Upgraded bike course makes Bucks County Duathlon even faster

A smoother road surface on the 10-mile bike course should make the 2022 Bucks County Duathlon even faster.
      It’s a cyclist’s dream: Ten miles of coffee-table smooth pavement with not a nasty pothole in sight.
      Such a stretch of perfect road would be hard to find around here but the Bucks County Duathlon has managed to do so.
      With the repaving of Stoneybrook Road in the Washington Crossing area, the 10-mile segment of the BCD is now one of the smoothest, uninterrupted multi-sport surfaces you’re going to find on either side of the Delaware.
      The 11th running of the Bucks County Duathlon will be held on Sunday, Sept. 4 starting at 7 a.m. Those connected with the race are excited to be back after a two-year interruption caused by the pandemic.
      The two-mile run, 10-mile bike, two-mile run venue in and around Washington Crossing Historic Park has proved to be increasingly popular over the years.
      Many local athletes participate in part because nearly all the proceeds go to Missy Flynn, the former Newtown world-class triathlete who suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm back on Dec. 23, 2005.
      So far more than $100,000 has been raised to help with Flynn’s uninsured medical costs.
      The bike segment traverses River Road, Stoneybrook Road, Slack Road, Woodhill Road and Eagle Road throughout Upper Makefield. This course has a perfect blend of flat stretches and rolling hills.
      Now with the final two-mile span on Stoneybrook complete (resurfacing was completed in 2020), competitors can focus on their performance and not concentrate on spotting some lurking pothole up ahead. Stoneybrook’s old blacktop was marred by all sorts of “tire challenges’’ and was annoying, if not a health hazard.
      Bob Burke, owner and manager of Guy’s Bicycles in Feasterville, is one of the top cyclists in Bucks County and a longtime supporter of the BCD. He can vouch for how the improved bike course will lower times and make for a more pleasurable experience.
      “The new surface on Stoneybrook is a game changer,’’ said Burke. “I ride the roads that are part of the course quite often. This will certainly create the fastest course the racers have had over the years.’’
      And the energy level should be high because the summer of 2022 has seen a real return to pre-pandemic conditions.
      “Many of my friends and customers who do the race each year are so happy to hear the race is back,’’ Burke said. “Especially with the new road surface.’’
      Harry Betz, co-director of BCD and owner of Newtown Bike Shop, also believes the bike course is now top-notch.
      And why not? He’s the one who designed the course in the first place.
      “With the new paved course, some of the issues that we’ve had in the past have been addressed,’’ said Betz. “It’s going to be ‘Boogie City.’ Bring it on, bring your friends and family.’’
      Betz, along with race committee members Gwen and Mark Smith, are pleased to finally be able to put on the event under increasingly safer health conditions.
      “Of course, after a two-year hiatus we’re happy to be back on track,’’ Betz said. “As with years past, the most gratifying thing with this race is the amount of diverse athletes we get, from the first-time beginner to the aspiring professional and everything in between.’’
      For more information and to register for the race, visit www.buckscountyduathlon.org.
      The website also contains a link for those wishing to make a donation. For information on sponsorships or questions about the race, call 215-968-3200.
      >Running in the heat, Part 2
      A short while back we did our annual column on tips for running in the hot weather months, but to be honest, we really didn’t see this massive mid-July heat wave coming.
      As of this writing, the East Coast is sweltering in the midst of a week-long furnace of days over 90 degrees. This Sunday, the thermometer is expected to reach triple-digits. Meteorologists are predicting we could see a repeat of this situation before the summer ends.
      So, without going over the entire list, point-by-point again, here is pretty much our advice in a nutshell:
      1. Stay hydrated. 2. Run early morning/early evening. 3. Find a course with a lot of shade. 4. Wear light-colored, synthetic clothing. 5. Wear a healthy dose of sunscreen, lip balm. 6. Cut back on the mileage. 7. Wear a hat. 8. Cross-train with cooler activities such as swimming, biking. 9. Reduce the speed. 10. Take a break (like Sunday, for instance).
      >World Championships must-see TV
      Many who run have been keeping a close eye on the ongoing World Track and Field Championships in Oregon, the first time this competition has been held on American soil since the event’s inception in 1983.
      And, boy, Team USA hasn’t disappointed. As of this writing, the Americans had already garnered 18 medals, more than double any other country.
      How about three American women, led by Sarah Hall, finishing fifth, seventh and eighth in the marathon? Or the U.S. men, paced by Fred Kersey, sweeping the men’s 100?
      And we still have potential gold medals coming up (Friday) from Sydney McLaughlin of Dunellen, N.J. in the 400 hurdles and Trenton’s Athing Mu in the open 800 meters (Sunday).
      In all, it’s an exciting time for our country’s track teams. Most of the action is on NBC, USA, CNBC and Peacock. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so. It’s the best of the best and worth watching.
      Race calendar
      Sunday, July 31
      Rock Run 5K, 9 a.m., Council Rock North High School, Newtown. Contact www.runsignup.com
      Sunday, Sept. 4
      11th annual Bucks County Duathlon (two-mile run, 10-mile bike, two-mile run), 7 a.m., Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing. Contact www.buckscountyduathlon.org
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About Wayne Fish 2074 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.