Sunday, September 27, 2015

Popeapalooza ("It's Pope Time")

"In back alley. It's Pope time."

What started as a innocent Facebook
meetup spiraled into an epic urban ride
And began our adventure in the wee hours of Saturday morning as I picked up my fellow pilgrim Jesse Piersol and her bike, and we set off on our pilgrimage. We had no idea what the day would bring. For months the newspapers and interwebs had been warning of crushing crowds, transportation breakdowns, food shortages, and mass chaos in the streets. Maybe, but we also knew that:
  • The Pope. He was coming to Philadelphia for the second time in history. This was the definition of a once-in-a-lifetime event. The lawn mowing would have to wait until Sunday.
  • The People's Pope. This would not be just any Pope, this would be the People's Pope. Admittedly organized religion is not a big part of my life, but this Pope is an incredibly powerful and positive force in the world today and we wanted to show our support.
  • Open streets. The city was shut down to vehicular traffic so for a few precious hours we and our bikes would have the run of the 5th largest metropolis in the US.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists (and
    a few dogs) rule the streets
  • Adventure. We had a loose plan but we knew this would not be just "another ride." Stuff would happen and we would have to adapt and that is a formula for a memorable day. 
So at 6:23 am we cast our fate into the wind and started our pilgrimage.

In my next post I'll explore the special atmosphere that permeated the city yesterday and introduce you to the "Pope John."


"A bicycle does get you there and more And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun."
     -- Unknown

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