We have just returned from Bike Philly. It was a great success. So far the estimates are that there were over 3000 people riding. More official numbers may be forthcoming tomorrow. We were at the start at 7:30 and took off at 8 AM. These first photos are of Annie lining up for the start (wearing our new Philadelphia jersey);
Mark, our companion on the breakfast ride a few weeks ago doing the same;
and the barrier behind which we assembled. We chose to ride with the "relaxed riders," but in such a crowd I'm not sure it made much difference. The pace was slow and occasionally hairy with all these bikes nudged together in places. But we didn't see any mishaps.
We rode down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway onto Arch street and down Arch to Delaware Avenue. We rode along Delaware Avenue to Christian Street and back up Christian around 4th and then over to Lombard. We rode up Lombard to 16th (almost past our house!) and along 16th back to the Parkway and then off into Fairmont Park for another 10 miles. In Fairmont Park we stopped at a rest stop by one of the great mansions,
and there we ran into Dineen from my office, whom we had tried to hook up with but missed at the start.
The ride through the Park was really pleasant. The spirit of the riders was wonderful. The organization and support for this inaugural event was terrific. The only little fly in the ointment was that we decided at the last minute to follow the 20 mile route rather than go for the 35 or 50. I was out very late last night for the services starting the Penitential season and have much to prepare for the holidays approaching. I was a little tired and tense and we called it a day pretty early. Still, it was a lot of fun.
We came to the Finish Line festival and dismounted, spending some time browsing the booths, getting our tee-shirts and grabbing some food.
Hopefully this will become an annual event and we will ride the longer routes in the future. We still managed to put 21.7 miles on the meter.