What a way to see parts of Philadelphia by bike! Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia organized a ride called ProfiteROLL on Saturday that let you hit up to 14 bakeries and coffee shops for sweet treats. Yes, 14!
I tagged along with a sister and her friends, and we skipped a couple of the stops. But even then, I — who shamelessly can admit to eating lots of cookie dough in one sitting and, yes, immediately gobbled down the small portion of edible raw cookie dough offered up at Sweet Box Bakery — had had my share of sugar after just a few stops. Thumbs up to the generous breakfasty bar with jam from Hungry Pigeon that put me over the edge. Good thing the Bicycle Coalition suggested bringing containers to carry the excess.
And they’ve made a good Sunday breakfast. Still some leftovers for Monday.
I can’t retrace our route on my own, and we didn’t faithfully follow Bicycle Coalition’s suggested route. We passed on crossing the Schuylkill River, for example. So best I can tell we were in Center City/Northern Liberties and the edge of Fishtown. We guessed that we rode maybe 10 miles at a slow pace — so this was not a net calorie-buring activity by any stretch.
The streets seemed pretty quiet — yes, it was Saturday, but it is a major city. Bike lanes seemed narrow, but maybe that’s because I’ve been riding on some wider trails (and more rural roads) recently, or no bike lane at all. Road surface could use some work. Plenty of new construction as some neighborhoods continue to gentrify.
If I’d been on my own, I would have indulged myself and read lots of historical markers. Maybe I’d have stopped at the store selling cheesemaking supplies. But being in a group was more fun — so much so that we picked up a couple of stray riders.
What else? Well, there was that smell of fresh bread even before we reached Lost Bread Co. That enticed some in the group to find room in their baskets for a loaf. Other places had some intriguing baked goods as part of their normal offerings, like this one:
Next to one stop in Center City is a store that sells vintage and collectable toys and such that fellow riders say they have never seen actually open. You can catch a bit of it in this photo.
The story behind the matching T-shirts? Profiteroll started in 2018 as a way to honor Emily Fredericks, a pastry chef killed by a garbage truck while she was in a city bike lane. Her family was at our first stop, handing out the shirts as well as a generously sized homemade chocolate from a mold embossed with a bicycle. Yeah, I didn’t even pretend to hold back on that one.
And then this was supposed to be the final pastry, at the post-party spot. No idea when it was finally opened up — we stuck around for a bit, but obviously not long enough. All in all, though, it has inspired me to turn talk of a pizza ride (to test out Trenton-style pizza places on this side of the ‘burbs) into reality. Who’s in?