Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Julie’s Sunday Morning Ride
This route showcases the best stuff to see from a bike in Philadelphia. The buildings flutter between old and new, serene open spaces are jammed into a hustling city, ethnic neighborhoods appear to pop up out of nowhere, and it finishes off with a short stretch along that gorgeous Schuylkill River. If you don’t like weaving in and out of traffic, then make this trip early on a Sunday morning.
This is a city ride, through crowded city streets, with lots to look at absolutely everywhere you turn your head, and even more potholes.
Heavy. Unless you are an experienced city rider, this is a loop for an early Sunday morning, long before the city wakes up.
The ride log begins at the entrance to Schuylkill River Park, on 25th and Locust. If coming from the burbs, take Regional Rail to 30th Street station, cross the Market Street Bridge towards Center City and take the ramp towards the Schuylkill River Trail. Septa buses 7,12 and 40 will drop you nearby.
Food and Drink
Almost every street will have options for you. Highlights include cafés around Rittenhouse square, Pho 75 on Washington Avenue, Sabrina’s in the Italian Market on Ninth and Christian, and the portions along South and 18th streets. You’ll ride through Chinatown, too!
The opportunities for people-watching and public sitting throughout this loop are pretty great – you’ll want to park your bike and hang out on almost every corner of this ride (I do!). Rittenhouse Square, Independence Mall, City Hall, Love Park, Logan Square, and the Art Museum steps are just a few of the stops.
You’ll begin the bike ride at Schuylkill River Park and bike through beautiful brick homes in Fitler Square. Then make a couple of left turns at Rittenhouse Square to hug the perimeter of the park along Locust. This is an area where bikes almost always have the ability to beat cars. You’ll continue to Broad Street and then race southbound to Washington. Take Washington through the beginning of the Vietnamese section of Philadelphia and then turn up Ninth Street straight through the Italian Market.
This will be super cramped, but also awesome. Continue up Ninth all the way to South through Bella Vista. You’ll also pass my go-to bike shop – Via Bikes on Ninth and South. But wait there’s so much more! You’ll ride along busy South Street and up Fifth Street through the tunnel to Spring Garden. The whole reason for this is so you can bike south on 10th Street – which is right through the Chinatown arches. Take it slowly here! After 10th, hop on Market towards City Hall and make a couple of lefts to ride around the perimeter, much like you did for Rittenhouse Square.
City Hall is beautiful, by the way. You’ll end up southbound on 15th Street and then hang a right on Walnut through the heart of Center City. If you want to skip this short portion, which swings through 18th Street and Chestnut Street, then stay on Market to 16th Street and make a right to pick up the log at mile 7.2 (at the Arch/Ben Franklin/16th Street intersection).
Benjamin Franklin Parkway bicycle lanes are next! Ride around the fountain at Logan Square and head down the parkway towards the Art Museum. You’ll loop halfway around Eakins Oval to bike past the museum and head towards the river trail. Once at Schuylkill Banks, make a left to end your fantastic ride along the river and back to the Locust Street entrance.
14.96 km / 9.296 mi
134 m / 441 ft
135 m / 442 ft
18 m / 59 ft