Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Center City to Johnny Brenda’s

This ride has so many fantastic details, including the Fifth Street tunnel, the bike lanes on Spring Garden and Pine, and one of my all time favorite roads in Philadelphia: 19th Street across Logan Circle. This fairly simple route will take you pretty far, but  you’ll be pedaling alongside traffic for the duration of the ride.

Terrain

You may find the road work, trolley tracks, and broken glass to be a hassle on your way to Frankford and Girard, or you may enjoy racing through the obstacle course that the city has so graciously laid out for you.

Traffic

You’ll see steady traffic for most of the ride. There is significant traffic on Fifth Street and Girard, as well as the area around Logan Circle.

Access

The ride begins in Rittenhouse Square, which is located on 18th and Walnut in Center City. If on bike, it’s a short ride from the top of Schuylkill Banks Park. If coming from afar, your best bet is to hop on the train to Suburban station and make your way to Rittenhouse.

Food and Drink

There are places to stop on nearly every block of this route, with a number of great spots on Second and Third in Northern Liberties. Also, Johnny Brenda’s has a pretty excellent menu.

Side Trip

This ride brings you direct to the Independence National Historical Park. So, if you want to check out the Constitution Center, Independence Hall, or the Independence Archeology Laboratory, then take Pine to Fifth, make a right on Fifth, and lock your bikes up before you hit the cobblestones!

 

More Details

Start off in glorious Rittenhouse Square, the largest greenspace in Center City and one of the best places in town for reading on a blanket, people-watching, and playing foursquare. From Rittenhouse, you’ll hop on Locust and pedal east, making a right on 17th Street to pick up the Pine Street bicycle lanes. After about 10 blocks on Pine, you’ll shimmy up Seventh Street and ride a few blocks on Market on your way to the Fifth Street bicycle lanes.

When on Market Street, please use caution and try to get in the left turning lane as soon as possible. Sure this appears to be a roundabout way to get toFifth Street, but it’s the best approach to avoid the grid of cobblestone streets in this part of town. Once on Fifth, you’re in for a delight – the traffic moves quickly but the bicycle lane gives you a good buffer. You’ll hit the Fifth Street tunnel soon after the Constitution Center; it is very wide and there’s a little downhill for added speed. You’ll take Fifth to Spring Garden, and then Third Street up through Northern Liberties (there’s a turn signal at the light) all the way up to Girard. T

ake note: Girard has trolley tracks!! So be careful and see University City Ride to learn how to conquer the tracks. Johnny Brenda’s is on the corner of Girard and Frankford, and it has a delicious menu of fresh local foods, a terrific beer list, and good shows too. On your way home, you take Second Street through Northern Liberties, see a little more Spring Garden action, and then you’ll be treated to 19th Street. You might not love this stretch as much as I do, what with its busses, narrow confines, bumpy portions and merging with Ben Franklin Parkway, but it sure is fun (especially late at night with little traffic).

There’s a slight downhill here, adding to the buzz. Stay to the right as you wind around Logan Circle, taking short advantage of the Ben Franklin bike lanes, and then peel off to pick up 19th Street again, which will take you back to Rittenhouse. Enjoy!

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin at the southeast corner of Rittenhouse Park. Exit at 18th and Locust St. Take Locust east.
  • 0.1 Right on 17th St.
  • 0.3 Make a left on Pine to pick up those beautiful bike lanes.
  • 0.6 Cross Broad St.
  • 1.2 Make a left on Seventh St at the T-intersection. Go around Washington Square Park and bear right to continue on Seventh St.
  • 1.4 Cross Walnut St.
  • 1.7 Make a right on Market St – there’s more traffic here, but it’s just for a few blocks!
  • 1.9 Left on Fifth St. There is a nice bike lane on Fifth St; follow it through the tunnel.
  • 2.6 Right on Spring Garden to pick up bike lanes.
  • 2.8 Get over to the left-hand lane. You’ll make a left on Third St to pedal through Northern Liberties. Take Third to Girard.
  • 3.4 Make a right on Girard and pedal to Frankford. Watch for the trolley tracks here!
  • 3.8 JB’s is on the corner of Girard and Frankford. After a sandwich or a dance party, head back down Girard towards Second St.
  • 4.1 Left on Second St.
  • 4.7 Right on Spring Garden bike lanes. Take this all the way across the city to 19th St.
  • 6.2 Left on 19th St.
  • 6.6 Bike around Logan Circle, continue down 19th St and take it all the way to the park.
  • 7.3 Arrive back at Rittenhouse.
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    11.777 km / 7.318 mi

    Total Distance

    101 m / 332 ft

    Total Ascent

    99 m / 325 ft

    Total Descent

    23 m / 77 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 7.3
    Elevation Gain: 101
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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