I know, I know — there’s a food element to so many of my rides.
So when Riverfront North — the public-private partnership creating access to 11 miles of the Delaware River plus parks in northern Philadelphia — created a bikes and bbq event, I was in. And I brought a bunch of people with me.
The bike ride began at Pennypack Park along the Delaware and used the Pennypack Trail, which follows the Pennypack Creek away from the river. You’re quickly in the woods, with the creek often just next to you, and the city seems far, far away. Sure, there are a few road crossings, but you ride under even more big stone bridges with traffic far, far above you.
Ten miles out, 10 miles back, so most of the 14-mile trail and enough to know you deserve that barbecue at the end.
We rode this trail for the first time last year and were struck by the curves and swoops, making it so unlike a rail trail.
And while it’s been here for decades, it’s always interesting to discover that people who know this part of the city didn’t know it exists, and others didn’t realize just how close it is to a train station (Holmesburg Junction).
Here’s an historical marker by one of the road crossings, as we wait for the last of the group to catch up:
It’s past Labor Day so unfortunately we couldn’t head north along the river using the 2-mile Baxter Trail — it’s only open on summer weekends (thank you Philly police). But one day, someday, this and all 11 miles of riverfront trail will be part of the East Coast Greenway.
But really, we were here because the ride ended with barbecue from nearby Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse. And we weren’t the only ones who signed up for that reason. Not only is this some of the best barbecue in Philadelphia, one of our fellow riders told us, but it’s got a Monday night all-you-can-eat buffett. Which sounded tempting, until I realized I really can’t eat that much. I kept getting a bit more and a bit more this time — hardly huge portions, and I still ended up in a food coma.
But perhaps it’s worth a short detour off the current East Coast Greenway route?