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Where can I find local bike routes?

I am a student at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA looking for the easiest, bike friendly way to get to center city Philadelphia. Google maps is giving me pretty bad biking routes that include a lot of highway biking ( i.e, not possible) and I am looking for someone who might know of some safer roads to take!

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If you get to the Schuylkill river, it is exclusively bike trail all the way to center city. Once in center city, there are plenty of East-West, North-South streets with separated bike lanes, sharrows (even if unmarked, many streets are just fine for bikes). Where are you having the problems? –  Angelo Aug 27 '12 at 10:04
    
I know nothing about this specific situation, but my advise is to always use walking routes in google maps. That way you avoid highways and such, and if you can walk somewhere, than you it is also possible to cycle there (although not necessarily allowed). –  BrtH Aug 27 '12 at 10:10
    
You can't always trust that "walking" routes will be safe for walking either. There's been a few cases where people have been directed to the highway when asking for walking routes. See searchengineland.com/… –  Kibbee Aug 27 '12 at 13:53
    
I spend a fair amount of time in Philadelphia. As far as I can tell, google maps (for bikes) is fairly accurate. I don't see how google maps is directing the OP to highways. Although this is a localized question, the fact that Philadelphia is among the top 5 largest cities in the USA makes it OK to be specific about Philadelphia. –  Angelo Aug 27 '12 at 17:33
    
Google Maps is suggesting part of route 309 - it's not a limited access highway at that point, but it's still a 6 lane wide urban expressway. Probably not the best choice.. –  AShelly Aug 28 '12 at 15:22
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marked as duplicate by Unsliced, freiheit Aug 29 '12 at 0:54

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3 Answers

If you don't mind adding a few miles, I'd suggest heading west toward Wissahickon Park first - maybe through Wyndmoor. Then there are walk/bike trails all the way down to the art museum. From there you'll need to contend with traffic, but it's not too crazy - or at least it wasn't 10 years ago.

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And if you have a mountain bike, I'd definitely suggest getting a trail permit and checking out Wissahickon. It's the best urban mountain biking I've ever found. –  AShelly Aug 28 '12 at 19:34
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I have never been to Philly, but can highly recommend the segment explorer on strava.com. You start by putting in the city and the zoom level of the map will show the most popular segments ridden. Zoom in you'll get a finer grain of segments in that smaller area, zoom out and pan around to the Glenside, PA area.

If you click on a segment you will see the leader board and see how many times it has been ridden, you will find some only ridden by one person, probably not a popular route, but others ridden many many times would be a great place to start looking.

I use the Strava segment explorer whenever I travel to find bike and running routes while on my trip, it has proven to be very helpful to me in finding new, safe places to bike and run.

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I live the next state over and have never ridden in Philly but here are a few indirect pointers.

Drexel University and U Penn are in the middle of the city, so you might ask their student run clubs.

Bilenkey is a framebuilder who has been in Philly for ages, and probably knows about the local clubs and routes. His shop isn't very central.

The Philly Bike Expo is in two months, and might be a good place to check out the cycling scene.

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