adding a bike lane when they replace a bridge the trail is going to use, and tomorrow there's a ribbon cutting for new off and on road trail sections:

http://www.schuylkillriver.org/Detail.aspx?id=5504

I'm going to try to be at the ribbon cutting ceremonies in Hamburg tomorrow. But what I'm excited about is the road section:

"Dedication of an 18-mile on-road section of the Schuylkill River Trail from the City of Reading to Yarnell Park in Five Locks."

The press release is garbled. Yarnell Park is in the City of Reading, and Five Locks just south of Hamburg. But it's 18 miles I've not done before, it's my first ride of more than 30 miles in eight months, and a chance to be awesome. Also, it's training for my rides later this year and will help me get in shape for probable knee replacement.

The route map isn't available yet. But here's my draft route, based on the report from 2007 on the trail's website:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/515035

Only concern is riding parts of PA Rt. 61. But they are short, and you only live once. Also, I've ridden some of these roads with Sayre Kulp, so I have an idea of what to expect.

I'm starting Sunday morning in Hamburg. Anyone care to join me?
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Old 05-12-11, 11:16 AM   #2
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Be aware that in Reading, where you ride River Road under Rt 12, you will be riding into Carpenter Steel property. There is a guard shack at entrance. I don't know if you can get in. But if you can, you can find your way over to Schuylkill Avenue parking lot of Carpenter Steel, and from there across bridge and down to the paved bike pass to the actual SRT behind RACC. If Carpenter Steel says no. Then its a short ride on Warren Street bypass (Rt 12), wide shoulder across bridge. I'd look for a way after crossing bridge to get thru fence and onto Berkshire road.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:18 PM   #3
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http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/515707

The SRT folks chose a different route for much of the distance. Only substantial climb is on County Welfare Road to Blue Marsh Lake. We are a go for Sunday.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:31 PM   #4
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At the bottom of your map, I'd just cross Rt 183 to stay on W. Leesport Rd., Then pick up Reber's Bridge Road, which probably has a good climb, but at other end of Reber's Bridge Road, actually at the bridge, you can jump on the Union Canal Trail, and again that will take you to SRT. Trails over by Blue Marsh are too rough for even a hybrid bike.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:25 PM   #5
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Look carefully on the right hand side of the photo and you'll spot my bike. This photo is from the Reading Eagle. They and the local television station covered the ribbon cutting.
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Old 05-13-11, 03:49 AM   #6
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Ribbon cutting at the Kernsville Dam Trailhead. The trail is a mix of both old and new - it has a new link to an existing but now resurfaced one mile trail. There was some loose pea gravel, but I'm sure bike traffic will fix that. Local politicians from Berks County turned out, or sent someone from their office. Only one guy looked like he belonged.



Trail.



Second ribbon cutting an hour later at Hamburg's Reading Railroad Museum. This opens the 1 mile of road riding in Hamburg, connecting to the trail opened an hour ago. It also opens the 15 mile road route from the Union Canal Trail at Blue Marsh Lake to just south of Hamburg. This is a signed bike route, and was approved by both the trail folks and PENDOT.

The yellow bikes are from the Bike Schuylkill bike sharing program. Hamburg is now the third trail town to have bike sharing, following Pottstown in 2008 and Phoenixville a month ago. The bikes are available at a partner bike shop from 9 to 5 PM.





Walking tour of the train yard, or more likely graveyard, at the Reading Railroad Museum. The Museum has a lot of rolling stock and locomotives, but little money to restore them.







I drove up to Hamburg after a physical therapy session. Despite that, I rode 15 miles on the new trail and the existing Bartram Trail section, from the dam to the end of the trail past Auburn. And I met a Clydesdale bike tourist who said he'd ride the new on-road section from Blue Marsh to south of Hamburg with me on Sunday, weather permitting. He's the guy in black in the foreground:

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Old 05-13-11, 08:04 AM   #7
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The one guy who looked like he belonged was probably Gregg Adams of Blue Mountain Wildlife, Inc. I know he works tirelessly on a number of project around Kernsville Dam and the surrounding areas.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
The one guy who looked like he belonged was probably Gregg Adams of Blue Mountain Wildlife, Inc. I know he works tirelessly on a number of project around Kernsville Dam and the surrounding areas.

Oh, the BMW folks were great. So were the SRT people. I meant the representatives of the US Representative's office, and his counterparts in PA's Senate and House. They are the men cutting the ribbon. They all read statements mentioning "exercise" or "outdoor activities" and only one of them is dressed for it.

BTW, your mom informs me I'm in the TV 69 news footage of the trail. And yes, she's right:

[video]http://www.wfmz.com/berksnews/27874717/detail.html[/video]
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Old 05-13-11, 08:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
The one guy who looked like he belonged was probably Gregg Adams of Blue Mountain Wildlife, Inc. I know he works tirelessly on a number of project around Kernsville Dam and the surrounding areas.
You belonged too. And you were represented at the Reading Railroad Museum:



And since you like drum corp and band history:

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Old 05-13-11, 09:42 PM   #10
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I toured the museum there some years back, but I have yet to check out the yard. It was icy when I visited. Hopefully I'll get the chance to go back there sometime soon. Saw you on the TV appearance, BTW. Let me know how the new trail sections are, especially the road section. I know I'll be checking it out when I get back.
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Old 05-13-11, 10:24 PM   #11
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I toured the museum there some years back, but I have yet to check out the yard. It was icy when I visited. Hopefully I'll get the chance to go back there sometime soon. Saw you on the TV appearance, BTW. Let me know how the new trail sections are, especially the road section. I know I'll be checking it out when I get back.
The Hamburg road section is as flat as you can find in Hamburg. The only road with substantial traffic is State Street - the trailhead is at the entrance to the bridge over the Schuylkill. There's a chain link fence at the Railroad Museum to lock up to. The yard tour was fun, but the docent got bogged down in discussions with a rail fan over such matter as the details of heating of private passenger cars in the late 1940s on the Perkiomen branch. I wish they'd saved it for the letters column in Trains magazine.

As I posted above, the trail through Blue Mountain Wildlife land is the old switchback trail with an upgraded surface. It was much better than when I rode it in October and you ran on it.

The Clydesdale I met on Thursday should be riding with me if the weather holds for Sunday. (We hit it off riding together. However, I twice had to stop myself from calling him Sayre.) The new signed road route from Five Locks uses the river roads mentioned in the 2007 trail planning study, and then crosses the river at Leesport to avoid Rt. 61. The one substantial climb is County Welfare Road just before Blue Marsh Lake. (The 2007 study routed partly on 61, but PENDOT probably stopped that plan.)
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Old 05-14-11, 06:30 PM   #12
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The one guy who looked like he belonged was probably Gregg Adams of Blue Mountain Wildlife, Inc. I know he works tirelessly on a number of project around Kernsville Dam and the surrounding areas.
Photos from Blue Mountain Wildlife. Center wearing the red striped tie is PA State Senator Dave Argell.



You know these folks, Sayre:

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