Friday, November 18, 2016

Hidden Secrets - Turtles

With the colder weather approaching I wanted to share pictures from a ride early this spring. Who knew there were turtles in the Manayunk Canal? Not I.



Sunday, October 30, 2016

Adam and Eve were the first of all unions to defy management.

With midnight Tuesday, October 31st rapidly approaching the probability of the SEPTA bus, trolley, and subway operators going on strike appears even more likely. So what does this mean for you? If you normally rely on any of the above mentioned modes of to travel around Philadelphia you will be out of luck.

So what are your alternatives? Driving? You and every other person in Philadelphia is going to try this. Whether it’s car sharing services like taxis and Uber or personal vehicles the streets are going to become a massive traffic jam during rush hour.

One of the most available options for many people is going to be a bicycle. In 2009 when SEPTA workers went on strike by the second day the number of cyclists had increased by 38%. Since that time bike lanes have expanded and Ride Indego is now a part of Philadelphia. Which means there will be even more cyclists in the event of a strike this time.

If your bike has been sitting for a while the best thing I can suggest is inflate the tires and take it for a test ride. Do your tires deflate after two or three days? Then you the inner tube has been punctured and should be repaired. Do the gears change and stay in gear or do they slip while you are pedaling? Do your brakes stop the bike without the brake levers coming too close to the handlebars. Then you should get a tune up. Which could take a few days as everyone else is going to do the same.

Riding in traffic can be a daunting experience if you are not used to it. Fortunately the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia appears to be taking some proactive actions. Currently they are recruiting volunteers to lead bike trains/buses. Just like a bus or train these are group rides that depart from a specific location and arrive at a final destination. Riding in a group makes things safer for everyone. Stay tuned to the BCGP facebook page for additional details.

If you are planning on cycling in the event of a strike please invest in some lights, whether you buy them at Walmart or your local bike shop. You should invest in rear tail light, more commonly known as a “blinkie”. This type of light makes you more visible to people driving cars who are not used to watching for cyclists. Especially with it getting dark by 5pm.


SEPTA transports 576,000 passengers a day. While no one wants a strike to occur, in the event one does please ride carefully.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meet the New Boss, Not the same as the Old Boss

Mayor Kenney has taken an interesting step forwards in making Philadelphia city streets more user friendly for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. He has appointed Philadelphia's first Complete Streets Director, Kelley Yemen. Ms. Yemen comes with a strong pedigree, including a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers and 9 years of experience. Including four years working in New York City working for the city as a Project Manager and Pedestrian Planner.

As the Complete Streets Director, Ms. Yemen’s job will be to act as traffic director for the city streets and water departments, planning commission, and licensing and inspection to coordinate plans to improve roadways for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. With her first stated goal will be to examine how the city can create a improve how the Philadelphia's bike lanes can better connected.

I hope she is up for the challenge, because she has her work cut out for her. First off she has to deal with multiple city agencies all of whom operate like medieval fiefdoms. All too often accountable to no one, even within their own organization.

Then of course there is the problem of the current status of the bike lanes in Philadelphia. All too often they are a patchwork network that seem to start and stop in a random manner. Creating a more uniform network is going to take a lot of work. Work that will be hampered by the deal with the devil made the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia with the Philadelphia City Council.

That deal was when the BCGP in exchange for an ineffective Safe Streets Bill gave Philadelphia City Council final approval over the installation any new bike lane that removes a lane of traffic or parking. No matter what city engineers recommend. Worse yet it does not have to be a council member who is responsible for a that district. Any council member can halt the installation of bike lane. With nothing more than their word, with no requirement for public meetings or input.

Ms. Yemen also has to deal with the aftermath of Andrew Stober, the former spokesman for the Mayors of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU). Who more often than not communicated what the Mayor’s office wanted to do. While doing practically nothing explain and advocate for what the Mayor’s office wanted to do.


I wish her luck and offer my full support to Ms. Yemen. I hope she is able to handle and has the authority to overcome the internal politics that delay and prevent timely problem resolution.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Tradition is the illusion of permanence."

Philadelphia is full of traditions. Cheesesteaks, throwing snowballs at Santa Claus, Mummers parading drunk and assaulting people, and parking in the median along South Broad St. Parking on the median started in 1916 and became an entrenched entitlement since the end of WWII when car ownership became more common. It’s also been against the law to park in the median since 1916. But like most traffic laws in Philadelphia getting the Philadelphia Parking Authority or the police to enforce traffic laws, let alone on a consistent basis is a near impossibility. But all of that appears to be changing, sort of.


During the closure of Center City streets during the 2015 Papal visit by Pope Francis it gave city government the opportunity to see if there was a demand for Open Streets events. As well as how exactly it might work. Now thanks to the 2016 Democratic National Convention we might see the end of parking on the median on south Broad St.


During the convention the city enforced the existing no parking policy regarding the Broad St. median. In order to allow protesters to move safely down Broad St. Shortly thereafter a petition was circulated by 5th Square online that drew over 1000 signatures from Philadelphia residents living in the area of South Broad St.


It was just announced that in a meeting a few weeks ago between Mayor Kenney and various city agencies that the PPA is going to start ticketing the most egregious offenders. Those parked in crosswalks and turn lanes. But anything more than that has been dumped back into a leaderless solution that “that any other changes should be community-driven.” Good luck with that, all it takes is small vocal minority to stop change in Philadelphia.


While I would like to say that this recent news has brought signs of a light at the end of the tunnel, the reality is no one has turned on the light. Let’s remember that the likelihood of the PPA doing any ticketing, let alone even moderate enforcement is highly unlikely. This is the same PPA that has barely ticketed cars parked in bike lanes and gives the appearance that it has been become nothing more than a drinking game for the PPA.


Unfortunately Mayor Kenney has engaged in foot dragging that Philadelphia politicians are notorious for, when dealing with traditions that only benefit a small minority of people who reside in Philadelphia. That has come in the form of his comments about how this change should be community driven. A true source of frustration when you realize that this is the same Mayor Kenney who eliminated the long held practice of parking in the City Hall apron. As well as taking on City Council and PAC’s (Political Action Committees) who spent over three million fighting the soda tax.


Keeping the median clear on the southern end of Broad St. Will make it easier for emergency vehicles like the police and fire departments to move along Broad St. safely and effectively. It will eliminate the risk of collisions when people enter and exit their cars or attempting to cross a high speed road when accessing a car parked along the median.

But all of this requires leadership from Mayor Kenney and related city agencies. Something that is lacking.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

200th Post

It seems not that long ago in 2011 when I first started writing this journal. All to often people have wondered why I do this.
Fame?
Fortune?
The respect of my peers?
Adulation of the masses?
Free stuff from bicycle companies?
Dating Victoria's Secret models?

I only wish it had been as simple as one of those items on the list. The main reason was that I felt there was a lack of an independent voice for the Philadelphia cycling scene. In 2009 there were two voices for cycling; opinion writer Stu Bykofsky and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

On the one hand you had Stu Bykofsky a local opinion writer and grumpy old man. Who on regular basis writes anti-bike columns based on half truths and masquerading his personal opinion as facts. On the other there was the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia whose focus on long term visions and insider negotiating practices often left Philadelphia cyclists hold the short end of the stick. When bad deals were negotiated with the city of Philadelphia government or Mr. Bykofsky. With no one questioning the actions of either or party or any expectation of  accountability.

Along the way I have seen the Philadelphia cycling scene change and evolve. Bicycle lanes have become part of Philadelphia in a unique way. In the past people used to yell at me to get off the road, now they yell at me to get into the bicycle lane. Even when there is none.

Group rides have increased and evolved from the Pretzel Ride, to several different rides a month, all year round. Annual rides like Cranksgivng and the Tweed Ride have become the highlight of the year. There have even been large scale rides like the 2015 PopeRide and the 2016 RideDNC that have have had attracted over 1000 riders.

Philadelphia still has a lot of work to do, there are things that need to change and be improved. One of the most pressing issues is to undo the deal the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia made with Philadelphia City Council. In which for return for a Safe Streets bill the BCGP allowed the City Council passed a bill giving them final control of the installation of all new bike lanes in Philadelphia. Decisions like this should be left in the hands of city engineers, not a group of politicians who are only interested in getting reelected.

I also feel that it is time to expand the bike lane infrastructure with actual bike lanes, not sharrows. As well as maintain the existing system. If you take the time to ride many of the bike lanes outside of Center City you will see that they have faded away to the point where you can’t tell there was ever a bike lane.

One of the things that I am intrigued by is Mayor Kenney and his actual commitment to Vision Zero and Open Streets. For those of us who did not flee Philadelphia during the 2015 Papal visit, Popen Streets and the PopeRide was an experience to remember. It created an unofficial opportunity to see how Philadelphia and its residents would react to future events, led to a petition asking for Open Streets events, and on September 24 the first Open Streets event will be held in Philadelphia.

While I sense there is some growing change in the cycling scene now that City of Philadelphia government seems more receptive to listening concerns of residents who walk and bike. I am still skeptical about how major issues will be addressed.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I rode with RideDNC

On Wednesday, July 27 cyclists gathered at Broad St. & Cheltenham Ave. to ride down Broad St to the Wells Fargo Center for a non-partisan/non-political bicycle ride, a ten mile ride. Courtesy of Philadelphia’s Queen of the large scale group rides, Alexandria Schneider, Who last year led 3000 cyclists through Center City for the PopeRide and Philly Naked Bike Ride Organizer Maria Lily
Alexandria Schneider
Despite the weather and the steady climb you have to make out of Philadelphia I made it to the start. By the time the ride departed my estimate was 150 cyclists had left the starting point. Along the way as we passed through halfway point at Dillworth Plaza we picked up several hundred more. I’m sure someone will make an official estimate, but suffice to say a very large number of people arrived at Wells Fargo.

RideDNC was non-partisan, so it brought out cyclists of all races and ages. Fat bikes and road bikes mingled with mountain bikes, cruisers, and hybrids, even Indego bikes were spotted.



People rode in everything from full lycra road kits to shorts and t-shirts.

Guest appearances included:
A frequent rider with many of Philadelphia's night rides, known for his banana costume.


Philadelphia's Pedal Power Divas

One of the most distinct sights was Philadelphia's Kidical Mass, who organize group rides for families with children. As wagon train of cargo bikes carrying children departed from the Wells Fargo Center covered in lights.

I don't know when Alexandria Schneider's next ride or what the theme will be. But I can't wait. So if you want to be alerted for the next ride, make sure to like Open Ride Philly (https://www.facebook.com/openridephl/). 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Funnies - Tour de France Dance Party

With the Tour de France in full swing now is the time to invite your friends over for a Tour de France Dance Party. Sure you could play Queen's "I want to ride my bicycle" or Kraftwerk's "Tour de France".

But now you can add a song that comes with it own dance moves; Robin Moore's "Le Velo.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday Funnies - Crash Test Dummy

Watch what happens when an experienced mountain bike rider takes a “trail rated” Huffy mountain bike purchased from Walmart. For a downhill ride on a real mountain bike trail.  


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hidden Secrets - Wife, lover, friend, stoker

One of the great things about riding a bike is that you have time to see things that people in cars may

Many of the trails in Philadelphia have benches that are dedicated to the memory of someone who has passed away. However none is more touching that one bench on the Perkiomen Trail. A loving tribute to a wife and cyclist.




We should all be so fortunate to have a love like this and be remembered in this way. 




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mañana, mañana




Last spring assaults on the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia reached a point where they were being posted on Facebook. Most them fit a standard profile, groups of black children on BMX bikes harassing and groping women runners.


The Philadelphia Police Department appeared mystified as to why these incidents went largely unreported. This was often due to a number of factors; 911 operators who were unable to locate the SRT within their system to dispatch the police, the incidents happened so fast that victims did not know what to do, and the police who have crimes with higher priority. This culminated in the winter when a series of armed robberies on the trail occurred and resulted in arrests.


In a moment of inspiration John Lyons from the Facebook page RUN215 came up with a unique solution. Create a neighborhood watch to provide coverage to supplement the police, a trail watch. Announced at a press event in February 2016 the SRT Watch garnered the support of eleven local groups and non-for profits. Then nothing and problems continue along the trail.


June 2 - Homeless man threatens and chases female jogger.
May 21 - Two flashers on the trail
April 13 - Kids throw rocks at cyclist
April 8 - 12 year old child attempts to punch female runner
April 5 - Group of youths on BMX bikes grope and harass female runner


Some problems along the SRT have been addressed. Broken lights are being repaired, 911 has added the SRT to their maps, and markers have been placed along the trail to help people determine their location if they call 911.


Although the SRT Watch has held four training sessions there has been no indication when they are going to start patrolling. You would have thought the membership of RUN215 alone would have been enough to fill out the roll call for the SRT Watch. Let alone all of the people who help support the organizations are backing the SRT Watch.


I had high hopes that patrols would start in the spring, giving the SRT Watch time to work out the kinks of running this type of operation. Unfortunately there have been no informative updates from the SRT Watch since its press event.


Given the lack of updates the SRT Watch is becoming another example of the “Philly Shrug” (http://bit.ly/1U4nJOt). The Philly Shrug is a phrase that is used to embody a number of behaviors that relinquish self responsibility or reinforce apathy in the face of obstacles (cultural, political, etc.) and are specific to the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (http://bit.ly/1WHpDVp). It’s the antipathy that Philly residents take towards corrupt politicians, crime, a failing school system, and the pervasive litter in the streets that no one wants to take responsibility for.


I fear that in the end the SRT Watch will be yet another Philly Shrug. Unable to sustain itself for any length of time to make any kind of a difference because not enough people to care to make a difference.


Footnote: After I finished writing this post a woman was attacked and had her face slashed by an assailant (http://bit.ly/22WXF8c). At this point Councilman Kenyatta Johnson announced that the start of the SRT Watch would be accelerated to start this month (June 2016). What is really tragic is that someone had to get hurt for this to happen. It also makes me question how much longer the delay would have been had this not happened. Yet another example of the Philly Shrug.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ride DNC - Broad St. Ride



Looking for something to do to escape the hustle, bustle, and traffic jams of the Democratic National Convention? Then save Wednesday, July 27 at 6:30pm for the Ride DNC - Broad St. Ride. Created by Alexandria Schneider, the organizer of the 2015 PopeRide and Maria Serrahima of the Philly Naked Bike Ride.


Departing from from the intersection of Broad St and Cheltenham Ave., in Elkins Park. The route is very simple, ride the length of Broad St. to FDR Park for an after party. If you can’t make it to the start of the ride there will be designated meetups along Broad St. so you can join in at any point along the route.


What makes this ride unique from all of the activities happening at and near the DNC, it’s apolitical. The ride has no affiliation with any candidate, political party, or viewpoint. Instead the organizers have proclaimed; “This ride is a peaceful event to celebrate the political process, and the role the people play in that. It is not a political protest. Neither the organizers nor the ride are officially affiliated with any parties, candidates, platforms, or issues.”

So if you are looking for a break from all of the madness and excitement surrounding the Democratic National Convention. Take a moment to enjoy the simple things in life, like a bike ride through Philadelphia.

For more information follow this link to rides Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LEFT!!! and Trail Etiquette

With the warm weather returning so will runners and cyclists to many of the area trails. Along with that includes the return of individuals and groups who use the trail in manner that can only be described as self centered. They have either forgotten, unfamiliar with, or ignored any semblance of trail etiquette. Treating the trails like their own personal training ground. So while they are out getting their fitness on they either don’t or worse yet, don’t care how their actions impact other trail users.

Ever seen elite athletes competing in the Boston Marathon or the Tour de France plugged into an iPod while they compete? Than you should train in the same manner. There was a time before iPods and Walkmans and when you trained you learned to listen to your body and the world around you. You developed a sense of rhythm and timing, you used objects and individuals ahead of you as a way to set a pace and go that extra distance. Running and cycling plugged in means you can’t hear what is going on around you, especially when someone is warning you that they are going to pass you.

If you are out for a run or ride and there is more than 2 of you, stay two abreast. Anything more than that and you are making it difficult for people to pass you, no matter which direction other trail users are coming from. I know that sounds obvious, but I am talking to you the 30 college aged young women who managed to block the entire trail while out for a run. And the eight cyclists near Boathouse Row riding in a peloton oblivious to everyone else. Both groups make life difficult for the rest of us.

Every year I encounter hammerheads and the wannabees who emulate them. Including the attitude that they and they alone are the ones that trails are intended for. This is a problem with cyclists and runners of both genders. The solution is for clubs and retail stores to do an annual reminder for the membership and customers. Along with signs big enough to read at trailheads. Because individual trail users trying to educate other trail users are met with derision and scorn.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

This is not the ride to cure Byko

As much as I would like to get behind Byko’s Safe Bike Ride, I just can’t. And it appears that the vast majority of Philly cyclists and Stu Bykofsky’s fanboys feel the same way. Contrary to Stu’s boast that “My strategy is to attract the ones who want to kill me. They are the majority. I am going for volume.” It appears that the majority has spoken and they have no interest in killing Mr. Bykofsky. Instead they are ignoring him.


There is one good thing that came out of this ride, when Mr. Bykofsky attempted to dominate the conversation on the ride’s Facebook page. Normally when Mr. Bykofsky interacts with cyclists and and cycling advocates it his through his opinion articles. Where he controls the narrative and can claim that his personal opinions are facts, without having to contend with actual facts or opinions other than his own. This time was different, when he foisted his opinions on Facebook. He was not ready for what happened, people pushed back with actual facts and challenged his statements. (http://bit.ly/28XyoZQ)


My favorite interaction with Mr. Bykofsky was when he stated; “Oddly, the Bicycle Coalition does not do studies on red-light-running cyclists. I wonder why?” Implying that his personal opinion that all cyclists run red lights would be validated. Therefore there must be some vast conspiracy to cover this up. When I asked why didn’t Mr. Bykofsky conduct a survey of his own his response was one of denial; “ Because you wouldn't accept the result “.  That’s right folks it’s my fault that Mr. Bykofsky refuses to prove his own theory.


The Byko Safe Bike Ride is a “Courteous Mass”, during which the participants obey all stop lights and traffic signals to the letter of the law. Sometimes rides like this are used to demonstrate just what could happen if cyclists were to obey the letter of the law, to the extent that most car drivers do not.


When bike lanes were implemented in 2009 Stu Bykofsky created a mythology that all cyclists break the law by running red lights and stop signs or by riding on the sidewalk. By claiming that his personal opinion are actual facts.


Since that time the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and other well intentioned, but misguided cyclists have been under the impression that if they could just get Stu to ride a bike he would have an epiphany.  Something Mr. Bykofsky made clear would not happen in his column “Byko: Want a piece of me” when he stated So this is not, in the words of a biker friend, "the Ride to Cure Byko." 

And yet this belief that continues to be seen on the Byko’s Safe Bike Ride Facebook page by apologists for Stu, in the form of comments as; “What better way to change someone's mind, then to involve them.” and  “But maybe he's not manipulating us, maybe we are manipulating him.”, My personal favorite is “His column has served as a platform for bicycle recognition and change.”


Nothing is going to change Mr. Bykofsky’s opinion. I can only hope that this ride will finally lay this theory to rest and everyone will stop giving Stu the attention and perception of legitimacy he desires.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'"

Normally I am not a big fan of petitions so I thought nothing of a recent petition (http://chn.ge/1TF7HbQ) calling on the City of Philadelphia to enforce the parking regulations regarding bicycle lanes. Because, let's face it, the PPA has no interest in ticketing cars parked in bicycle lanes.


That changed when the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia wrote a blog post (http://bit.ly/1Xkzr4J) justifying the current status quo the petition is trying to address. First the BCGP explained that the parking laws along Spruce and Pine St.’s are subject to asterisks. Signs that read “No Parking” were actually 20 minute loading zones. Only those locations that are posted as “No Stopping” mean no parking. But those are few and far apart, at best 25% of Spruce and Pine.


To make matters worse the BCGP tried to justify the current regulations.  With the excuse of “These parking regulations were decided years before the bike lanes were installed and these did not change when the bike lanes were installed in 2009.” They made a similar statement regarding churches using bike lanes as parking on Sunday.


The BCGP tried to rationalize it away by saying; “For someone unfamiliar with these long-standing agreements between the city and religious folks, this agreement may seem bizarre. Simply acknowledging these rules and the long-standing agreement can make a cyclist’s head explode.” 

The only thing making my head explode is how the BCGP tries to rationalize what has been going on since 2009, eight years. With the addition of bike lanes along Spruce & Pine has changed the way traffic flows along these streets. Which means all past agreements should change to reflect the new street conditions. The excuses that the BCGP has given to justify the chronic problems with Spruce & Pine St leaves one asking, whose side are they really on?


The BCGP has a growing number of public issues where their lack of advocacy and being too much of an insider has become obvious. With its increasing number of vanity projects and one sided deals that don’t benefit cyclists. The BCGP has become a bureaucracy and a “bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status”. (Laurence J. Peter, creator of the Peter Principle)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bogus Bike Racks - Ikea, Conshohocken

As bike racks become more commonplace at businesses and other institutions the placement and quality of those racks sometimes comes into question.


While Ikea products are distributed worldwide and its origin can be traced back to a single bike. Their questionable bike racks and placement looks as if they have forgotten their origins.




Whenever I go out to do some distance riding I prefer the Schuylkill River Trail, however my options for getting something relatively healthy, tasty, and within my budget are limited. Ikea’s restaurant, conveniently located off the SRT and easily accessible by bike Ikea in Conshohocken often fits the bill. The challenge is locking up my bike securely and safely.


Of the two bike racks they offer both of the wheel bender variety, an outdated style that makes locking a bike difficult and can place a cyclist at the risk of bending the rim of their bike. Neither rack is bolted to the ground  which means they can be moved around with ease.




Recently two cyclists taking a break from riding the SRT found their own creative place to lock their bikes.




This poor selection in bike racks and placement also carries over to their North American headquarters, next door to the Conshohocken Ikea. The entrance is located on the back of the building and while there are plenty of parking spaces for employees who are carpool to work. Bicycles are given short shrift, with something that barely qualifies as a bike rack.



Given their close proximity to the trail one would think that Ikea would do more to encourage their employees to bike to work by giving them decent facilities to lock their bikes. As well as for cyclists riding the trail looking to take a break, who may also be potential customers.

Do you know of a badly placed bike rack in Philadelphia? Write a comment and I will highlight it in a future post.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Vanity is the quicksand of reason

On March 2015 Phillypedals.com published a bombshell editorial from Michael McGettigan, owner of Trophy Bikes and former Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia board member. In it he took the BCGP to task about how they “might need to be a little less “insidey” and work on their advocacy chops a bit” (http://phillypedals.com/bicycle-coalition-needs-shift-higher-gear/).


Once again the BCGP has catered to its wealthy donors with a vanity project that does little to help the average Philly cyclist. This time it is artistically designed bike racks or art racks. A standard bike rack, pictured below, is what every cyclist prefers.



Unfortunately racks like this are not sexy if the BCGP asks you to donate money. So instead they have installed and are raising funds for additional art racks, known as “Gilded Gates” (http://bit.ly/1WRkQNU). At an estimated cost of $3215.00 per Gilded Gate, based on the cost at this site for a double gate (http://bit.ly/1RtdwEE).


In addition art racks have the inherent problem of not being recognized as a bicycle rack. So much so that a sign has to be placed near it so people will know.



When designing anything, especially something that serves both a practical and artistic purpose. There is a guideline that should always be applied, form follows function. In other words when you design something at the end of the day it should be easily recognizable as to whats its purpose is.


There are alternate solutions like having local artists paint unsexy racks to make them sexy. Similar to a recent project by having local artists turn parking meters on 52nd St. in Philadelphia into mini murals. Just think how many more existing bike racks could be turned into works of art










Just imagine how many existing bike racks could be transformed for the cost of one Gilded Gate.



Monday, March 7, 2016

Philadelphia Social Rides - 2016

With warm weather approaching people will be turning to thoughts of love. The love of bicycling. For those of you who are looking for way to socialize and ride your bikes there many options available in Philadelphia.
Social rides last 5 to 20 miles depending on the ride, at a pace that allows for a wide range of bikes and fitness levels. Social rides usually have a “no drop” policy, that ensures that everyone who is in the ride makes it to the finish. Ensuring that no one gets lost or left behind to a flat tire or mechanical breakdown. These rides provide a final destination where you can socialize and have something to drink and eat.
The list below breaks down the Social Rides currently available in Philadelphia by daytime and nighttime rides.

Daytime Rides
Philadelphia Open Ride - https://www.facebook.com/phillyopenride/
On of two new fledging social rides in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Open Ride is the creation of Pope Ride organizer Alexandria Schneider. She lead off her first ride with a fall leaf tour of Philadelphia complete with a picnic with the best view of Philadelphia, the Belmont Plateau. In December there was a Toys for Tots ride that I hope will become an annual tradition. Ms. Schneider appears to have some new rides lined up for the spring and we look forward to seeing what they are.


Norman’s Irregular Bike Rides - https://www.facebook.com/groups/517736488374969/
Norman’s Irregular Bike Rides is the other addition to the Philadelphia Social Ride scene. In the fall it held the Day of the Donut, a tour of Philadelphia’s best donut shops. With warm spring weather on the way we are sure there will be more rides to come.


Founded by Katie Monroe of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Women Bike PHL is a private Facebook page for women cyclists with over 2100 members. It is a forum to ask for advice about all things cycling and to promote the rides they host. The goal of Women Bike PHL is to inspire more women to ride a bike and support and encourage them along the way


Take Your Time Bike Ride - http://tinyurl.com/pnlu3tj
Departing from Rittenhouse Square on the second Tuesday of every month around 6pm. These rides always finish a different destination each ride. Starting in April and ending in October these rides alternate between coed and women only.


Philly Kidical Mass http://tinyurl.com/oan2vp3
Kidical Mass Philadelphia is part of nationwide movement seeking to promote family friendly bike rides and bring awareness in our cities that kids are traffic too. Riding as a group Philly Kidical Mass provides safety in numbers by using routes that incorporate bike lanes and low traffic streets that are 1 to 4 miles long. Kidical Mass rides often end at local playgrounds giving you the opportunity to socialize while your children play with new friends.


Cranksgiving Philadelphia http://tinyurl.com/pf2hgvc
Held in November close to Thanksgiving. Each rider has to purchase food from a shopping list at predesignated supermarkets and then arrive at a final destination. All of the food is donated to Philabundance. For those of you who want to race there are prizes for top finishers in several categories and a special award for the individual who brings the most food. In 2014 Cranksgiving Philadelphia had 100 participants who brought 1200 pounds of food and $700 in cash. The final destination is Tattooed Mom’s on South St and they double the amount of food brought in.


Held in the fall around November, the Philadelphia Tweed Ride is the dressiest social ride in town. Attracting 100 riders on average the Philadelphia Tweed Ride dress code asks its participants to dress in clothing from 1900 to 1920 England. The attire ranges from vintage clothing to vintage inspired, with bikes to match. Winding its way through Philadelphia this ride becomes a parade of its own. Complete with a stop for a picnic, post ride drinks and awards, the Philadelphia Tweed Ride is the ride of the social season.


Nighttime Rides
Philly Full Moon Bike Ride http://tinyurl.com/n9vfype
Come howl at the moon with the Philly Full Moon Bike Ride. Held on the full moon of every month this ride departs from the Philadelphia Art Museum in the evening. Well attended, the Full Moon ride makes sure that no one gets lost or is left behind, and finishes at a local bar for drinks. Rides are held year round so dress for the weather and bring lights.


Philadelphia Bike Ride - https://www.facebook.com/phillybikeride/
With rides falling on either the third Friday or Saturday of the month. Philadelphia Bike Ride tours through different sections of Philadelphia.


Philly Bike Party http://tinyurl.com/ot2l67t
Come dance the night away with the Philly Bike Party. The Philly Bike Party rides are usually on the third Saturday of the month and is 6 to 8 miles long. Along the way the ride makes several stops to socialize and dance.