Bike Pottstown offering free water bottles and backpacks again this year

It’s a fact, people who try Bike Pottstown love riding the signature yellow cruisers.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area, which runs the popular free bike share program, wants to encourage more people to sample the bikes for recreation and transportation. For the second year in a row, the Heritage Area is offering incentives to get people pedaling. Beginning May 1, any first time user will receive a free Bike Pottstown water bottle. Anyone using the bikes 10 times between May 1 and September 30 will receive a free backpack.

Last year, over two hundred water bottles and dozens of backpacks were distributed. The Heritage Area hopes to hand out a similar number this year, both at its offices and at Tri County Bicycles on High Street.

“One of our goals is to promote recreational endeavors that connect people to the Schuylkill River and the communities along it. The Bike Pottstown program has proven to be a valuable mechanism for achieving that goal,” said Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl. “We want to advance its popularity by encouraging more people to use the bikes, either to ride on the Schuylkill River Trail or explore the community.”

Bike Pottstown is a completely free bike share program that has been nationally recognized in the media and among bike share advocates. It is unique in that it does not require a deposit, credit card or any exchange of money.

Anyone aged 16 and over can borrow a bike by providing a driver’s license or valid state ID to a program administrator. The bikes can be checked out for a short period of time or an entire day, but they must be returned by the time the loaning office or shop closes.

Bike Pottstown operates out of Tri-County Bicycles, located at 256 High St. open T-F 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area offices located near the Schuylkill River Trail at 140 College Dr. also has a limited number of bikes available M-F 8:30-3:30.

Bike Pottstown was initiated in 2008 by the non-profit Preservation Pottstown with 30 yellow bikes that were purchased with funds from the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area took ownership of the program in 2010, and later expanded it as Bike Schuylkill to the communities of Hamburg and Phoenixville.

The Bike Pottstown program and the promotional materials were made possible through a grant from the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also supports this program. Free water bottles and backpacks will be available to Bike Pottstown users through September 30 or while supplies last.