Wednesday Night Rides Goes Gravel

The latest edition of Wednesday Night Rides slid off the city's streets and wound its way into the Wissahickon.

Wednesday Night Rides Goes Gravel
Taking a break on Wednesday night to soak in the summer air.

While an in-depth story of Wednesday Night Rides will have to wait for another time, I couldn't resist pulling out my camera and sharing these scenes from the latest in their series of rotating rides, this time to Wissahickon Valley Park in Northwest Philly.

The Magic of the Wiss cast its spell on about 100 riders who travelled from far and wide to test their tires and bikehandling skills on Forbidden Drive's idyllic gravel path. Ironically, I didn't take any pictures on Forbidden Drive (!), but it's easily accessible by trails, sidepaths, and public transit from most parts of town. Weekly group rides featuring Forbidden Drive are also hosted by Philly Gravel Club, PAPERtrail Bike Cafe, and Riders of Rohan and a monthly ride is hosted by Philly Gravel Collective, so opportunities abound.

Meeting and departing from the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial just north of Boathouse Row, the group stretched out in a steady procession along the Schuylkill River Trail through Fairmount Park, past East Falls, and onto the Wissahickon Bike Trail and into the cool, shady, and wooded gorge.

See yourself in the pictures on this page? Save them! Share them! Use them! Frickity-frack!, tattoo them to your bicep if that's your jam! Tag @thetrellisphilly and share this website if you can. The more people see people on bikes, the more likely more people will ride bikes!

Of course, the best part of a bike ride is often the part where you're not pedaling. One of the day's highlights was spending time with old and new friends on the double arch stone bridge spanning the creek where Mt Airy Avenue melts into the schist. The air feels at least 5° cooler here on a hot summer's day and being in the forest without leaving the city feels a little like stumbling into the rabbit hole of Alice's wonderland.

The ride concluded with Puffins and Buoys and Kookaburras and Passion Peach Slushies at Wissahickon Brewing Co where several dozen bikes were parked alongside Babalouie BBQ's food truck. When the bar shut down, the day was done and the remaining riders broke off into small groups and caravanned back to their respective corners of the city.

She going way too fast!

Wednesday Night Rides is a social ride featuring rotating themed routes every other Wednesday. Join their next ride and follow along at, on Instagram, or on Reddit.