The Brandywine Conservancy celebrated its fourth annual Bike the Brandywine fundraiser on Saturday, September 28 with more than 500 cyclists enjoying a sunny day along the Brandywine Creek Greenway and surrounding countryside. This year’s event featured four routes, including a new metric century option (100 kilometers/62 miles), with stunning views of rural landscapes, rich history and active farmland—much of which the Brandywine Conservancy has helped permanently protect and conserve over the past 50 years. Proceeds from the ride benefited the Brandywine’s clean water programs.
“Now in its fourth year, Bike the Brandywine continues to be a great way to engage the community in the work of the Brandywine Conservancy,” said director Ellen Ferretti. “With the stunning Greater Brandywine Valley serving as a scenic backdrop, cyclists were able to connect firsthand with the land, water and historic sites that the Conservancy works hard to protect. In addition to the riders who joined us this year, we are especially grateful for the continued support of our generous sponsors, including the William Penn Foundation, as well as our incredible staff, volunteers and municipal partners who help make this event a success each year.”
Participating cyclists chose from distances of 25, 45, 62, and 80 miles, with each loop beginning and ending at the Chadds Ford Historical Society. Riders on the 80-mile route traveled along both the East and West Branches of the Brandywine River, continuing to the headwaters in Honey Brook Township. The Metric Century and 45-mile routes took cyclists through the rolling hills of Unionville, PA, with scenes of bucolic countryside and historic sites, then winding through Modena and the historic village of Marshallton. Cyclists on the 25-mile route followed along the West Branch of the Brandywine through open farmland, scenic river alleys and stunning equestrian landscapes.
“Bike the Brandywine is a wonderful opportunity for riders to explore the Brandywine Creek Greenway,” said Sheila Fleming, manager for municipal assistance at the Brandywine Conservancy. “As part of a shared vision with our many municipal partners, our goal for the Greenway is to emphasize the scenic, cultural and recreational resources of the area by creating connections among open space, parks, river access points and area attractions. Bike the Brandywine provides a perfect expression of this vision. As we conclude this year’s event, we are ever appreciative of our municipal partners for their continued partnership in expanding and enhancing the recreational opportunities up and down the Greenway.”
Upon returning to Chadds Ford, cyclists were welcomed back with a complimentary lunch by Chef Mike Kline—Executive Chef of the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Millstone Café—plus celebratory drinks from Victory Brewing Company, and a post-ride stretching station provided by ANCHOR life + fitness. Bike the Brandywine is generously sponsored by the William Penn Foundation, Victory Brewing Company, Chadds Ford Historical Society, L.L.Bean, Trek Bicycle, Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, For Fox Sake and The Whip Tavern, Willowdale Town Center, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health – Parkesburg, Wegmans, Voler, Starbucks, Honey Stinger, and Trail Creek Outfitters.
The Brandywine Creek Greenway is a regional planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy—involving 27 municipal partners in Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania and New Castle County and the City of Wilmington in Delaware—to create a 40-mile long conservation and recreation corridor along both branches of the Brandywine. The Greenway stretches from the Christina River in the City of Wilmington, Delaware, to the Pennsylvania Highlands in Honey Brook Township. The Brandywine Creek Greenway and its network of parks and trails form the western limit of the Circuit Trails, a regional trail network of the greater Philadelphia region. The vision of the Brandywine Creek Greenway is to build healthier, more sustainable communities, by emphasizing the natural and cultural resources of the area; preserving and protecting the Brandywine River; and creating connections among open space, parks, river access points and area attractions. To learn more, visit www.brandywinegreenway.org.