Montgomery County’s thriving bicycle culture just got better with the announcement of the first in a series of enjoyable bicycle tours throughout the county. This first tour, “Homes and Gardens of the Main Line,” was created as part of an expansive tourism initiative of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) and was developed in collaboration with the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) and Lower Merion Township and its partners. The tour, along with information on destinations and points of interest along the route, is available at https://www.valleyforge.org/editorial/post/homes-and-gardens-of-the-main-line/.
This exciting new series of bicycling tours will offer a way for county residents and visitors to explore and discover the many special places in the county and to enjoy restaurants, shops, and other great destinations along the way. The tours will also give the public additional alternatives to the county trails, as they maximize the use of low-traffic and low-stress streets.
“Our team at the Tourism Board is excited to work on this project in collaboration with the staff at the County to highlight the wonderful bike routes that can be experienced in Montco,” said Edward Harris, Chief Marketing Officer for the VFTCB. “Making these new bike routes available on our Visit Valley Forge App will give visitors and residents a one-stop shop to not only navigate these routes, but also have information at their fingertips to discover a wide range of things to do when they get off the bike.”
The tour route starts at the Cynwyd trail and route winds its way through Bala Cynwyd, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, and Merion Station using residential streets exclusively. All major highways and arterial streets are avoided. As the name suggests, those traveling this route will pass some of the finest residential homes anywhere in America, as wells as a series of beautiful parks, public gardens, and arboretums. The route is also easily accessible by SEPTA via train, the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL), and bus from Bala Cynwyd, Narberth, Ardmore, Merion Station, and Manayunk (via the Cynwyd Trail).
Two of three interesting route options are being offered—an 8-mile route and a 13.9-mile route. Both are intended for novice adult cyclists with basic on-street traffic navigation skills (ride on the right, follow all traffic rules as if driving a car). A 22.2-mile route, intended for experienced cyclists tolerant of slightly busier and faster traffic conditions, will be released in the near future. All three scenic routes have their share of hill climbs and descents even though the two shorter routes avoid them as much as possible. Riders are strongly encouraged to ensure their bicycles are in top working order before embarking on the routes, with particular attention given to brakes and tires. There are numerous bicycle shops (a PA essential business) in Montgomery County that can help with this. Riders are also strongly encouraged to wear a helmet, and all are reminded that Pennsylvania Law requires all cyclists 13 years and younger to wear one at all times.
The tour series also accomplishes many of Montgomery County’s goals. It supports the three major goals—Connected Communities, Sustainable Places, and Vibrant Economy— contained in the county’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. It also relates to the recommendations in Bike Montco: The Bicycle Plan for Montgomery County and enhances the county’s Get Out and Go initiative, which promotes exercise and wellness.
So get out go on a bicycle tour in Montco! Enjoy some fresh air and exercise, explore all of the wonderful destinations in Montgomery County, discover interesting places, and create some cherished memories along the way.
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 600+ member hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services. The award-winning website links visitors, meeting planners, tour operators, and residents to a diverse portfolio of brands focused on reasons to visit the region.