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riding in philadelphia(8 posts)

riding in philadelphiazeke
Apr 6, 2002 10:21 PM
Is there anyone who is riding or has ridden inside the city of philadelphia? I rode there during 2 years of university, 1971-73 and gave it up because it was so troublesome. Drivers were extremely inconsiderate; arguments would ensue about cyclists needing to ride on the pavement versus the street; bicycle theft was common; cyclists were considered anarchists, granola heads; I've had things thrown at me on numerous occasions, etc etc.
I used to ride from South Philly to Temple University up Broad St., a distance of about 5 miles.
I think that if I ever do return there, I would (would have to) give up cycling.
Does/did anyone have any similar experiences?
its gotten betterishmael
Apr 7, 2002 9:08 AM
there are new bike lanes, ben franklin parkway for one...i ride to temple from the suburbs and its only downside is broad street which still sucks and probably always will..ive only ridden on it a couple of times and it invariably pisses me off or scares me...i always take the road east of it...i wouldnt say philly is good for bikes but better, ive always liked having to weave in and out of cars though..
its gotten betterzeke
Apr 7, 2002 11:03 PM
thanks for your response. i will consider keeping the bike. i guess it depends on where i live (if i return). as for the new bike lanes, i understand ed rendell had some constructed a few years ago. your message is the first i've heard of them outside of a newsreport.
Well... (long)Ginz
Apr 7, 2002 8:20 PM
...that's what you get in the 5th largest city in the U.S.. I love philadelphia and have the accent to prove it. But the people here are angry, mean, and impatient. That's just the way it is. I live in manayunk and ride my fixed gear to center city. Sure, people in cars are often obnoxious jerks, but I think that is part of the gig. The bike couriers are out there doing it everyday. If city riding were pleasant, couriers wouldn't be in demand. People would put down their mocha chinos, leave their urban filing cabinets and deliver their pointless documents themselves. (but don't tell anyone I said that, I'd hate to lose my accounting job) When i see these nuts honking and screaming, I laugh. What are they so mad about? Why do the septa busses blow red lights? Why do taxi drivers think they have a right to drive like lunatics? I'll never figure it out. I just laugh. You have to be a little agressive and wary to stay safe.

There is a fairly new bike lane on spring garden street that goes all the way across town, between the parkway and delaware ave. Their is a bike lane down the parkway, but watch out for the cirles. Also, the right lane on chestnut street is for busses and bikes. Right turns from the left lane by cars are illegal and believe it or not, it's enforced. Some center city garages have free bike racks in them. Bikes are now allowed on septa trains and subways offpeak, and I actually see people do it. Unfortunately, that broad street trip of yours has probably changed for the worse. The paths along kelly drive and west river drive are open to bikes, and on sat&sun april to oct, west river dr is closed to vehicular traffic. And don't forget about the first union bike race held in june. Bike theft is still a fact of life, unfortunately. I do see the same bikes locked along market street day after day without much of a problem.

Angry philly vs. middle of nowhere? I'll still take philly.
Well... (long)zeke
Apr 7, 2002 11:10 PM
thanks for your detailed reponse.

i am very glad to hear about the bike lanes on springarden, the parkway and chestnut street. and am more glad and surprised that those right turns you mentioned are enforced. further i am surprised, actually very surprised that bikes can be brougth onto trains and subways.

thanks for all the good news.

I certainly agree, anrgry philly vs. middle of nowhere, philly wins out.

also if i return, manayunk is one of the places i would consider living!
consider conshy...SteveO
Apr 8, 2002 3:11 AM
- adds a few miles to the bike commute.
- no wage tax
- no brew tax

- adds a few miles to the bike commute
- not as much brew
Well... (long)Ginz
Apr 8, 2002 8:06 AM
Manayunk is philly bike mecca, no doubt. The access to center center city is excellent. And, if you are a mountain or cross biker, you can ride right up the hill to Wissahickon Valley and hit some of the best trails around.

Need any other info? Feel free to email me at
Did you know Steve Izenour?MikeC
Apr 8, 2002 6:57 AM
He did it the opposite way...he biked from the city to his office in Manayunk. He was one of the principles of Venturi Scott-Brown, the architecture firm, and was one of the world's most noted architects, teaching at Princeton, Penn, and Yale as well as designing things like stadiums and wild-and-crazy buildings.
Steve was a roadie, and had three custom Spectrum frames. A couple of years ago, he came down the hill in Manayunk, and a car pulled out in front of him. He t-boned the car, and went through the side window, ending up face-to-face with the driver. I think that was the time he broke his arm, cut up his face, and taco'd his wheel. But the frame survived, and he loved telling the story.
Steve died unexpectedly of a heart attack in August, after spending the previous off-season taking spinning classes. Some things just don't work out the way they're supposed to.