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Old 11-05-11, 07:37 PM   #1
chefisaac
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Ride Recap: Into the City We Go!!!!!!

It wasn’t a great ride…. It was an OUTSTANDING ride today. But before we went… it was time to clean the bike. I took my bike into the shop on Thursday because the back wheel was out of true. Now, this shop is and they treat me great so in return I treat them very well. Bring food and cookies to the bike sales people and the mechanics all the time so when I brought the bike in, there was no charge for the true and the mechanic took everything off my bike and cleaned it. The little perks in life…..it’s true….. people love food and it makes them happy!

So we met at IKEA in Conshohocken, PA at 10 AM and of course, we were early which gave us time to visit, bathroom breaks and get the bikes ready. Looks like it was going to be me, Jim, and Nadja. Some people would say that is a small group but it was PERFECT plus most people dislike riding in the cold weather…we don’t!

Yea, that’s another thing… the cold. It was cold for sure. Not freezing but cold. Luckily I had my Under Armer (UA) Base layer but I still haven’t gotten full gloves, no UA base for my legs and no hat the fits inside my helmet but I knew I would get warm and my legs would be ok. I did have a pair of wool gloves and I used them for about 5 miles and then they became uncomfortable because there was not enough padding. Anyway, it was cold which meant only one thing….GET ON THE BIKE AND START RIDING. (so we did).

What made this ride outstanding were many things like the change in scenery. For a few miles you are kinda out there and then more in a urban area and then full blown city.

We took the bike path (more like a multiple use path…MUP for short) to start which was nice but one thing about MUP’s are that they are dangerous. Runners wearing head phones and not paying attention, riders weaving in and out, dogs, cats, weird people… oh my! But luckily it was only a few miles both ways that we were on the path.
As we were riding, we went down the Manyunk hill and Jim politely reminds us that we will be going UP that hill on the way back. Great. Nadja and I agreed that we wanted to do it NOW and get it over with but Jim kept riding on and we followed…. like good sheep!

We rode into center city and all around. We were all feeling sorta sassy and decided to ride down South Street. That street is awesome. Restaurants, cool shops (like a Rowing Class shop where you just have rowing classes sorta like spin classes…. amazing idea). South Street was so cool and busy with cars. Jim was leading, followed by Nadja and then myself sweeping. We came up on some art work and I suddenly stopped to take a picture while Nadja and Jim rode away. The picture doesn’t really justify how pretty it was but it was stain glass, more glass, art, bike parts, wheels and such and it was neat. But I lost Jim and Nadja. Great. In a city I don’t know. Did I mention it was great!?! So I rode and rode down South Street until I got to the end and as I was looking around, a little panic in the back of my brain happened. Got off the bike, grabbed the cell phone to call Jim and then Nadja and Jim pulled up thankfully. They were going to Little Italy to grab something to eat when they noticed I wasn’t there. I missed the food? Me? No way. Have you LOOKED at me lately? I love to eat. Darn.

As we talked, I asked Jim and Nadja where Reading Terminal was so they just decided to show me. We rode there…. At least as close as we could until the crowds got too thick and then we walked our bikes. I have never been but we have something like it in Seattle called Pikes Place but after Jim showed me around Reading Terminal, I am convinced that it is better than Pikes Place. I bought FRESH squeezed orange juice and warm chocolate chip cookies for everyone. Delightful they were. Forgot how much I loved orange juice especially when it is freshly squeezed. I am a big fan of Reading Terminal. It’s like a kid in a candy shop for a chef. Meats, seafood, breads, chocolates, vegetables, fruit…good food. Wow.

Back on the bikes we went and rode down Spruce Street which was neat too. Had to jump on another MUP to avoid a dangerous stretch of roads and then it started. Yup… the hills. Now we had some short climbs coming to Center City Philly but nothing like this. We turned right and the two hills of Umbria started. I was leading at that point…. cranked it into granny gear and slowly made my way up, focusing on breathing. Got both those out of the way but I was feeling it for sure. Was riding down the road and saw another big hill….. Manyunk. Short but very steep. Jim blew by me and then Nadja and that’s ok. Kicked it in granny gear again, focused on breathing and made it all the way to the top. Out of breath, ready to collapse but we did it. No walking needed thank you very much!

The ride back was splendid. But then Jim had an issue with his back tire. I think it was out of true but we loosed his breaks so he could make it back. I hope it’s ok.

So, to another ride… a wonderful ride with great people, great conversation, a little food, a lot of accomplishment and hey…. It was cold and we were riding. Most people would stay in bed (I don’t blame them) but what a gorgeous day to be out riding!


Attached Images
File Type: jpg clean bike.jpg (93.8 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg wall in philly.jpg (98.9 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg art-garden-south-street.jpg (87.3 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg reading temrinal poultry.jpg (55.4 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg reading terminal shopping.jpg (59.0 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg South-Street.jpg (84.2 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg reading terminal pies.jpg (99.7 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg reading terminal produce.jpg (43.9 KB, 41 views)
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Old 11-05-11, 08:33 PM   #2
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Aww! I wish you would have told me you were riding around Philly! I love RTM and would have gladly tagged along! Let me know if you ever want to ride around the city again!
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Old 11-06-11, 03:40 AM   #3
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of course I do Sayre. When are you moving?
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Old 11-06-11, 05:14 AM   #4
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So we met at IKEA in Conshohocken
That's the first IKEA I ever went to.
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Old 11-06-11, 08:01 AM   #5
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That's the first IKEA I ever went to.
Curious right of passage to note....
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Old 11-06-11, 08:16 AM   #6
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So your companions dropped you in a city you've never been riding in?!? Oh wait, these are the same folks who were rude to Bike Forums people on the Peach Ride a couple of months ago. I understand now.....
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Old 11-06-11, 09:08 AM   #7
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Curious right of passage to note....
I try to keep conversations interesting.

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Old 11-06-11, 09:24 AM   #8
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I try to keep conversations interesting.

We'd rather read about you racing the Italians and how you recovered after they stuck the frame pump in your rear wheel.
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Old 11-06-11, 02:36 PM   #9
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of course I do Sayre. When are you moving?
That's still up for debate. But next weekend I should be free. Assuming it's not freezing, I could visit Philly.
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Old 11-06-11, 04:05 PM   #10
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I'd be down for a ride to Philly.
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Old 11-06-11, 04:54 PM   #11
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Great recap, thanks for the photos chefisaac.
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Old 11-06-11, 06:05 PM   #12
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Excellent writeup! I was expecting a visit to the Rocky Statue at the Museum, however... It's practically required if you're in Philly!!!

And you were right, it was an absolutely glorious day for a ride, all across the northeast.

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We took the bike path (more like a multiple use path…MUP for short) to start which was nice but one thing about MUP’s are that they are dangerous. Runners wearing head phones and not paying attention, riders weaving in and out, dogs, cats, weird people… oh my! But luckily it was only a few miles both ways that we were on the path.
Ugh. Yeah, I am so in agreement here. Took a bike path on the first half of my journey today, and it annoyed me so much I ended up avoiding it on the way back. It's just too crowded for cyclists on bike paths now.
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Old 11-06-11, 06:43 PM   #13
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Excellent writeup! I was expecting a visit to the Rocky Statue at the Museum, however... It's practically required if you're in Philly!!!

And you were right, it was an absolutely glorious day for a ride, all across the northeast.



Ugh. Yeah, I am so in agreement here. Took a bike path on the first half of my journey today, and it annoyed me so much I ended up avoiding it on the way back. It's just too crowded for cyclists on bike paths now.
I don't understand the complaints about traffic on the Schuylkill River Trail. Its busy, but then again it always is. I generally don't find the 'trail traffic' a problem. It could be the riders in the group were going too fast for conditions, but that's not the fault of the SRT.
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Old 11-07-11, 04:20 AM   #14
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neil: Actually it was my fault. We were on south street, a lot of cars on the right parked, a lot of foot traffic in the streets and a lot of cars on the move on the left. I was in the back and I suddenly saw the art work and made a quick stop with no communcation going up. Picture took me a little longer to take. My fault.

Again, I am sorry you had a bad experiance with them. I enjoy riding with them and... in fact... they return all my emails and phone calls unlike some others I know.......
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Old 11-07-11, 04:22 AM   #15
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sayre and will: Might be able to go Sunday. Not sure. Tied up with a ride and a mechanic class on Saturday. I wont know until I get back from Arizona tomorrow evening if I can go Sunday. Might be mapping out my route to work on a bike on Sunday. We will see.
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Old 11-07-11, 08:44 AM   #16
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I don't understand the complaints about traffic on the Schuylkill River Trail. Its busy, but then again it always is. I generally don't find the 'trail traffic' a problem. It could be the riders in the group were going too fast for conditions, but that's not the fault of the SRT.
To be fair this is why I generally try to avoid paths now. Around here they have a posted limit of 15mph, and even that is too high to be safe most of the time.

It's more than just a density problem however. There's all sorts of chaos that occurs on MUP's that make cycling somewhat unreasonable of a viable option nowadays. Literally dozens of people walking around with no leashes on their dogs (despite posted signs saying that's not allowed), ridiculously large leashes on their dogs, roped across the entire length of the path (again, posted signs saying 5 feet maximum leash length), people walking/jogging in the center of the path (despite posted signs saying stay to the right), oblivious to bells because they've got their heads wrapped in music; or even worse, groups of people taking up the entire width of the path who refuse to yield even after they've heard your bell, forcing you to either slow to 3mph and follow for however long they decide to be jerks, or ride through the grass.

It would be nice if people would follow the rules and get along together but practically speaking that just doesn't happen. Hence why I'll stay away. It's ironic that one of the most common things I've been yelled at out of a car is "EVER HEAR OF A BIKE PATH?!!". Why yes, I have. It's safer on the road...
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Old 11-07-11, 08:47 AM   #17
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That Ikea is the relocated version of the first Ikea ever opened in the U.S. It was originally located in nearby Plymouth Meeting. It outgrew that location not that long after it opened. Driving around in the pick up area was almost like driving bumper cars.

I shop in the Terminal frequently. Unfortunately, it has become more of a food court over the years, but there are still some good raw ingredients to be found. As the sign says, "Eat Fish. Live Longer."

One sometimes dicey part of the SRT is east of the city line, where is narrows. The entire stretch between the Spring Mill train station used to be that width. That was the first stretch that opened. It was originally unpaved. The surface was hardpack, but there were sharp little rocks. Flat tire city. But it was still a cool concept. A flat, car free, nearly empty place to ride your bike. The tree canopy was much thicker back then. It was almost as if you were riding in the woods. At the risk of dating myself even more, I went to elementary school not far from that section of the trail and can remember when it was still an active rail line.
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Old 11-07-11, 09:32 AM   #18
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neil: Actually it was my fault. We were on south street, a lot of cars on the right parked, a lot of foot traffic in the streets and a lot of cars on the move on the left. I was in the back and I suddenly saw the art work and made a quick stop with no communcation going up. Picture took me a little longer to take. My fault.

Again, I am sorry you had a bad experiance with them. I enjoy riding with them and... in fact... they return all my emails and phone calls unlike some others I know.......
The entire BF group aside from you had a bad experience with them. Paisan and the BF lurker I brought both thought the group cold and stuck-up. Please don't pin this on me.

BTW, how long were you dropped by your buddies? You wrote you rode the entire length of South Street looking for them. If I were a ride leader I'd be horrified I'd done that to one of my riders.
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Old 11-07-11, 09:43 AM   #19
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neil: not pinning anything on you. And no, the entire group. James did not. Matter of fact, he was leading the pack a good amount of the time and pushing the speed. He is a strong rider. Hardly the entire group.

Dropped for less then a quater of the mile. And dont pin it on them, it was my miss communication that put me into that situation. But we did have phones as well and the street ends up being a dead end so one cant go far).
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Old 11-07-11, 09:44 AM   #20
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The SRT is nice.... gets a little busy in Philly but for the most part I like it. The thing thats tough to deal with are the runners who have headphones in an cant hear or the dogs off leash. I find I have more controll on the road. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-07-11, 11:28 AM   #21
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I only use the local MUP to me when I know the ped traffic will be light...for all the reasons mentioned, especially the failure to yield when walking 2,3 or 4 wide - for some reason, the peds feel that they have the ultimate right to take up as much path as possible and they act like skittish deer when you ding your bell and tell them you are passing on the left...they always seem to go left instead of right.

But I blame that on the path designers...6 or 8 feet wide is barely "multi-use"

If I didn't live on major US Routes, I would be on the road 100% of the time

Question - where did you lock up your bikes outside Reading Term Market? I'd be worried that no matter where I left it, it would grow legs and walk in 30 seconds
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Old 11-07-11, 11:47 AM   #22
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phly: we had three people total go with use so two went in, one stayed out. we did that for two rounds. Bikes were watched.... nothing stolen. wish you could have been there. We are riding Saturday too but this time in DE.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:35 PM   #23
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Question - where did you lock up your bikes outside Reading Term Market? I'd be worried that no matter where I left it, it would grow legs and walk in 30 seconds
I often lock my bike outside the Terminal as do dozens of other people. Sometimes it's hard to find a spot.
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Old 11-07-11, 02:38 PM   #24
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I asked because I didn't see Isaac carrying a lock last (and only) time he and I rode...

On this weekend's ride, I might be in...a little later start helps - just concerned about the speed - we did 12+ last time and I trailed for a good part
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Old 11-07-11, 03:04 PM   #25
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Did you get city slick tired yet phly? Jim said it is a great ride for everyone.

To be honest, its ok to be slower. People wait. Despite what others say, this crowd that we will ride with on Saturday will wait.
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