Thank you for joining us for the second annual Bike the Brandywine. Click here to sign up for information and notifications about the 2018 ride.
Bike the Brandywine 2017
- Three loops available to riders – approximately 25, 50 and 100 miles long
- Well-marked route and cue sheets provided to all riders
- Support and Gear (SAG) support
- Some of the most picturesque roads in Chester County
- Friendly and helpful volunteers
- Fully stocked rest-stops every 10-20 miles, depending upon route
- Free t-shirt
Start and End Location
Chadds Ford Historical Society
1736 N. Creek Rd.
Chadds Ford, PA 19317
PLEASE NOTE: the ride does not start or finish at the Museum site.
Early Packet Pick-Up
To make the morning of the ride go more smoothly, consider checking in and picking up your ride packets during early packet pick-up on Friday, September 29, from 12–2 p.m. or 4–7 p.m. on the front porch of the Brandywine Conservancy building located at 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.
6:30 a.m. Check-in opens for 100-mile riders
7:00 a.m. Check-in opens for 50 and 25 mile riders
7:15 a.m. 100-mile ride departs
8:00 a.m. 25 and 50-mile ride departs
9:00 a.m. Rider departure final call
4:30 p.m. Ride support ends
PLEASE NOTE: The ride takes place rain or shine.
Rules of the Road:
While participating in the ride, please follow these rules of the road to ensure a safe and fun experience.
- The ride utilizes public roads and trails. Riders who leave the designated right-of-way along the route at areas other than designated rest-stops risk trespassing on private property
- Obey all traffic laws
- Observe all traffic signals and stops
- Do not ride more than two abreast
- Ride single file in traffic
- Stay to the right
- Be courteous to all road users
- Call out “on your left” when passing
- Only pass on the left
Rules of the Trails:
Bike the Brandywine utilizes two public multi-use trails (East Branch Brandywine Trail and Struble Trail) that we are lucky to have in our area. While riding these sections of the route, please be courteous of all other trail users. In addition, please:
- Stay to the right unless passing
- Stay in single file along the trail (they are not wide enough to accommodate two abreast with other trail users coming the other way)
- Maintain speeds below 15 m.p.h along the trail sections
- Call out “on your left” when passing other trail users
- Be aware that runners or walkers utilizing earbuds may not be aware of your approaching from behind – use extreme caution when passing slower trail users
- All riders must wear bicycle helmets and closed toe shoes for the duration of the ride.
- All riders must sign and accept the terms of the release and assumption of risk.
- The use of headphones, earbuds, cell phones, cameras, or phone cameras while riding is strictly forbidden.
- All riders under 16 must be accompanied by an adult completing the same course route.
- For the safety of all participants, the use of pull-behind child trailers or similar devices during the ride will not be allowed. While the majority of the roads we will travel are generally quiet country roads, several sections of road are unsafe for the use of such devices. We appreciate your understanding.
Enjoy the complete Bike the Brandywine experience! Following both the East and West Branch of this historic and scenic waterway, the 100-mile loop will guide you from Chadds Ford all the way to the creek’s headwaters in bucolic Honey Brook Township. The route will return to Chadds Ford along the East Branch of the creek. Along the way riders will experience iconic Western Chester County vistas including the Conservancy’s King Ranch area (home of the famous Whip Tavern).The route treats riders to countless views of the Brandywine, bucolic landscapes, rich history, and active farmland, some of which the Brandywine Conservancy has helped preserve for future generations. Come along with us on a ride that will stimulate the senses and foster an appreciation of our shared natural and historic heritage.
- King Ranch
- Hibernia Park
- Honey Brook Borough
- Struble Lake
- Springton Manor
- Struble Trail
- Historic Marshallton
- Stroud Preserve
The 50-mile route gives riders looking for a shorter Brandywine experience a route that also follows both branches of the creek. Also starting in Chadds Ford, this route follows the West Branch (and 100-mile route) to The Laurels and then crosses through the valley to reach the creek’s East Branch just south of Downingtown, via Modena, where it rejoins the 100 mile route and visits the historic village of Marshallton. Experiencing the rich history, incredible vistas, and bucolic countryside, riders on the 50-mile route should expect to feel inspired by their journey and feel connected to our shared natural and historic heritage embodied by the route. Although this route has less mileage and is less challenging than the century route, riders are encouraged to train appropriately for this athletic event to ensure the most enjoyable ride day.
The 25-mile route provides an exciting introduction to the Brandywine Creek Greenway for the recreational cyclist. Closely mirroring the early routes of both the 100 and 50 mile routes, the 25 mile route follows the West Branch Brandywine Creek through open farmland and scenic river valleys. A route that provides a trip through the historic village of Marshallton, past one of the oldest barns in Pennsylvania and through areas of the historic Brandywine Battlefield is sure to excite the senses of any cyclist.
Q. Is this is a race?
A. No. There is no timing of riders or awards for getting back first. The ride is designed to be enjoyed at a pace that allows you to take in the beautiful scenery and landscapes that you will pass along the way.
Q. Does the ride take place if the weather isn’t great?
A. Yes. The ride takes place RAIN or SHINE. In the event of rain, you are advised to take extra care as roads may become slippery, especially going downhill or in areas of painted road. In wet conditions, gentle pumping of your breaks is safer than applying sudden and heavy force to your break. It is also safer to favor your rear break in wet conditions as you are less likely to lose control. During a storm that may produce lightning, riders are encouraged to take shelter until the storm passes. All support services will continue in wet weather.
Q. Does anything cancel the ride?
A. In the unlikely event of flooding and/or hurricane/tropical storm warnings, the ride will likely be canceled. Organizers will make every effort to keep riders informed in the days leading up to the ride if such conditions look likely. Unfortunately, registration fees are non-refundable if the ride is canceled.
Q. Will the roads be closed for the event?
A. No. This is an open road event so you can expect to be sharing the road with motorists. Event organizers have chosen a route that utilizes some of the quieter roads of the Brandywine watershed, so traffic should be relatively light. Event organizers will also post signs along some of the busier roads prior to the ride warning motorists that cyclists will be utilizing the roadways during the ride time. The ride also highlights two major paved multi-use trails in the area (E. Branch Brandywine Trail and the Struble Trail) so those sections will be free of motorized vehicles. Major intersections will be policed by volunteers or a flagger force to ensure the safety of riders.
Q. Are the rides hilly? And will I need to train for this event?
A. Those who are familiar with Chester County will know that we are blessed to live in an area with varied terrain. While the rides are not extremely hilly as we have tried our best to follow the Brandywine Creek as much as possible, there are several hills on all routes. However, these routes are less hilly than many other routes you could travel in the Brandywine valley. The general elevation gain for each ride is shown below:
- 25 Mile - around 1,500 ft. of elevation
- 50 Mile - around 3,200 ft. of elevation
- 100 Mile - around 6,000 ft. of elevation
Riding fifty or one-hundred miles is a considerable undertaking, even for a seasoned cyclist, so you should plan on preparing in advance for the event with some training. Training over a course of a couple of months, with longer rides on the weekends, will put you in a position to enjoy the ride to the fullest. Those undertaking the shorter route should also plan on a training schedule to get the most from the day.
Q. I registered, but am no longer able to do the ride. Can I receive a refund?
A. Sorry, but registration fees are non-refundable. You are still welcome to collect your event t-shirt at either packet pick-up or the day of the ride.
Q. My t-shirt doesn’t quite fit. Can I exchange it for another size?
A. Sorry, but t-shirts are ordered based on the size you designated on the registration form, so no extras are available.
Q. Are there maps and cue sheets for the ride?
A. Maps and cue sheets will be made available on the website around a week before the ride, and each rider packet will also contain a cue sheet for the ride the registrant selected. A downloadable .gpx file will also be available on the website during the week leading up to the ride.
Q. What should I have with me for the ride?
1) Helmet – all riders must wear a helmet to participate in the ride.
2) Water bottles or hydration pack. Rest stops and the start location will have water and Gatorade to refill your bottles or hydration pack.
3) Spare tubes, patch kit, tire irons, pump or compressed air – SAG vehicles will have some spare items, but replacing items yourself will likely get you back on the road faster.
4) Ride-provided cue sheet. The cue sheet will help supplement ride signs and road marking along the way. It will also have emergency contact information.
4) Cell phone – this will allow you to communicate with ride organizers and/or the HELP number along the route. It’ll also help you track your ride with Strava or other application.
5) ID and any medical cards – just in case of an emergency.
6) Appropriate clothing for the weather.
8) Any specific snacks you may want to enjoy between rest stops (or if you have dietary restrictions).
Q. What should I NOT bring with me for the ride?
1) Headphones. Riding with earbuds or headphones is strictly forbidden on the ride and is also against the law.
2) Your own support vehicle – in order to minimize the number of additional vehicles on the ride route and to maintain safety for all riders, having personal vehicles follow riders on the route is prohibited.
Q. What support services can I expect on the ride?
A. Rest stops will be provided approximately every 10-20 miles, depending upon route. Rest stops will have hydration and nutrition available to riders, bathroom facilities, a first aid kit, and communication with both Support and Gear Vehicles (SAG) and ride headquarters.
Q. What if I have mechanical issues along the route?
A. All riders should carry spare tubes, a patch kit, tire irons, and either a pump or air canisters to fix flats along the way. SAG vehicles will be traveling the course to help with more serious mechanical issues, and they will respond as quickly as they are able to, but they may be tending to someone else when you need them. You may also contact the HELP number on your cue sheet and ride organizers will do their best to assist you. You should be aware that serious mechanical issues may result in you having to abandon the ride. If this is the case, a support vehicle will bring you back to the start location in Chadds Ford. Again, these vehicles will be covering a wide geography, so please be patient as it may be some time before a vehicle reaches you.
Q. What if I feel I can’t complete the ride?
A. Your Cue Sheet contains a HELP number that you should contact if you feel that you are unable to complete the ride. Ride organizers will help in summoning a SAG or other vehicle to collect you and bring you back to the start. Given the wide geography of the ride, this may entail first being brought to the closest rest stop where another vehicle could collect you and transport you back to Chadds Ford. Support vehicles will also be traversing the route throughout the day and if they see a rider who is clearly in distress or in need of help they will stop and provide whatever support is needed. Your safety and well-being are our top concerns.
Q. What happens if I have an accident on the course?
A. For serious accidents and injuries, your first response should be to call 911 (it is best to ride with a cell phone for this reason).
For minor injuries and accidents, please follow the advice given in the previous FAQ. If the injury is minor, and you feel you can continue onto the next rest stop, first aid kits will be available there, as well as communication to ride headquarters and SAG vehicles.
For information on volunteering with the ride, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610.388.8377.
Get your business noticed as a sponsor of Bike the Brandywine. Please email email@example.com.