Monday, September 28, 2015

Popeapalooza ("It Wasn't ALL About The Bicycles")

Got bombed before the Pope Ride
In my last post I explained why we believed this was a "must" event. In this post I'll explore some of the non-bicycle elements that made it so special.

As with any Pope Ride hosted in a closed city, there would be a Ride to the Pope Ride and a Ride From the Pope Ride in addition to the actual Pope Ride. Three great rides and 47 miles packed into one day. Plus between rides there would be miles poking around the Philly side streets which featured:
  • Dozens of jumbo-trons showing the festivities at and around the Art Museum and connecting everyone into one synchronized million-man Popeapalooza. 
  • Assorted Pope schwag and souvenirs, Pope pins, t-shirts, bobble-heads, and squeeze dolls. There was Pope corn and Pope bracelets. Rosaries. Pope flags, Pope posters and cardboard cutouts of the Pope. Free enterprise was alive and well in the City of Brotherly Love. 
  • Spontaneous outbursts of joyous music and large-group dancing in the streets. Huge singing crowds ambling down the middle of otherwise deserted boulevards and streets towards the Art Museum.
  • Hundreds of "Pope Johns" gleaming in the sun, many of them lining the bridges into and out of the city.
  • Pope food. For us it would be two Epiphany sandwiches ordered sight unseen at Di Bruno. The official Pope sandwich was a no brainer and turned out to be just what two depleted cyclists needed (beef tenderloin, house made mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, and grilled romaine with chimichurri sauce on focaccia bread). Yum. By the time we got to the Reading Terminal food-orgy we were pretty full but that did not stop us from grabbing some coffee and browsing the glorious food show.
In my next post I'll dive into the actual rides and we'll even explore some local mausoleums.


"Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually."
     -- Unknown

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