Best Inner-City Bike Ride

Penn Valley Park through the River Market and West Bottoms (pre- and post-rush hours)

A bike ride through the downtown and the West Bottoms? Sure. Park your car in Penn Valley Park on Penn Valley Drive, and ride to 27th Street across Southwest Trafficway to Summit, and head north to West Pennway. That was the tough part and the heaviest traffic on this 10-mile route. Cresting West Pennway's long, gentle hill at 18th Street, buzz down Beardsley Road above the West Bottoms to Fourth Street. Get over to Third Street to ride past the River Market, and take a left on Grand. Then ride by the old steam plant and onto the Grand Street Viaduct above the historic Westport Landing. The viaduct drops you at Berkley Riverfront Park, where the half-mile riverside concourse is a good place to pedal easy and look out over the river. Then, it's back across the viaduct and Third Street to the Woodswether Viaduct. This bumpy but flat road takes you past the route's one unpleasantry -- the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant. But there's a great deal of postindustrial landscape, including the river terminals, some former residences, old apartment buildings, and existing businesses. James Street takes you to Genessee and past the Live Stock Exchange Building, Kemper Arena, and the American Royal. A left on Avenida Cesar Chavez takes you straight back to Summit -- or a quick right down Allen Road to the myriad Mexican restaurants on Southwest Boulevard.
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