AUGUST 25, 2011. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. Bike Philly, the city's largest family-friendly bicycle ride, returns for its 5th year on Sunday, September 11, 2011. Major Philadelphia streets will be closed to cars, giving its thousands of participants a car-free ride through the city. The ride caps a high-profile year for bicycling in Philadelphia, and is the most conspicuous yearly demonstration of bicycling's widespread popularity in the region.
Bike Philly is organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Registration fees for the ride support the Bicycle Coalition's advocacy and education work. Over 2,500 people participated in last year's rainy ride, and 3,500 rode in 2009. Past participants include Mayor Nutter, as well as regional bicycle clubs and service organizations like Neighborhood Bike Works and Gearing Up.
The route takes riders through Logan Square, Chinatown, Old City, Society Hill, other Center City neighborhoods, Fairmount Park and outlying suburban townships in Montgomery & Delaware Counties. Alex Doty, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition, believes the ride is a regionally unifying event, and a boon to Philadelphia's image as a green city.
"In past years, 75% of Bike Philly's ridership came from out of town," said Doty. "They spend money and they see the improvements Philadelphia has made to its bicycling infrastructure. That leaves a positive impression. What's more, Bike Philly allows all sorts of people who love bicycling to participate: 8-year olds and 80-year olds, hipsters and commuters, recumbent cyclists and racing teams. It's a powerful demonstration of how bicycling cuts across demographics and neighborhoods and how valuable is it to the region's economic and social fabric."
The ride begins at Eakins Oval at 8:00 AM on Sunday, September 11th. Riders complete 10, 20, or 35-mile courses and return to Eakins Oval. The Finish Line Festival at Eakins Oval ends at 2:00 pm.
Photo opportunity at east facing Philadelphia Museum of Art steps beginning at 7:30 AM, and along the ride course starting at 8:00 AM. Locations along the ride course include 10th & Arch, Columbus Blvd at the Race Street Pier, Broad & Lombard St, Logan Square, and the Girard Street Bridge.