Whether you want to challenge for King or Queen of the mountain on a 100K bicycle ride, get a personal best running a 5K (alongside Bobby Clarke!), or do something a tad less physically demanding with the kids or grandparents along, take a look at what the Toyota Flyers Charity Classic has planned for Sunday, July 15. Use discount code FCC18 to receive $10 off registration till July 1.
The event, which had its inaugural outing just last year, includes a 5k walk/run through the Philadelphia Navy Yard, a 10-mile family bike ride through the Navy Yard and FDR Park, and two bike rides – a 50K and a 100K – rolling out a closed off Broad Street to Valley Forge Park, before heading back through MLK Drive to the Wells Fargo Center Complex.
“What’s cool about it is there’s something for everybody,” says Brad Marsh, retired Flyers defenseman and an avid cyclist. “I do a lot of bike rides throughout the year and for the most part these are geared toward the serious cyclist … the Flyers Toyota Classic offers two good bike rides for the intermediate and serious cyclist, but it’s also a family-oriented day with events for people of all abilities.”
Marsh said that the 10 mile family bike ride (alongside Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent!) was perfect for, well, families. It’s also a great riding goal for a newbie just getting started in the sport. And while the 5K run is timed and people will definitely be racing it, there will also be a second wave composed of more leisurely runners, moms and dads and grandparents with strollers, and people walking the event.
The day of events grew from a very successful 5K run. When Marsh returned to working with the Flyers a few years ago, he suggested adding some cycling components to the event, and the result was the 2017 event.
What else is good for kids and everybody? Families of participants and fans can enjoy the Flyers Fan Fest, an outdoor celebration to enjoy throughout the day with games, inflatables, street hockey, entertainment, food and more.
All proceeds from the athletic events and the Fan Fest benefit Flyers Charities and the Flyers Alumni Association, and the various non-profit organizations they support throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. The Toyota Flyers Charity Classic is produced in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, g4 Productions, PIDC Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Valley Forge National Historical Park and The Navy Yard.
While the events are fee based for those not having the time to fund raise or get sponsors, fundraising as an individual participant or team is also possible. A fundraiser can get a pair of Flyers tickets and a Flyers ball cap for raising just $200, while at the other extreme $1000 wins a pair of Flyers tickets in the Alumni Party Suite, a Flyers jersey autographed by the Flyers Alumni + Flyers Ball Cap. See the fundraising part of the website for details.
Speaking of Flyers Alumni, more than two dozen will be attending. While the heart and soul of the Stanley Cup years (Clarke and Parent) will be doing the 5K and family bike ride respectively, three true blood and guts players (Marsh, Paul Holmgren, and Ian Laperrière) will do the 100K ride.
And while Clydesdale class retired hockey players may not be challenging for it, both the 50 and 100K rides will offer King and Queen of the Mountain recognition courtesy of chip timing. While the overall rides are not races, the ability to Strava KOM/QOM within the rides adds a ‘race within the race’ for those on the competitive side. Flyers Charity Classic KOM/QOM jerseys will even be awarded as added incentive. Expect more on the ride and the KOM/QOM jerseys in a future article.
Mark Hallinger is a 35+ year cyclist who has raced road, track, crits, cross, a bit of mountain bike, and even his Brompton. He remembers selling tubes to retired Flyer Bill Clement at Newtown Bike Shop in the 1980s. He’s also a commuter, randonneur, mechanic, cycling advocate, and vintage collector. He blogs at redbrickbikes.com