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Ask An Expert: Top Bike Rides In Philadelphia

April 6, 2013 7:00 AM

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FILE (credit: Gary John Norman/Getty Images)

FILE (credit: Gary John Norman/Getty Images)

For novice to experienced bicyclists, Philadelphia and the surrounding area offers a wide selection of routes for bike rides ranging from a few miles to routes of more than 100 miles. Many bike trails are operated by federal, state and local municipal government organizations. Of course, some Philadelphia streets are more bike friendly and others. It’s a good idea to join organized bike rides, such as those offered by the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia, the Brandywine Bicycle Club, the Delaware Valley Bicycle Club or one of a number of special-interest bike riding groups, such as the Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association.
Bicycle Club of Philadelphia
Howard Hochheiser, President
P.O. Box 30235
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 913-3246
www.phillybikeclub.org

Here are a few great Philadelphia-area rides as recommended by the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia. Join the pack and get pedaling!

Sunny Sunday C Spin-Off

Held Sundays beginning at 12:15 p.m., this ride starts at the Italian Fountain, located at 300 Waterworks Drive. A moderately difficult ride, it covers 25-30 miles. Generally, there is a food stop along the way. Riders meet in the area of the Italian Fountain near the parking garage, and the ride concludes at the Valley Green Road in Wissahickon Park. Contact Rick Christie at rick@audubongroup.com or (610) 787-1985.

Sunny Sunday Afternoon D Ride/Instructional Ride

Held weekly every Sunday at noon, this ride begins at the Azalea Garden. It is classified as a “D Ride Level” for beginners and is designed to train them in basic riding skills, including safety training. This ride level averages 10-20 miles at a speed of eight to 12 mph. Bring snacks and water. Contact Christopher Allan Shelton at cshelton@verizon.net or (484) 557-8627.

Tuesday Morning Ramble

Held every Tuesday at 10 a.m., this ride begins at Whites Road Park, near Broad Street and Valley Forge Road in Lansdale. The route averages 32 miles and includes areas such as northern Montgomery County and northern Bucks County. New rides are added often. Some rides include stops for foods, but riders are encouraged to bring snacks and an ample supply of water. Contact Walt Spadt at waltspadt@verizon.net or (215) 855-8480.

Related: Top Indoor Tracks For Running And Cycling

Main Line Cycles Brisk Ride

Held Saturdays, this ride leaves at 9 a.m. from Main Line Cycles parking lot in Narberth and is suited for active and experienced cyclists. Traveling at 16-18 mph with an average distance of 40-55 miles, the challenging course features excellent roads with a low traffic volume. It travels through Narberth, Bryn Mawr and to Waynesborough Country Club. From there, it heads south to Ridley Creek State Park and back to Villanova. Bring snacks and an ample supply of water. Contact Jeff Diacik at jdiacik@tcco.com or (215) 783-8537, or Derek Barnes at derekb@comcast.net or (610) 668-9449.

Northwest Philly Rides

Held Saturdays, the ride leaves from the Fort Washington State Park Hawk Watch parking lot. A moderately difficult ride traversing 25-70 miles, the average speed is 12-17 mph. This group offers other rides in nearby counties and most include a food break. The departure for some rides is at the Upper Dublin High School in Ft. Washington at the intersection of Ft. Washington Avenue and Loch Alsh. Check the website for updates on specific information on the rides, which vary from week to week. Contact Howard Hochheiser at howard@thebluestargroup.biz or (215) 913-3246 for more information.

Other bike trails to consider:

The Schuylkill River Trail follows the banks of the river for about 25 miles. The course traverses Kelly Drive and Boathouse Row. Officials say they are planning to extend the trail with a boardwalk running from Locust Street to South Street. Or try the Wissahickon Creek for a ride traversing Forbidden Drive. It features a gravel path through a wooded area. Another option is Pennypack Park for a scenic course that winds its way through hills and traverses creeks.

Related: Top Running Clubs In Philadelphia

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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