Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Center City Bike Lane Heaven
The fabulous addition of bicycle lanes on Spruce and Pine allow riders of all kinds to enjoy pedaling through Center City. This is a great ride if you’re just starting out with a bicycle in Philly, or if you live in the suburbs and want to give city riding a go. You’ll pass a bevy of cafés and unique shops, galleries and museums, and a seemingly endless supply of buildings on the Historic Register.
These new, buffered bike lanes offer a flat, if bumpy, ride through the center of Philadelphia.
There will be a steady stream of traffic to the left of the bike lanes. Cars and trucks are permitted to stop in the lanes for loading purposes, so try not to be too upset with them!
From the ‘burbs, take Regional Rail to 30th Street station. Cross the Market Street Bridge to Center City and take the ramp down to the Schuylkill River Trail. Head south on the trail and cross the train tracks to exit on Locust Street. Buses 7, 12, and 40 will drop you nearby.
Food and Drink
Nearly every block boasts fine options for food and drink! For a quick pick me up, head to Spruce Street Espresso – a fair trade coffee bar with large windows and ample outdoor seating – on the corner of 11th and Spruce.
There are dozens of historical sites along this ride, including St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Powel House, and the Independence Living History Center (an open archeology laboratory with artifacts from recent Philadelphia digs on display). The Headhouse Square Farmers Market takes place on Sundays during the summer under the shambles on 2nd and Lombard, or if you’re looking for more passive entertainment, the three Ritz Theaters in Old City feature independent and foreign films.
This simple loop takes you through the heart of Philadelphia. We start off at the Schuylkill River Park, which features a playground, community garden, and a dog run. The park offers a lovely green for a picnic either before or after your bike ride. Riding east on Pine Street, you’ll notice that the bike lanes do not begin until 22nd Street. The four or so blocks preceding the lanes are mixed use but fairly quiet.
After you cross Broad Street, you’ll ride through Historic Antique Row on Pine between Broad and Nineth Street. Before the turn around, you’ll bike ride through the distinctive Society Hill section of Philadelphia. Simply choosing between the museums, historic buildings, and walking tours in this area could take the entire afternoon! Please note: if you go exploring some of the more historic blocks, you may encounter a Philadelphia (and Tour de France) favorite: cobblestones. After the turn on Third Street, you’ll pick up the bicycle lane on Spruce to head back to the Schuylkill River Park. The next 20 blocks between you and the end of the bike ride are urban and gorgeous.
6.295 km / 3.911 mi
105 m / 343 ft
103 m / 339 ft
17 m / 57 ft