Beating the Heat in Philly

After another 10-mile commute to/from work last week (does doing something twice make it a habit?!), I scored my first long ride of the month - another solo shot - on Saturday. With temperatures expected to push into the upper 90s, with high humidity for kicks, I left Lansdowne at 6 to beat the heat.

I'm quite sure I've never ridden my bike at 6 am! Not much happening that early on Saturday morning, so I get the appeal. I might even do it again.

I rode through the fog much of the early way. The ride took me through Yeadon into Philly at Cobbs Creek Parkway, as with my route to Calvary, but this time I picked up a small portion of the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway that runs all the way from Maine to Florida. Through Southwest Philly, to and through Bartram's Garden, across the Grays Ferry Avenue bridge and into Center City - then overlapping with the popular Schuykill River Trail. Still in the fog.

Once I got to the Philly Art Museum and out along Kelly Drive, I had to contend with growing crowds on hand for the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. And wicked heat and humidity. I started feeling that with the longer ride, so took a break at the base of Wissahickon Valley Park on Ridge Avenue - where the Wissahickon Creek feeds into the Schuykill River. A classic Philly spot (see waterfall picture with my bike leaning on the fence).

If I had more time and energy, I would've continued up the Wissahickon Bike Trail. Instead, I headed back to and across the Falls Bridge and into Center City, via the MLK Drive side of the Schuykill with its eventual view of Boathouse Row. I came up on the South Street bridge and made my way through West Philly, past Calvary and the neighborhood where I lived for many years before moving to Lansdowne. And finally home.

The city definitely looks different on a bike.

By my count, a little more than a full marathon door to door - 27.1 miles. About halfway to the 100-mile goal.


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