University City

CYCLE PHILADELPHIA, ROAD RIDE, UNIVERSITY CITY Just over the bridge but worlds away, University City has a vibe all its own. Old Victorian homes mix with tiny ethnic restaurants and big shady trees, trolleys whizz by, and everyone always seems to be outdoors – whether it be college kids flooding the streets around Penn and Drexel, friends sipping coffee outside of Greenline Café, or families enjoying Clark Park – University City is one of the greenest, most inviting neighborhoods in Philadelphia. This bike ride is short on miles but big on flavor. You’ll start at Clark Park on 43rd and Baltimore and head north. Clark Park is a fun spot for people watching and a picnic; there are also lots of festivals here throughout the year and a farmer’s market in season. If you haven’t experienced them before, you will soon have your first encounter with trolley tracks. They are uncomfortable – riding along side of them might cause worry that your front will get lodged in the track if you veer slightly, and crossing them can be intimidating without practice. When riding over tracks, make sure you hit them deliberately, and try to make as close to a right angle with your tires and the tracks as possible. After a while, this will become second nature. With trolley tracks under control, you’ll ride up 43rd Street and then have the option of turning down Chestnut or Ludlow. Chestnut is very busy with traffic, but is also a fun street with shops and cafés. Comparatively, Ludlow (just a block north) is amazingly quiet. If you take Ludow, please note that there is a median in the middle of the left turn onto the 38th Street bike lanes, not a terrible hassle, but you’ll have to navigate accordingly. After 38th Street, you’ll pedal down the Powelton Avenue bike lanes heading east through Powelton Village and eventually arriving at Drexel Park. There is a little known, and very excellent, view of the Philly skyline from this park. A portion of the East Coast Greenway travels up 32nd Street, which you will take in a roundabout way through the Drexel campus before picking up the 34th Street bike lanes. These lanes will take you through the heart of Penn’s campus (if you have a hankering for Middle Eastern food during the week before 4pm, visit the Magic Carpet food truck on the corner of 34th and Walnut – it’s a gem). After 34th Street, you’ll make a left onto the Spruce Street bike lanes and head back towards Clark Park. If you have some more time and energy, then head a little bit farther west on the Baltimore Avenue bicycle lanes. There are more trolley tracks for you to contend with, but the area around 50th and Baltimore is awesome. FOOD AND DRINK There are lots of options for food and drink along this route – visit one of the many fantastic Penn food trucks, or the restaurants along Sansom Row. You can also park your bike around 40th and Chestnut to choose from even more possibilities! ACCESS Take regional rail to the University City stop and pick up the Spruce Street bike lanes towards Clark Park on the corner of 43rd and Baltimore. Bus routes 42, 30, and 21 will bring you to University City.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: <1 hr
Fitness Level: Medium
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Estimated Distance (Kms): 6.43
First Aid
Bike hire facilities
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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