Saturday, May 16, 2009

the ride of brotherly love


I just finished a glorious 22 mile ride from downtown Philly to "Walnut Lane" (or some other little markers said "NW Ave") a 5-ish mile crushed gravel road with no motorized traffic that follows some wonderful little river in a big wilderness area to the east of Manayunk.

I just sort of had a vague notion of riding down to Manayunk and back, so I headed out Kelly Drive, which follows the Schuykill River out of downtown. There was a big rowing competition just wrapping up so some chunks of the road were closed to through traffic, which made for some nice road riding for a couple of miles. Eventually I got onto a bike path and after one wacky detour that looked like it was going to put me onto some little mini freeway up against a cliff wall with nothing resembling a bike lane, I backtracked about 50 yards and found the trail again which ended up in this little woodsy paradise. I couldn't even hear traffic at all out there, just birds and the occasional plane overhead. There were lots of walkers, a few bikers, a few fishermen, quite a few dogs, waterfalls, old retaining walls, it was a really nice scene!

After going about 12 miles out, I turned back and made some pretty smoking time coming back. I got up to 26 mph or so on this gravel path in a few places. This "Walnut Lane" gravel road was as wide as a city road and was really pretty smooth and nice. Eventually, I got back to Kelly Drive, which was still closed down and I got to pretend I was on a solo breakaway on a grand tour stage or something, just blasting along at 22-ish mph on a closed 4 lane super smooth road. The street I came in and out of the city on, Spring Garden, also had a nice marked bike lane and deposited me back a block away from the venue, the super poopy and depressing Electric Factory.

Anyway, the ride definitely cleansed my palate from the rather depressing day I'd had going at the venue today. Electric Factory, get your shit together, sheesh!!

Here are some pics:

Here is my route from Map My Ride:

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