Historic Riverton Criterium bike race to be held June 10

One-day cycling competition will feature food trucks, craft fair

Competitive cyclists and spectators will gather Sunday, June 10, in Riverton for the eighth annual Historic Riverton Criterium, a one-day bike race.

Riders will navigate six turns along the 0.8-mile course, which winds through the streets of Riverton. The start and finish line for the course will be located at the corner of 4th and Main streets.

The event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., will also feature several food trucks and a small craft fair.

Proceeds from the race will go toward the Riverton School’s project to build a language arts library. The Palmyra-based Bread of Life Food Pantry will also be at the event collecting non-perishable items.

Carlos Rogers, the race’s founder and promoter, said the event has really become an opportunity for the community to come together and learn more about cycling.

“It’s been kind of a little, mini town party if you will because it’s walkable,” Rogers said. “The town has really embraced the race.”

The race itself is not for casual riders. Cyclists will be competing in a number of categories, and individual competition distances will range from 15 miles to 35 miles depending on the number of laps. The event is sanctioned under USA Cycling, a national federation, Rogers said.

“It’s been a bit of an education for residents who aren’t quite sure what it is until they see it,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the race is ideal for spectators. Unlike a multiple-stage race like the Tour de France, riders go around the course many times. Onlookers are encouraged to walk the route as the races are being held.

“A lot of the riders are eager to engage with the residents,” Rogers added.

Most of the cyclists come from New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, but Rogers said he has had competitors come from as far away as Australia and Germany.

Rogers, a retired competitive cyclist himself, started the race a couple of years after he moved to Riverton.

“Riverton looked like a perfect spot to hold what’s known as a criterium because it’s residential with beautiful houses and trees all around,” he said.

“Every year, I’ve kind of built on the previous year’s experience,” Rogers added.

Over the years, the event has benefitted a number of local organizations, including the Palmyra-Riverton Athletic Association and the Riverton Fire Company, according to Rogers.

In total, the race has donated more than $30,000 in seven years, Rogers said. This year, he said the event is going to raise money for Riverton School Language Arts Library Project. The school is raising funds to build a library of specific books for each middle school grade level.

“My hope is to give them a $5,000 check,” Rogers said.

For more information on the Historic Riverton Criterium, visit http://rivertoncriterium.comor search for the event on Facebook.