Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good bye and Thank you.

With 2010 coming to an end, we couldn't help but take a moment to think back on the past year and all that it encompassed. 2010 was a year of success, growth and hardship.

First- the success. The first Philadelphia Bike Expo was a huge success and we at the expo COULD NOT have done it without the help of our volunteers, attendees, exhibitors and the BCW staff. It was our hope to create an event that we, the city and all involved could be proud of, and we think we did that with this event. It is not lost on us who made it what it was and we can not thank you enough!

Next- the growth. The BCW Junkyard race was with out a doubt, the most successful installment of the event yet! We had NO IDEA of the turn out that we were going to recieve and we were gladly overwhelmed. With that being said, next year will feature more races, more prizes and ....MORE BEER! 

We at BCW would like to thank everyone who supported, raced and attended. We had a blast, we do this for both you and us and we are so glad that it is appreciated, and that everyone has such a wonderful time.

Third- the hardships. 

Some of you may or may not be aware, but a mainstay at BCW suffered from a terrible accident when preparing the course for the Junkyard race. Englishman, bike builder and resident Indian food afficianato (you do know, he lived on a beach in India and once saw the smiths, dont you?) Simon Firth dropped a GIANT beam on his foot while building the course. Subsequently, his big toe is about as useless as using anything but a BMX or downhill bike through that woods part of the junkyard race. Its so bad he may even lose it. So we would first like to wish Simon our best, second we would like for anyone who may know a guy who can get us a big toe to be in touch and third we'd like to ask you to keep checking www.bilenky.com for upcoming information on a fundraiser for Simon's bar....I mean medical bills that he will be accruing as he is due to be laid up for quite a bit.

Again, Thank you all for everything. We have MANY more exciting things in store for 2011-

A special NAHBS surprise.....

As well as the Junkyard 2011 race and The 2011 Philadelphia Bike Expo. Its set to be another exciting year and we hope to share it with all of you!

See you all on the other side! Ride Safe!

Steve Bilenky
Ray Hanstein

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Good good things.

We love our customers! We know that without them the happy little collection of misfits that make up Bilenky Cycle Works would not exist. So when this note of interest was passed along to me by (the lovely and talented :) ) Molly Jacobs of Bike & Build, I felt the need to share it with our readers in hopes of gaining support for the cause.

Bike & Build organizes cross-country bicycle trips which benefit affordable housing groups. Specifically, they fund projects planned and executed by young adults. Over the past 8 seasons they have donated more than $2.7MM; built for more than 80,000 hours; pedaled over 5,000,000 miles; and engaged more than 1250 young adults in spreading the word about the affordable housing crisis in America.

Over eight seasons, Bike & Build has contributed $2,780,000 to housing groups to fund projects planned and executed by young adults; this includes more than $490,000 donated from the summer of 2010. Through pre-arranged gifts, Bike & Build funds affordable housing projects executed by their participants in communities where their events begin. Through their grant program, their organization identifies and supports exciting projects involving young people all throughout the nation.
Beginning with dipping their wheels in Atlantic Ocean, the participant of Bike and Build make their way across America via bicycle stopping along the way to help affordable housing projects.
This year, one of our customers is participating in Bike & Build, pedaling 3,800 from Maine to Santa Barbara. Marshall Moore of McLean, VA had his Surly Long Haul Trucker retrofitted with us last year and will be riding it across the country in the name of affordable housing!

As part of Marshall's trip, he must fundraise a minimum of $4,000. Below is a link where you can help Marshall's hopes of creating a better future become a reality! Please donate for yourself, donate as a gift or at the very least pass this information along to someone who is able to help. Too often during the holiday season we lose sight of the notion that the holidays are about GIVING and making a better place for all of us. By donating what you can to Marshall you are helping allow someone an opportunity to better the world through way of your generosity. All donations are tax deductible. In addition, Bike & Build accepts matching employee donations and issues receipts for donations over $75.00 or upon request.
For more information on Bike & Build, please visit http://www.bikeandbuild.org. To read more about Marshall, make a donation to his campaign, or track his progress, visit his rider page at http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/4631

Thanks. Happy Holidays. Safe Travels.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A day at the races (with some casualties and lots of beer)

Greetings from an exhausted and moderately hungover Bilenky crew.

The 5th annual junkyard cross was huge-- a hundred and twenty racers and at least as many spectators, who banged on cowbells, heckled, or, like me, bit all their nails off whilst watching their favorite people riding through our most technical course yet.

The set up didn't go nearly as smoothly as the race. While moving the framework for the (epic and slippery) over-under obstacle, a big I-beam landed on Simon's foot and broke two toes. Yikes. Despite shattered bones and tons of painkillers Mr. Safety Firth still MC'd,

And threw things at people,

Get well soon, Simon! Check back for info on a toe-related fundraiser. Goldsprints, maybe?

On top of that, our intrepid trail builder had to spend race-day in bed with food poisoning. Waft good karma at Carl, too, without whom these awesome trails wouldn't have happened.

But the race had to go on. Registration was swamped the minute it opened. (And thanks to our brave impromptu volunteers who handled it)

First stop: artisan beer tap.

Next stop: psychedelic taco truck.

Once everyone was sufficiently tanked and fed, it was time to go. CXHairs.com has a great video up already:
http://vimeo.com/18000092 (For the record, I think everyone bailed on that see-saw at least once. Or maybe that's wishful thinking, because I did).

And here is a helmet cam video!

And a few stills:

 The see-saw took some nerve (thanks to Joe P for building and bringing it!)

 No 'cross is complete without a bear.

 Round the Sex Pit and into the snow plough!

The youngest rider tore it up.

So did these ladies.

Keep checking back for more images and films, I'll put them up as we get them.

The best vantage point was definitely off the top of the trailers in the junkyard:
How many races does one watch by climbing up a precarious ladder onto a roof with bumpers all over it? With good beer, great tacos, and the best company in the world? I watched racers zoom by below me, mostly avoiding the temptation to dump beer on them, unless they asked.

Congratulations to our winners, who carried off some sweet prizes from White Industries, Chris King, and others. Miraculously, no one got seriously hurt, though there were plenty of dings and scrapes. I watched one guy slide off the over-under, grab the railing, dangle for a moment, then haul himself back up. Someone on the ground caught his bike, too. (If anyone has any footage/pics of this, PLEASE send them to us? It was probably the most hair-raising moment of the day.) But there were no major pile ups, and no light person got catapulted off the see-saw by a heavier person, as we all secretly hoped feared.

Then we drank more beer and threw a cracked GT at a traffic cone:

Then we rode home in the lovely afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came out, helped with set up and tear down, provided beer (that's you, Dog Fish Head!) and food and appallingly spicy seitan that nearly killed Kasy, but didn't. And of course, thanks to the the racers who braved probably toxic mud, definitely toxic puddles, janky obstacles, rusty metal and freezing cold to make a great race day.

Cheers, and here's hoping for a quick return of Simon and Carl!


EDIT: Yay! Here's the video I was looking for. Awesome. Thanks, Wade Boggs!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nothing says holidays like pneumatic clamps and see-saws...

Happy Winter from Bilenky!
It's definitely cold. Simon has grown a beard, Bob's water bottle froze on the way to work, Kasy has finally switched from shorts to long pants, and my beret collection has reached epic proportions (Carl's Christmas socks, however, have disintegrated).

So much has happened since we posted last-- the Expo was a huge success, drawing crowds of bike enthusiasts who staggered through the Armory on aesthetic overload. Can you blame them? Here's just a few of the amazing things on display:

Gorgeous Bohemian Track Bike

                                        Custom Engin stem

Really good free coffee+Citroen van+JP Weigle restored Motobecane= PERFECTION

                                                           Freestyle Demos

Sweet accessories from Fabric Horse

Neighborhood Bike Works kept visiting bikes out of trouble

It was a great experience for everyone, and we're already selling booths for next year. Thanks to our sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers and attendees for putting together something amazing.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction honored us with a show in their gallery. Here are some videos, with our camera-shyness artfully edited out.

This morning Simon turned up with a pile of pneumatic clamps from  the closing Cannondale factory in Bedford PA.
Run away! Run away!

 One of them immediately took a bite out of Ray's finger, so I'm skeptical.

It's 'Cross season, and THAT means Carl has been out mucking around in the freezing mud to construct our Junkyard Cross course.

"I've always wanted to build trails..."

So far we have two dirt singletracks, a death-defying slide down a gas tank, and a see-saw. And lots of beer and a bonfire for those of us who are wusses don't want to get our pretty bikes all muddy.

In the music world, Stephen's latest album is out to a great review, and was chosen as one of the top ten local albums of the year. Go Notekillers!

Thanks to everyone for your support, keep warm, and hope to see you at the 'cross!