Another big Philly moment in history, another big group bike ride to go along with it: Alexandria Schneider, the organizer of the PopeRide — the giant for-fun group bike ride that took over Philly’s car-free streets during Pope Francis’ visit — and Maria Serrahima, an organizer of the Philly Naked Bike Ride, have teamed up to put on RideDNC, a 12-ish-mile group bike ride down Broad Street during the DNC. And — wait for it — the plan is for the ride to end with a party, complete with dancing and glow sticks galore, on the closed-to-cars Broad Street in South Philly.
As Schneider says, “Maria and I had been talking on and off about things we wanted to do during the DNC. We knew we want to do something, but we didn’t want to be a part of the more traditional protests. Most of them are very issue-oriented, and we wanted to make something that was open and that everyone would be comfortable being part of. We’re describing it as a party down Broad Street.” Naturally, glow sticks, music and blinky lights are encouraged.
While the ride isn’t aligned with one particular political message or party, Schneider and Serrahima are encouraging riders to bring their own messages if they’re so inclined. What does that mean, you ask? Well, as Serrahima says, “There are going to be thousands of delegates here and other elected officials that we’re going to be in view of, and when it comes down to it, we are everyday citizens and most of us have opinions about what’s going on in the world and what is important to us. If an individual is interested in green energy or women’s rights, this is the time to show that in a respectful setting.” In other words, feel free to come ready to support your political cause — in a peaceful and respectful way.
Still nearly a month away, the ride is indeed shaping up to be quite the party down Broad Street: As I write this, the Facebook event page boasts a count of 239 people marked as “going” to the ride and 645 slightly less-committed riders marked as “interested.” Serrahima says folks from out of town have even reached out to them saying they’ll be joining in. “Hopefully, this will give them a taste of what Philly cycling culture is,” she says.
When it comes to the route, the ride will go straight down Broad Street from Cheltenham to the portion of Broad Street that will be closed off for the DNC in South Philly. Cyclists will mostly be riding alongside cars, with the very last bit of the ride being on a car-free Broad Street.
Now, to the after party: The plan is to party with music, glow sticks and dancing at the ride’s finish point at the end of Broad Street on a chunk of the closed-to-cars street. It’s worth noting that Schneider and Serrahima haven’t reached out to city officials about the after party, but they say, “No one’s told us no.”
So, how can you get in on this 12-mile-long party on two wheels? Well, the ride is going down on Wednesday, July 27th, and riders will be meeting at Broad Street and Cheltenham Avenue at 6:30 p.m. The ride will leave from there at 7:30. If you can’t make it all the way up there for the start, Center City Sips at Dilworth Park will be extending their hours so that folks can hang out there, then hop in on the ride as it comes through Center City. They’ll be kind of hard to miss, but for good measure, they’ll be live-tweeting their location here and will have also Glympse and Periscope feeds going throughout the ride.
You can stay up-to-date on info on RideDNC over the next few weeks here. Come the big day, as they say on their Facebook page, “Bring your message, have a party.”
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