What do you do while waiting–sans device–in the massive jury duty holding room? If you’re like Shawn McKenna, you dream up a “potentially brilliant/disastrous idea:” to circumnavigate the city on bike. “I started drawing it and realized that (a) it is probably possible to do pretty accurately with some exceptions (can’t exactly ride on 95 in the south), (b) not a lot of people are probably that familiar with the whole city, and (c) it seemed pretty neat,” he told me by e-mail this morning. So McKenna, a market researcher and a triathlete, and his buddy James Huth–and perhaps some others–will ride the 72 mile border of the city on Saturday morning.
The route, says McKenna, is “a surprisingly accurate rendition” of the city’s shape, the history of which Hidden City writer Steve Currall explored recently HERE.
For McKenna, it is a chance to see and experience parts of the city he isn’t familiar with. “A lot of people,” he says, “tend to stay in their neighborhoods or a few neighborhoods and if they do see other areas of the city, they tend to drive, and when you drive, you never pay attention.”
Despite the carefully laid out route, McKenna expects to have to improvise along the way. “I have no clue what the challenges will be as we have not done this yet, and as we have never done this and have never been to certain sections of the city that we plan to ride,” he says. Still, there are stops planned: at Cadence Cycling in Manayunk, McKenna’s girlfriend’s parent’s house in Mount Airy, “a bar somewhere in the NE, and we know the owners…” The ride will end where it begins, at Yard’s Brewery, where the cyclists will be joined by friends for an afternoon of beer.