PopeRide Update: New Logistics to Accommodate 1,200+ Potential Cyclists During Pope Visit


Well, wow. When we first posted about the PopeRide, the unsanctioned, for-fun group bike ride to be held on mostly-closed-to-traffic city streets on September 26th during the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia, a seemingly impressive 350 people had signed up to join in. Two weeks later, more than 1,200 people (!) have RSVP’d so far, saying they’re planning to be there, with another 200 maybes and a total of 2,600 invites. So um, yeah, I’d say the idea has taken off. 

Organizer and local cyclist Alexandria Schneider sent an email out to participants today outlining a new strategy for day-of crowd control. (This is supposed to be fun, after all.) Instead of one critical-mass type group accommodating all paces — and, you know, massively clogging the roadways — the ride will now be broken into multiple groups (the exact number is TBD), setting out in five-minute intervals.

“We’ll be doing some sorting on the day by rider speed for groups,” she wrote. “Each group will have a group leader. …They’re going to be given something very distinctive so you can easily identify them.”

As for the ride route, as of yet it remains unchanged. Schneider says she plans to ride the route the morning of the event to make sure everything is on the up and up. “If traffic/security blocks or makes a route unsafe for pedestrians or cyclists, I’ll post an updated route, and spread it far and wide,” she said.

For now, keep your eye on the Facebook invite for news and updates. And of course, we’ll post relevant ones here on Be Well, too. For your planning purposes, the 10.23-mile bike ride is happening on September 26th at 10 a.m., beginning at the Porch at 30th Street Station.

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