Red America: Cycling to Reading PA June 9-10, 2012

Near Amity Gardens PA

We always think of Red America as being rural, and probably Southern as well.   But parts of central Pennsylvania feel very much part of that Red America vibe, but mostly in a good way.   Flags are everywhere.  (Maybe because it was very close to Flag Day!)  Harley riders (helmetless) are also abundant.

This bike trip took me from the western Philly suburbs on the excellent Schuylkill River bike path, upriver to the faded industrial city of Reading.     I spent the night in Reading and rode back to the car the next day, on a different route.

Keeping with the Red America vibe, I ran into an excellent old car show on the streets of Pottstown PA.   One guy showed me his flawless AC Cobra.   Do any of the Marshall siblings (or Mom) remember this car?   It is just like the one Dad had, except his was red.

1966 Rambler Ambassador convertible

Saturday afternoon, at cocktail hour, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, on a lightly used secondary road, was this excellent outdoor bar.    What a find!

I arrived Reading about 7:30 PM Saturday.   It is very much a faded place.   Some parts seemed scary.    The city is now majority Hispanic.   Those new immigrants have saved part of the city, but nothing appears very prosperous.    Some parts of the city are really beautiful, although this block is not as prosperous as it looks.

street in Reading

There is, however, some life in the town, exemplified by the excellent restaurant I went to on Saturday night;  Judy’s on Cherry.   It is downtown, surrounded by many empty storefronts and vacant office buildings.  It was packed; people waiting for tables.    I do work hard to carry a respectable change of clothes on these bike rides, but I was still pushing my luck.   Everyone else at Judy’s had made an effort to look nice.    Not like Carrboro.

One response to “Red America: Cycling to Reading PA June 9-10, 2012”

  1. once again-a fabulous tail of bicycling

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