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USPRO in Philly(18 posts)

USPRO in Phillytommyb
May 6, 2001 10:33 PM
The family agreed to go to Philly to watch the USPRO Championships this year, provided I come up with some reasonable accomodations and several non bike race related tourist things to do. So, any recommendations as to where to stay that would be near the race start downtown, and other cool things to do in Philly with 8 and 10 year old boys? The hard part will be justifying the difference between a $200 per night room at the Embassy Suites downtown vs. $75 per night at the Motel 6 by the airport.

Also, any ideas on where and how to best watch the race? Obviously, I'd like to be at the Manayunk Wall for several of the laps. But I'd also like to get back downtown for the start / finish. How far apart are these points, and what's the best way to get back and forth on race day. Any info from those who have been to this race before would be appreciated.
re: USPRO in PhillyCyclingwolf
May 6, 2001 10:54 PM
Thanks for the post..I too am looking forward to responses. I have committed myself to going a trip up there for this event, maybe going alone or with a few people from my LBS...nvere the less this will be my first Professional race observation..as a diehard USPS fan looking forward to taking some great pictures!

George Marsh
Williamsburg, VA
re: USPRO in Phillyxxx
May 7, 2001 9:09 AM
I've been to that race 4 or 5 times and it's awesome. 'The Wall' is huge fun, but is very crowded. It's about 12 miles from the start/finish area to the wall and alot of roads are closed due to the race. I'd suggest: driving into Philly and parking 5 miles from the event and riding in...cause you won't be able to drive in much closer paying and/or major parking hassles - seeing the start, bringing a 'slicks' equipped mounatin bike and follow the crowd up to the wall. See a few laps and head back down to the start/finish. Be sure to see Kelly Ave (very scenic 'boat house row' on the Schyuchill River ...however it's spelled) and Lemon Hill...not the 'wall', but much more sitting/spectator area about 3-4 miles from start/finish. Don't worry about finding the course...follow the crowds. It'd be very tough with 8 and 10 year olds, though...no question. Can do: Philly Zoo, South Street, 'old downtown' - Liberty Bell and such. Jersey Shore is but an hour/hour and a half away.
re: USPRO in PhillyJL
May 7, 2001 10:00 AM
I agree with Triple X. Very crowded at the Wall, but cool none the less.

You may find better (i.e. cheaper) sleeping arrangements outside the city, Conshohocken or King of Prussia or even Great Valley area. They're an easy drive to Philly or Manayunk. Then follow the above advice and ride in from a parking lot "further away". If you stay out in those areas, there's Valley Forge Park as well, which has a 6 mile riding/walking path around, plus the history thing. Very active on a warm, sunny day.

If you didn't have the young one's, I'd suggest riding the Schukyll (sp?) trail into the race from Valley Forge. In any case, there's plenty to do around/in Philly. If you're member of AAA start there, or go online and try www.philly.com or www.gophila.com to find things to do. They may be of help.

Good luck, and have fun at the race.

JL
8-10 year oldsnan
May 15, 2001 11:11 PM
go to the Franklin Institute...tons of cool science exhibts and all is structured for children. you can spend an entire day there....its great fun for all ages.

ps: its called Kelly Drive, not Ave. where Boat House Row is. just so you dont get confused....see you there!!
re: USPRO in PhillyRich Clark
May 7, 2001 10:34 AM
The Best Western on Pennsylvania Ave is right off the Parkway part of the course; in past years several teams have stayed there, including the Mercury team, and set up shop in the parking lot. Very cool.

I don't know their rates or if they're booked, but that's a good location: near all the museums, including the sci-tech, natural history, and art museums, and there's a shuttle to take you into Center City and to the historical sites.

By bike is the only way I can even imagine getting from the Parkway to Manayunk during the race. It's probably 6-8 miles, with closed streets, huge crowds, and traffic jams everywhere. Although I suppose a good cab driver might be able to get you back and forth.

They do set up a huge video screen near the finish so you can watch other parts of the race, which is broadcast in its entirety on local TV. Having a handheld TV might be a cool accessory.

It's a great weekend here -- do come!

RichC
Suggestions...MikeC
May 7, 2001 11:09 AM
I used to be the president of the NJ State Aquarium in Camden, on the opposite bank of the Delaware River from Philly (just across the Ben Franklin Bridge). It's a pretty cool way to spend about two hours.
Also, my new company has a Web site called FamilyEscape.com, which is designed to help people figure out what recreational options are available. Just log on, click "Help me find an Escape," enter a zip code for Philly (try 19010), and click "less than 25 miles" for the distance. It'll come up with a couple of hundred suggestions for you.
It's not perfect yet, but it's free and worth a couple of minutes to check out.
i plan to go but when is itishmael
May 7, 2001 2:50 PM
i deffinately want to go but i dont know where best to watch and i dont know dates and times..its a crit right..
June 10Rich Clark
May 7, 2001 3:36 PM
Info here: http://www.firstunioncycling.com/
i plan to go but when is itxxx
May 8, 2001 9:01 AM
....time to get a clue there buddy....
i plan to go but when is itishmael
May 8, 2001 7:03 PM
i should know before i ask right?..
re: USPRO in Phillysimstress
May 7, 2001 3:02 PM
I've no suggestions for lodging as I always took the R5 in, but here are some touristy suggestions:
- Your boys might enjoy the science museum. Also, take them to the Phila Museum of Art and get a photo taken with the Rocky statue.
- Visit Reading Terminal, an old train station renovated as a market.
- Get a real Philly cheesesteak on South Street.
- Have your boys seen the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall yet?

Have a great time seeing the race.
Rocky Statue MovedRich Clark
May 7, 2001 7:17 PM
The Rocky statue was moved down to The Vet several years ago. Ditto the Reading Terminal Market suggestion, best place to eat in the city.

RichC
didn't know thatsimstress
May 7, 2001 8:16 PM
It's been a few years since I was at school there... That's good to know cuz I might have tried to return to the PMA for a photo only to be disappointed.
franklin institute is a must seeishmael
May 7, 2001 3:25 PM
its got all kinds of science stuff, its big and can take a couple of happy hours to see, relaxing too...the mudder(sp) museum- its the medical museum, if you kids are into the grotesque it has all kinds of freaky stuff in phermaldahide...but definately hit the franklin institute, it is really a great place if youre 10, but you will like it and learn alot too...south street is kinda nasty, dont go at night with kids especially..kids dont dig valley forge really, its a bunch of fields and log cabins...when is the race
re: USPRO in PhillyDaveG
May 7, 2001 7:02 PM
Despite living about 15 miles east of Philly I've never gone to this race - shame on me. I have riden up the Manayunk Wall though. Some stuff to see in Philly (besides the race) that is kid oriented
Philly Zoo
Independence Hall
Liberty Bell ( if its back from repairs)
Franklin Museum
Betsy Ross museum
Art Museum (Rocky imitation mandatory)
Camden aquarium - can be accessed by ferry (wandering around beyond the safety of the aquarium not recommended)
I seem to recall last year that at least one hotel offered some sort of race package deal. Staying across the river in NJ can save some bucks. Good luck
Fun in PhillyBrian B.
May 7, 2001 9:49 PM
I was in Philly a couple years ago and got a chance to watch the race. It was a hell of a good time. I'm not entirely sure what to do with the kids, but here's some notes/pointers:

Someone mentioned staying in Jersey. You should check into that, because hopping out over the Ben Franklin Bridge is going to be closer than anything near the airport. Traffic shouldn't be too horrible getting into the city- if it gets really bad, just park and walk in towards the museums.

The Museum of Art is right at one end of the "downtown loop" When I was there, all those famous steps were cordoned off- it was a "First Union" corporate private party area. We managed to scam some passes into the private zone, where we got free food, lots of bottled water, free race t-shirts and FREE BEER. It was pretty cool. So if you know anyone who has any ties to First Union, try like hell to scare up some passes...

Though the Rocky statue has moved, there still are a couple brass "footprints" where it once stood, that say something like "Rocky was here..."

Enjoy.

-Brian B.
re: USPRO in PhillyQUADZILLA
May 7, 2001 10:31 PM
a great race to see ! I have been there many times. The Manyunk wall is just a crazy, crazy party. Not exactly the place you probably want to take the kids. I found the best place is right after the feed zone, past the musuems. Tons of seating in the shade (especially important in the heat). Also close to a lot of vendor stands from manufacturers (lots of free goodies !!). These nice people give away some really nice stuff, like water bottles, tools, cow bells, sodas, etc. Lots of times, when the riders refill their bags or bottles, they discard the old ones right in front of you !(up for grabs). Also easy walking distance to the start / finish line. As far as getting there, I always just drove right up to around the actual start / finish line and parked on the street within 4 blocks !! In 5 years, I've done this without a problem and ALWAYS found a parking space !!

Funny story, several years ago (I think 3), a large tree cracked & fell across the roadway in the middle of the race !! I was one of about 50 people who ran & picked it up & actually moved it & cleared the roadway about 3 minutes before the riders came across !! Not sure if anyone else out there remembers it.

Anyway, as far as lodging, you may want to avoid King of Prussia area. It may seem like a short distance away, but traffic on rt 76 (schuylkill expressway) can be really, really bad. You may find somewhere along rt 1. Also, Seasame place is in Langhorne, right nearby ! This is a great place for the kids & adults alike. You can easily spend a whole day there.

All in all, this is a first class event. All of the times I've been in Philly, no one has bothered me or my personal property & everyone is really friendly. Like one other person said, if you know someone at first union.... I scored passes 2 years ago..it was really awesome.

Have a great time.