We’ll be talking to riders from around the region for our new I Love Riding My Bike interview series. This series is modeled after the I Love Riding In the City series, published in Urban Velo from 2007-2014.
Orlando Almonte photographed by Lora Reehling
Name and pronouns: Orlando Almonte (he/him)
Current bike: ’89 Schwinn Tempo
Dream bike (if you have one): Cannondale CAADX (or some other CX bike)
What neighborhood do you live in and what’s it like riding around there?
I currently live in Fishtown near Delaware Ave. and it’s been mostly positive biking around here if you pay attention to the trolley tracks on Girard Ave. I like that that there is decent access to other parts of the city via Delaware Ave. or across Spring Garden. I also love being able to bike along the Delaware River and down to Spruce Street Harbor Park and Penn’s Landing.
What do you love about biking in Philly/the Philly region?
Philadelphia is a city of diverse neighborhoods and I love being able to bike through completely different neighborhoods, river to river, relatively quickly. Currently, I love biking up to MLK drive and seeing how many people are enjoying it and making the most of it. Prior to COVID, I loved being able to bike through Center City while people sat in traffic. The narrow streets and side streets in parts of Center City make it a pretty unique experience too compared to other cities with wider streets or different street patterns. My favorite place to bike to though is the Ben Franklin Bridge, there’s not a better view of the city.
What’s your favorite city to ride in and why?
Several years ago when I worked in Washington D.C., their public transportation system was not very reliable and I started biking to work. I was very impressed with their bike trail and bike lane system. It was where I fell in love with biking in a city; my ten-mile commute (one way) was partially on the Capital Crescent Trail. Downtown D.C. can be a ghost town some weekends and at times it felt like you owned the streets while biking by monuments and historic government buildings. I still hate their traffic circles though.
What else do you want to tell us about yourself, your bike riding, your love for Philly, etc.?
The one thing I really like about biking in Philly is the sheer amount of people biking around the city. There’s power in numbers and it makes me feel both good and safe knowing there are many people out there every day.