A&E: Bicycle Race

Philadelphians come together for the 23rd annual Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championship

Ah, it's that much-anticipated time of year when both the yuppies and the locals of Manayunk actually get along. (Except for, I suppose, when the Eagles win. People are pretty neighborly then, too.) Ben


Ah, it's that much-anticipated time of year when both the yuppies and the locals of Manayunk actually get along. (Except for, I suppose, when the Eagles win. People are pretty neighborly then, too.) Ben Franklin Parkway, Kelly Drive and most of Manayunk gets flooded with more than 150 of the world's top cyclists in a sadistic and looping 156-mile race. It's quite the lovely juxtaposition of world-class and insanely fit athletes being watched by tailgating fans who are only looking forward to consuming $4 foot-long hot dogs and grilled kielbasa from street vendors. The worst part of the race for the cyclists is the 17-percent-grade Manayunk Wall on Levering Street and Lyceum Avenue that cyclists must battle 10 times.

And as a former resident of Manayunk, I may just know about the other race this weekend: the “Downhill.” For more than a decade, the night before the race — at midnight — the costumed and intoxicated have been going down this hill in anything with wheels (think: shopping carts, bed frames). This year, the Manayunk Development Corporation has banned the notorious and possibly injurious tradition, but I still wonder what will happen when the clock strikes 12.

June 10th; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Free.