Kelly Drive is my favorite spot in Philly to run. It is a 2-minute walk from my house and the loop is a perfect 8.2 miles around the river. The scenery is beautiful, I can run the Art Museum steps for a little extra boost in the middle and it is filled with people watching like I’ve never seen. Just last week, I saw a woman rollerblading in a string bikini and was instantly transported to The Beverly Hills Beach Club on a short-lived mental vacation to the 90s.
For all that Kelly Drive has to offer in the way of wonderfulness, though, it has its issues. I do believe these are things that could be averted if people just used their heads. Disclaimer: I do not always use my head.
First of all, this isn’t my rule, it is the rule of all man kind – if you have ever driven a car you should be familiar with this (although if you don’t follow it on the drive you probably don’t follow it behind the wheel, either, so for that you are doubly annoying) but anyway…run right pass left. Stay to the right no matter what direction you are going. If you are running at a faster pace, take a peek over your shoulder so a bike doesn’t hit you and then take the few strides past the slower athlete and slide back over to the right. Simple.
Next, the four-way-across walkers, you know who you are, and yes you have every right to get out there, get your exercise and work it on the drive. Good for you for doing so! But you make it very difficult for everyone else who is out to do the same in a faster manner to maneuver past you because you are taking up the whole path. Maybe walk 2 by 2? You can still have all the same chatter, get the exercise and you won’t get hit by a bike or barked at by a runner.
To the “schmoopies,” yay you’re in love and that’s awesome! You want to stroll around, hold hands and act oblivious to the world around you; I applaud you for your undying love on the drive. But why do you need both of your arms stretched out to the max to take up the same space as the four acrossers? Walk closer together, love one another and we all win.
The biggest offense I encounter on the drive that makes me batty are the Kelly Drive smokers. Yes, I am aware that Kelly Drive is outdoors and a public place so you have every right to smoke. What gets me? It’s a place that screams fresh air and exercise and there you are just strolling along or sitting around smoking. There are few things worse for a runner than having to hold their breath when they have just gotten their stride because you are puffing away causing smoke clouds in this fresh air! Plus, where are you going? Did you drive to Kelly Drive so you could walk around and smoke (that’s purpose driven and not very nice)? If you’re there for the fresh air and the exercise, too, leave the smokes at home next time. Wear some sneakers and go for a walk, a jog even, before you know it you’ll be in better shape, happier and less apt to smoke!
Listen up folks, nobody is perfect. We all have our vices and we’re all human. No one, especially me, has the right to tell you what you can and cannot do. I just think it’s nice to think of the other people around you when you are out and about, I know I try to.