Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic
World-famous bike race highlighting the famous Manayunk Wall
June 1, 2014
The Philly Cycling Classic welcomes thousands and thousands of professional bicyclists to compete in a 12-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 alfresco block parties and family fun along the course route in addition to opportunities to cheer on the athletes during the competition.
- First Race, 6:45 a.m.: The Velothon, the first of the three races, is a new addition to race day and is comprised of a 30-mile amateur race along the same course as the Philly Cycling Classic.
- Second Race, 8:30 a.m.: The women’s race follows the Velothon with a start time of 8:30 a.m. The female athletes complete the 12-mile circuit five times for a race totaling 60 miles.
- Third Race, Noon: The men’s race concludes the Philly Cycling Classic with a start time of noon. Male athletes ride the 12-mile circuit ten times for a total race of 120 miles.
The Cycling Classic brings professional cyclists to the 12-mile circuit course that winds its way through Manayunk, 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 Manayunk — 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.
Download the full course map below.
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 is home to tons of block parties and high energy participants and 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 to watch 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 is 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 Manayunk is completely closed to traffic, but a number of restaurants and businesses move outdoors so guests have a front row seat for the race, which sprints down the Main Street portion of the course.
Every year, the East Falls Block Party shuts down Midvale Avenue at Kelly Drive to allow for spectating opportunities in addition to a kid’s carnival, food trucks, music and more.
To get to the hub of the action — at the start and finish line at the Manayunk Wall at Lyceum Avenue and Manayunk Avenue — simply take SEPTA Regional Rail’s Manayunk Norristown line to the Manayunk stop and walk to a number of ideal vantage points (The Wall, Main Street) or take the Manayunk Norristown Line to the Wissahickon or East Falls stops for more opportunities to catch the race.
To get to the Fairmount Park and Kelly Drive section of the spectator’s area, take the 38 bus to the Art Museum stop and simply walk the few blocks to your desired area.
Guests are encouraged to bike to the race as there will be a ton of bike valets throughout the course.
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