Philadelphia International Cycling Classic
World-famous bike race highlighting the famous Manayunk Wall
June 5, 2016
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic welcomes thousands and thousands of fans to cheer on top international professional cyclists to compete in a 12.3-mile circuit course throughout the City of Brotherly Love. More than a dozen men’s and women’s teams compete in the course, which runs through the rolling hills of Manayunk, East Falls, Fairmount Park and Kelly Drive. The start/finish line sits atop the infamous Manayunk Wall, creating a dramatic end to the race as riders push up the grueling 17% grade hill.
In addition to athletic happenings, the annual bike race always promises a slew of al fresco block parties and family fun along the course route where there’s plenty of opportunities to cheer on the athletes during the competition.
The Cycling Classic brings professional cyclists to the 12.3-mile circuit course that winds its way through Manayunk, Roxborough, East Falls, Fairmount Park and Lemon Hill, with a large portion of the race taking place along scenic Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River.
The race begins and ends at Lyceum Avenue in downtown Roxborough — the top of the Manayunk Wall. The steep hill is not only a huge factor in the multi-lap race, but it also creates a dramatic end to the race as riders make their final push for the lead up the hill.
Places to Watch
Cheer on the participants from a number of ideal vantage points throughout the course:
- East Falls Block Party: At Midvale Avenue and Kelly Drive, the East Falls Development Corporation hosts its annual bike race block party complete with food trucks, a kid-friendly carnival, live music and great views of the race. The location of the block party is also home to the sprint zone for added excitement.
- Main Street Manayunk: Since Main Street Manayunk is completely closed to vehicular traffic, crowds gather along the bustling downtown street for dining on the avenue, drinking with friends and cheering on the athletes.
- The Manayunk Wall: By far the most popular place to catch the peddling is along the Manayunk Wall. The Manayunk Wall is the start and finish of the race, so naturally it’s home to tons of block parties and high-energy spectators. The Wall offers some of the best vantage points for watching the race, with unbeatable proximity to the riders.
- Lemon Hill: Lemon Hill, a historic area in Fairmount Park, provides a more relaxed spot for watching the action. Lemon Hill is also the turn-around point for the 12-mile circuit course.
- Kelly Drive: The scenic riverside road is closed to vehicular traffic on the day of the race, so it’s a great location for those looking to have a picnic on the grass and watch the annual bike race.
Every year, the official race turns into an unofficial block party throughout the 12-mile circuit course complete with eating, drinking, hanging and celebrating in the streets.
The energy is felt throughout town on the day of the race, as a number of homes open their doors for house parties, streets close for block parties and local vendors set up shop outdoors for family-friendly shopping and activities.
Main Street in Manayunk is completely closed to traffic and a number of restaurants and businesses move outdoors to provide guests with a front row seat for the race, which sprints down the Main Street for a portion of the course.
Additionally, the East Falls Block Party shuts down Midvale Avenue at Kelly Drive, allowing for spectating opportunities alongside a kid’s carnival, food trucks serving up delicious eats and more.
For more information on the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, click the button below.
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