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Reading Recreation Commission
320 S. 3rd St.
Reading, PA 19602
Phone: 610-655-6201
Fax: 610-655-6130


Reading Radsport Festival

Reading Radsport

Reading Radsport Festival - September 8th and 9th

All proceeds benefit the Reading Recreation Commission, the 2017 PA Agency of the Year!

Skyline Drive Ribbon-cutting | Friday, September 8, 2017 | 5:00 p.m.

Mt. Penn Hillclimb - Friday, September 8, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. | City Park

Community Festival in City Park featuring The Uptown Band | Friday, September 8, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

West Reading Twilight Criterium | Saturday, September 9, 2017 | Penn Avenue, West Reading

Hill Climb:


For more information contact Daphne Klahr, 610.655.6058 or Daphne Klahr

Interested in supporting our efforts? Contact Camille Stock, 610.655.6233 or Camille Stock

Reading Radsport Festival Steering Committee members: Peter D. Barbey, Reading Eagle Company; Daphne E. Klahr, CPRP, Reading Recreation Commission; Dave Kline, Reading Eagle Company, WEEU Radio, Pretzel City Productions, LLC; D. Eric Schippers, Penn National Gaming, Inc.; Ellen C. Albright, Great Reading Chamber & Economic Development Corporation; Cindy A. Castner, City of Reading; Cathy L. Hoffman, Borough of West Reading; Christian Y. Leinbach, County of Berks; Deputy Chief James J. Marasco, Reading City Police Department; Randy Peers, Great Reading Chamber & Economic Development Corporation; Chief Stephen D. Powell, Borough of West Reading; Mark Ratcliffe, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation; Chad A. Schlanger, Office of Representative Mark Rozzi; Mayor Wally Scott, City of Reading; Crystal A. Seitz, Pennsylvania’s Americana Region; Chief Raymond R.Serafin, Central Berks Police Department; Pamela J. Shupp, Greater Reading Economic Partnership; Terry L. Styer, Lower Alsace Township

From the news desk:

Cycling coming to Reading this year after all

Tuesday July 11, 2017 12:01 AM
Reading Eagle

Cycling will be coming to the City of Reading this year after all.

On Sept. 8 and 9, the city will host the Reading Radsport Festival that will feature live music and cycling races for children and recreational and professional cyclists from across the country, according to a news release from the committee organizing it. The event will benefit the Reading Recreation Commission and other local organizations.“The positive benefits of hosting an event like the Reading Radsport Festival are twofold — helping to create positive futures for our youth through the Reading Recreation Commission's award-winning programs and promoting Reading as a thriving cycling community,” Daphne E. Klahr, executive director of the Reading Recreation Commission, said in the news release issued Monday night.

The Reading Radsport Festival is sponsored by the Reading Eagle Company, Penn National Gaming, Pretzel City Productions, WEEU and the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust.The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Sept. 8 with a parade and ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Lower Alsace Township to celebrate the completion of the Skyline Drive reconstruction project.At 6 p.m., there will be a Mount Penn hill climb race. For spectators, there will be food trucks and other contests for children.

On Sept. 9, another race, the West Reading Twilight Criterium, will be held for professional and amateur cyclists on a 0.8-mile course in the borough.“With two nights of first-class professional racing, entertainment and other fanfare, and with proceeds helping to fund local charities, the Reading Radsport Festival will provide a positive ripple effect across our community,” Eric Schippers, senior vice president of Penn National Gaming, said in the news release.In total, there will be $21,000 in prizes, plus $500 to the professional rider who has the best combined result between the hill climb on Friday and the criterium on Saturday, according to the news release.“I'm really looking forward to our city hosting a cycling event that the whole community can participate in,” Reading Eagle Company President and CEO Peter D. Barbey said in the news release. “Whether it's entering the hill climb as a personal challenge, watching the professional race fly by on Penn Avenue or just listening to the music at the Friday night event at City Park while the hill climb goes on, there is an experience for everyone.”

Monday's announcement comes more than a month after the committee, which was formed to plan the 2017 Reading 120 Classic of the Americas, said it was switching gears following Berks County's withdrawal of support from that race. In early June, committee members said they were trying to organize a different type of cycling event for the fall.Reading Mayor Wally Scott said at Monday night's City Council meeting that the Reading Radsport Festival picks up where the Reading 120 left off.“We've got to get our feet wet this year so we can make it bigger and better next year,” Scott said.

Generally, City Council members were surprised by the announcement that there is to be a bike festival in the city.Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz congratulated organizers for not giving up after the demise of the Reading 120.“This is a spectacular thing,” she said. “People really like bike racing.”Councilman Christopher Daubert said a lot of people worked really hard to bring about the festival.“I'm excited to see it moving forward,” he said.

The potential for a 2017 Reading 120 was cast in doubt when the Berks County commissioners issued a letter on Feb. 28 saying they had lost faith in race organizer John Eustice and had decided not to authorize the use of deputy sheriffs and the county Department of Emergency Services.Citing a host of issues, including funding and the race course itself, the commissioners said they were pulling their support.In April, the race appeared to be back on track when Barbey announced that the promotional division of the Reading Eagle Company would join forces with Sparta Cycling to produce the bike race.The hope was that the extra support from a locally known entity would help boost public confidence and attract additional sponsors in the effort to bring the contest back for a 2017 run, according to Eustice at the time.However, that was not enough to override the challenges of organizing such a large race, officials said.The 122-mile Reading 120 was held throughout Berks County in 2015 and 2016 and was sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale. The event drew hundreds of biking enthusiasts to the city.

“We are very excited to be working with the Reading Recreation Commission to bring professional bike racing to town this September,” Kacey Lloyd, Reading Radsport Festival organizer, said in the news release. “Berks County has an unmatched cycling tradition and a community that loves bike racing. Bringing high-level, high-speed racing to this community is a natural fit.”



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