Gear Up! The Car-Free Philly Bike Ride Is Returning This Fall

Here's everything you need to know about the 20-mile social ride happening on October 14th.

The Philly Bike Ride returns on Saturday, October 14th. / Photography courtesy of Philly Bike Ride

Last year, a bunch of Philadelphians — over 3,000 actually — went wild over the inaugural Philly Bike Ride. It was a big deal: A low-stakes, car-free, 20-mile cycling event that welcomed riders of all ages and even earned a Best of Philly. (Did we mention no cars?!!)

Whether you loved last year’s ride or had major FOMO, you’re in luck. The Philly Bike Ride — which is put on by American Bike Ride in partnership with Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia — is coming back for its sophomore year on Saturday, October 14th!

Below, find everything you need to know about the 2023 Philly Bike Ride. Remember: It’s a ride, not a race — the goal is to cruise, not compete.

The course

The closed-road course spans 20 miles across Philadelphia — from Penn’s Landing to Manayunk. The route starts and ends by the Art Museum, with course highlights like the LOVE statue, City Hall, the Delaware River Waterfront, Boathouse Row, and Manayunk’s Main Street. You can view the full course here.

If you don’t want to cover all 20 miles, opt for the shorter 7.6-mile version, which excludes the Kelly Drive/Manayunk portion.

Who can participate?

One of the best things about the Philly Bike Ride is that it’s open to riders ages three and up, making it an outing the whole family can partake in and enjoy. Bonus: Kids who are three to seven years old ride for free! They just have to be in a child bike seat, tagalong/tandem bike, bike trailer, or bike cargo.

Riders ages eight through 17 can participate by riding their own bike at a discounted rate, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Time/date/weather info

The Philly Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, October 14th at 7:30 a.m. Though everyone begins at the same time, the ride is go-at-your-own-pace for a stress-free, fun time. Heads up, though: The road will open back up to traffic once the last rider crosses the finish line, so don’t try to ride the course more than once or you’ll be dodging cars and SEPTA buses!

Also, the ride will happen rain or shine. If the forecast is looking like rain that morning, plan your outfit accordingly — think rain jacket, moisture-wicking pants, waterproof shoes, a poncho, etc. Unfortunately, no refunds will be given if you decide to sit it out, but you can transfer your ticket to someone else — or a future event — at no cost by August 31st.

BYO bike?

If you have your own bike, you’re encouraged to ride your own. The event also welcomes class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes (with a motor that doesn’t exceed 750 watts). If you’re riding an e-bike, your speed must be below 18 miles per hour the entire time.

If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one through the event’s Rent & Ride program, which is designated on the registration page. Several hundred bikes will be available to rent, thanks to a partnership with Unlimited Biking. Your rental also includes a helmet, and you’ll need to pick up your gear between 6 and 7 a.m. on the day of the ride. (You’ll be emailed specific details if you choose to rent.)

Registration info

Registration for riders 18 and over starts at $75 which might seem steep for riding your bike at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, but just remember: No! Cars!

In addition, the event is partially philanthropic, as a portion of all registration fees benefit the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s youth cycling program which focuses on creating healthy lifestyle habits and skills via biking for kids ages 12 through 18. (Last year’s event raised $15,000!)

There are several opportunities to get a discounted rate by bundling registrations with friends and family members, and like we mentioned, participants ages three through seven ride for free, while registration costs $37.50 for anyone ages eight through 17. There’s also a $25 discounted rate for college students.

After the ride

The event ends with a festival, which is free and open to the public. The party — which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon — will feature live music, food trucks, family-friendly activities, photo booths and more. Anyone who registered as a VIP rider will receive a catered lunch in the VIP lounge.