More than 400 cyclists. Hundreds of spectators. No, it’s not the Tour de France, but the Philly Phlyer that will be racing past the Howard Gittis Student Center and Paley Library on March 18th.
The Philly Phlyer is a two-day collegiate and USAC cycling event hosted by the Temple, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel cycling clubs. The event includes three races at various sites throughout Philadelphia. The Temple Collegiate Criterium, the last of the three races, travels a course through heart of Temple’s Main Campus.
The race was brought to Temple last year by Joe Wentzell, a Temple alumnus and co-owner of Breakaway Bikes, a downtown shop that also sponsors Temple’s collegiate team and has operated a bike repair and sales trailer on Temple’s campus for several years.
Wentzell is excited that the race is returning to Temple. “It is rare to find races on city streets in the United States. To have one on a college campus is an awesome opportunity for Temple to show it is serious about supporting bicycling.”
The .9 mile ride through Temple will begin at 8 a.m. on 13th and Pollet Walk. Cyclists from more than 35 schools will bike in a loop from 13th to Norris Street, Norris to 10th, 10th to Montgomery, Montgomery to 13th, and back through the start/finish at 13th and Pollet Walk. The race will showcase Temple’s Main Campus to cyclists as they race past dorm buildings, the Howard Gittis Student Center and Paley Library.
The Office of Sustainability and Bike Temple will be at the event distributing information about Temple’s campus to the hundreds of spectators expected to show up.
Adriane Hairston, president of Temple Cycling, is excited about the opportunities the race will provide for both beginners and professional cyclists.
“What I find really unique and great about the Philly Phlyer is that it is so easy for any student to join the cycling community,” said Hairston. “Prior to the races, introductory clinics are provided to new-coming racers to teach them the necessary skills and help them feel comfortable. I know the upcoming Temple Collegiate Criterium will have the same friendly yet competitive atmosphere.”