Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall News

We at BCW wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving and thank our devoted and patient friends and customers, for keeping us going. We're grateful to be a part of Philly bike community, which is the best in the world.

Except the woodchuck. The woodchuck ain't thankful for nothin'. 

As many of you know by now, the Junkyard 'Cross is a GO!

I don't want to hear about the cars, ok? You all have filthy minds. 

As I said before, and as I will continue to say until everyone is sick to death of hearing it, YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD. As in, no wanton destruction, no climbing things not designated for climbing, no being rude to long suffering junkyard guys who want you to stop wrecking their inventory. There will be things to wreck, though, we promise. 

Also, please pre-register! It is cheaper for you and you get free beer tickets and it makes our lives SO MUCH EASIER. Here is the link: pre-reg, suckaaaas!

And as always, we need VOLUNTEERS. It will be fun! You can move cars around and pre-ride the course and drink too much and snicker evilly at how hard the course will be for your friends. Steve wants a Specialty Belgian Trap that we can't tell you about yet. Email Isis at 

Speaking of Steve, we did get hold of a couple glamor shots from the fashion show. The photographer has yet to come claim Ferdinand's promised drooly kisses, and honestly we can't blame him/her. But here are the pictures.......!

Ooo la la!


We think Steve missed his true vocation. 

And now, from the shameless self-promotion department, I have an art show coming up: 

It's bike folks! In a bike co-op!

In any case, there are bikes to build and coffee to acquire, so off I go. 

What do you need to remember?

1) Pre-register! Here is the link again! 

2) Volunteer! Here is my email again!

Got it? Sure you do!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Woodchucks, Nerds, and Viking Hats

Well, the enduring image of the 2012 Philly Bike Expo appears to be this:

Where my expo at, suckaaaaa?

Seriously, that drunken 'chuck got more attention than all the bikes combined. Which is is a shame because the bikes were, as always, extraordinary. I'll put up pictures as they trickle in, of course I forgot to take any. A lot of natty people with giant cameras cornered us at intervals for interviews. While I believe my co-workers comported themselves with grace and charm, I find a camera, or worse a tape recorder, makes my brain go blank and my voice go 'Bluuuuurgh!' So it will be interesting to see the results...

Here is Jan Heine and a J P Weigle bike, looking cool as a couple of cucumbers

The Vikingcat went off without a hitch, and NO ONE DROWNED-- though a couple of insane brave lads did swim across the Schuylkill. This is disgusting, and not endorsed by the Expo, or Bilenky or ANYTHING... but they did both place, so congrats, kids. I was happy to see that the first and second place winners earned their bike and wheelset respectively by being methodical and nerdy, rather than reckless and terrifying. Philly Bike Expo-- rewarding nerdy cyclists since 2012! 

The fixed smile comes from agonizing high heeled shoes.

Steve and I both modeled in the fashion show (thanks, Philadelphia University Fashion Department! You were so very patient with us!) Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a photo of Steve struttin' his stuff. Ferdinand has promised a big, drooly cat kiss to anyone who sends us one, so get on that. 

Then of course there was a hurricane, so we all scampered home to batten our hatches and sleep for fifteen hours. We can't thank everyone enough for coming out and making the third annual Expo so wonderful. You, our clients, fellow industry folks, and just general bike lovers have made this city an amazing place for cyclists and the Expo is our way of saying thank you. There's a post-Expo retrofit sale if you happen to need your bike chopped, It's on our homepage. 


Well, there are bikes to catch up on, a shop to clean, a pile of retrofits, a bunch of neglected paperwork...


Well, it will probably happen and if it does it will be on the 16th of December. The junkyard guys are still kind of ticked off that you freakin' hooligans overenthusiastic 'cross fans bashed up a bunch of their cars and inventory. This year you're going to have to promise to behave and pay a little more-- they want to have a couple of guys onsite preventing damage. We want this to keep going and we know you do too, and the ill-advised nature of the course will remain unchanged. We just need the spectators to not destroy things. This shouldn't be a problem, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, we'll keep you posted. 

No promises of sheep, though! 

Unless you bring a sheep. And it has to behave itself too!

Happy real fall! The best cycling weather. Keep dry, ride safe, and PLEASE no more swimming across the Schuylkill. Yuck.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Expo Countdown!

It's almost that time! The armory is rented, the booths are just about sold out, and the seminar schedule is beginning to get finalized. Everyone is stoked of course, but event planning is SO much harder than framebuilding. We're all very grateful to Bina for doing most of it.

Hmm, Ferdinand just gave me a dirty look and jumped off my lap. We're all very grateful to Bina AND Ferdinand for doing most of it. Ok, fine. ALL of it. Geez, cat.

Lumbering off to scare pigeons to death

If you need yet another reason to get excited, this will be your first opportunity to see Steve struttin' down the catwalk in the expo fashion show. I TOLD you he was getting into modeling! 

Soon to be on the cover of Belarussian Vogue

Tom said he'd only model if he could wear a tutu, but when I suggested it to the lovely and hardworking fashion students organizing the event, they were not amused. For the record, this will be your first, last, and only chance to see me in a miniskirt and a Bandbox helmet. Plan accordingly. 

So me!

The alleycat, which is still confidentially awesome, is all planned out too. The rout is fairly direct, so intrepid out of towners won't be unduly handicapped. On that note, I NEED VOLUNTEERS! Your job will be to hang out at checkpoints and watch racers do goofy/epic things. There will be beer. And free entry to the expo. Email me at . Thanks! I know you all won't let me down. 

Spokecard epicness!

Even with all the planning and bike wrangling, we did manage to get out to Connecticut where the inestimable J. P. Weigle hosts his yearly French Fender Day.

French Fenders for DAYS!

We looked at thoroughly overwrought vintage bikes and chatted with their incredibly well informed owners. I realized that ninety percent of the conversation would make exactly no sense to a non-bike nerd. It was nice.  

Oo la la

Thanks to the gallant Mr Weigle for having everyone over. His shop (and bikes) are AMAZING. 

See any dirt? Me neither. 

Which reminds me, all this expo planning means that no one has swept in ages. I think it might be time...

See you all on the 27th!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall Minutia

It may still be 90 degrees out but we at BCW smell fall! With expo and 'cross season on the horizon we bravely face the daily torrential downpours. The only one who objects is Ferdinand, since the first thing a soggy cyclist wants to do on arrival at the shop is grab something big, dry, fluffy and warm which is usually him. This interferes with his framebuilding,

Budge up, Tom, I got this. 

And his secretarial work: 

Keep your hair on. You can have these papers after my nap, capishe? 

We wish Ferdinand would help with Expo planning, but when we ask he gets very busy washing and pretends we're not there. I guess he realizes how much work it is. But it's worth it! Here's just a few of the things we're looking forward to:


*The Ideal Fit - Steven LeBoyer, Serotta Fit Lab Director

*(topic to be determined) - Jan Heine, Bicycle Quarterly

*Yoga for Cyclists - Ruchama Bilenky, Certified yoga therapist and instructor

*Internal Gear Hub Panel: Exploring your Inner Gear - Rob Sherlock, NuVinci; Thomas Faust, Bilenky Cycle Works; Christopher Denoma, Shimano

*(topic to be determined) - Bike Snob NYC

*A Collector’s Perspective on Bicycle Evolution - Sam Fitzsimmons

There are also dozens of exhibitors signed up with more joining every day, a gravel ride with Fuzzy from Bike Revolutions, and the TOTALLY AMAZING VIKINGCAT that I can't share the details of yet. Also, the fashion show. Should I convince Ferdinand to model? Anyone got a cat kit? Size XXXL. 

No matter what, you should register now. Especially since the first fifty registrants get a free poster signed by yours truly which looks like this: 

They don't have helmets because it's 1950. So hush.

Life in the shop continues to be cheerfully chaotic. Tom's working on an incredibly blinged-out all stainless bike, that looks like this: 

High polish BB shell, brushed tubing. BLING!

After hours of polishing, Tom looks like this:

Hey, those threads add beard density and volume. Cool!

Seriously, wait till you see this one. In other news, we finally got stainless forkblades from Reynolds! Only eight months after they were promised (ahem). I'm especially stoked since I get to finish my stainless ultralight (finally). And those of you waiting for stainless forks can now get solid deadlines. Stainless forks all round!

FINAL NOTE! We still need Expo volunteers. Please get in contact with Bina ( ). We can't do this without you!

Happy riding and don't use cats for towels (unless you ask nicely first).


Monday, July 23, 2012

Shark Week Special!

You thought the humble woodchuck was our favorite animal, didn't you? Well, you'd mostly be right, especially considering who our boss is:

I will never get tired of this picture.

However, this is the time of year to honor our toothy underwater friends, along with our furry underground ones: SHARK WEEK!


Here's how it works: 
*You call up with your deposit ASAP (we're only taking ten bikes- first come first served).
*You get us your frame by August 9th (all titanium frames are welcome).
*We cut, fit and weld in your couplers.
*Your bike will be on its way back to you by August 18th.
*You get $100 off! 

What's not to like? We guarantee that no more than two frames will come back with a shark in the tubing-- that's pretty good odds, right there.  

For those of you afraid of sharks, we will get back to our regularly scheduled woodchuck-related specials shortly. 

Meanwhile, we're already kicking into serious gear for the expo. Races must be planned, food trucks must be booked, eccentric framebuilders must be coaxed out of their hermitages. And we need volunteers! Ferdinand says so. 

Yo. Do I look like I can do everything myself? Huh?

If you want to avoid the wrath of the cat and help us out, email Bina: . 

AND, here's a sneak look at what is going to be THE coolest alleycat in the history of alleycats:

Vikings always ride trikes, didn't you know that?

There might even be sharks. 



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We need your help!

So! We are applying for Mission: Small Business which is a $250, 000 grant for eligible small businesses. In order to qualify we need to rack up 250 votes by Friday. We know you won't let us down! Here's the link.  Follow it, scroll down sign in via Facebook, and cast your vote. Also, please share with everyone you can think of.

If we get the grant I want to put in a green roof with a goat on it.

I thought I made this up! 

Our SERIOUS goals will be posted on the Mission: Small Business website in the next few days. These include switching to more sustainable energy sources (wind, solar) increasing our staff, increasing our space, getting more involved in the community, and a woodchuck sanctuary. 

What else are we doing in these long Summer days?

Getting our beauty rest, that's what!

We're making two nearly identical viewpoints for a French film production. It appears to be about a little boy with cerebral palsy who competes in the French Ironman with his papa. Beyond that, the language barrier has shrouded further description. Also, who knew the French Ironman was a thing? We'll keep you posted!

Here is our loudest bike to date: 

Its effect is positively blinding.

Both the owner and Naomi are totally gone on Wonder Woman, so this is a culmination of decades of devotion. Also, it is reflective. 

I must cut this post short, since bikes must be finished so tours can be toured. And cast that vote!  Ferdinand says so:

Cast your vote so I eat goat.

Thanks so much!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Crew Member! Also, Events.

The BCW crew is honored to have a new member. His name is Ferdinand and he is enormous:


Upon his arrival all the local vermin packed their bags and moved to the auto place next door. The tardy ones got eaten. He likes to sit outside and stare down the junkyard cats, who quail and scram. With the local wildlife duly intimidated, Ferdinand moved on to customer service:

"No, we won't fix your Huffy. Next!"

Once he has all the customers under control he plans to start welding. We need to get him a smaller hat, though.

"You calling my head small? MY head?"

When we're not chumming with the cat, we're planning a couple of events in the near future:

1) BIKE RACE DAY! This is when all the cyclists in Philadelphia get up first thing in the morning and watch attractive Europeans labor up the Wall in Manayunk. This year there's going to be an amateur race before the pros come roaring out, where roadies can pay a lot of money and ride in a tight peloton. We're getting up extra early to see what happens:

In all seriousness, good luck, local roadies!!

Meanwhile we'll be showing some bikes in the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, so stop by. 

2) The NEXT weekend is the Cirque Du Cyclisme! We are rolling down to Leesberg Virginia with a truck full of bikes for a weekend of nerding out, hanging out, and riding around (Leesburg is pretty and hilly, if I recall). We hope to see all our retro-dork friends and customers there!

There will be wool.

Also, pick up one of our new T-shirts:

We like lugs.

Ferdinand won't be coming. He has a shop to run, after all. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Well the Works race was pretty magnificent-- lots of money raised for Neighborhood Bike Works, lots of happy racers, and the paint job was won by a surprised messenger looking dude. AND, Naomi and I both placed in the top ten (she beat me). Which I DON'T mind (much) because I just couldn't bring myself to eat mayonnaise by the spoonful for extra points (she could).

Ewwwww! Thanks in advance for not minding me ripping off your photo, Jesse.

We also danced like hoagies-- though not this well:

Photo credit GirlBikeDog

Not to mention riding into bollards on kids bikes, drawing hoagie bikes, counting doorways, and throwing bike parts at things. For the kids!

Now we're recovered, here are some things we've been up to in the shop:

Sexy headtube lugs

Sexy seatstay caps

Sexy custom fork/rack rising from the tank like a mermaid

Sexy custom bottom bracket shell in progress

Super sexy snout!

And finally, a bike so bright and sparkly you can see it with your eyes shut:

Day glo makes you faster.

That's all I got!


IMPORTANT EDIT! Naomi would like everyone to know that she ate Veganaise by the spoonful instead of regular mayonnaise. I personally think that's even grosser, but who am I to judge...

Monday, April 30, 2012

May 5th is the Best Day

May is the month where there are so many bike events going on that there simply isn't enough of us to go around, both physically and mentally. In fact the pressure of hitting events, cranking out bikes, and doing our own riding has taken its toll on Kasy... 


And Steve....

We don't let him sleep inside because he would snore the roof right off

This past weekend was fairly low-key-- I went to the New Amsterdam Bike show and Steve ogled Amish cargo bikes in Lancaster-- but NEXT WEEKEND.....

First thing on Saturday we'll be at the Trexlertown Swap Meet, selling Cool Stuff (Steve has an awesome and mobile Cool Stuff collection. It mobilizes itself right out of its crates and into everyone's personal space, so please buy as much Cool Stuff as possible). 

Every cyclist in Philadelphia goes here-- the streets empty completely on swap days.

Depending on van space, this might be your chance to acquire a giant, vintage, beautiful Sterling tandem:
The owner traded it in for a smaller, couplered Bilenky

So be there. 

THEN, hop in your overstuffed car and hare back to Philadelphia top speed for the BEST ALLEYCAT OF THE YEAR:


If last year was any indication, there will be a great rout, awesome activities at every checkpoint, many, many amazing prizes, and a delightful knowledge that your participation is benefitting Neighborhood Bike Works. Here is the website again.  

Even if you can't make the race, definitely be at the afterparty. Goldsprints, raffles, beers, and possibly a chance to see me dancing in public (no cameras, please). 

Oh, and we're donating a paintjob. It's for the kids!

If you feel like your Saturday is a bit under scheduled, you can always go to this in between the Swap and the Race:

I'm kind of stoked about this.

On Sunday? We'll be sleeping. 

See you all May 5th!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Days

Good news! That longtail that got stolen in San Francisco has been reunited with its owner!

That's love, right there.

I'm going to try to get hold of Matt to find out the full story, it sounds epic. 

We got a woodchuck! He showed up in a box! 

8 cm seat tube, we are ON it.

He arrived just in time to embark on our epic spring camping trip-- we rode out to Evansburg State Forest on the treacherous trail of the Perkiomen (actually flat as a shovel, but that doesn't sound too macho). Here we are waiting for Steve: 

Must check the email one more time!

We couldn't have picked a lovelier spring day or better company. It was nice to see a ton of cyclists out on the trail, though not a Bilenky among them (come ON, local customers!) I was hoping for more photos of us looking adventurous, but most of them seem to be us eating or lounging. 

Guarding the B.O.B.

Elliot Faust on his first tour, facing off with the 'chuck.

Miles from civilization, Jake's right pedal decided to take off for greener pastures. He bravely muddled along on the stub until we found a bike shop in Collegeville. Steve was treated like the celebrity he is, of course, and Jake was rolling again in no time. Thanks, guys!

Collegeville Bike Sports-- Good dudes. 

Once we arrived at the campsite we found it crawling with boyscouts, who offered us large quantities of meat. They had thick central NY accents and were aggressively friendly. "This is what angels look like," said Jake. 

In the morning, Steve practiced his modeling skillz...


And the woodchuck ate all the sugar...

Bad dietary choices, chum.

And we looked at flowers...

Spring ephemerals everywhere!

So touring season has officially begun. Do YOU have your touring bike ready to go? BECAUSE YOU SHOULD. 

Ride safe, ride far, and don't forget your 'chuck.