Philadelphia Bike Expo is the brainchild of Stephen Bilenky, owner of the Philadelphia custom bike shop Bilenky Cycle Works. La Colombe is a proud sponsor of this event, now in its third year. We stopped in the Bilenky shop and talked with expo organizer, Bina Bilenky, to find out what inspires this unique weekend of bicycles.
Due the lack of grassroots cycling events on the east coast they created this event. After attending a friends bicycle event in San Francisco, Stephen wanted to do something similar back home. The idea was a consumer show with a real cycling culture vibe. Community oriented and open to cyclists of all types. Adding to the vibe is the use of an interesting space for the event, the 23rd Street Armory, which is a lot different than your usual convention hall.
The expo has been very successful since its start. The first year attendance was expected to be light, but they had an amazing turnout of people. There was a line of people waiting to get in when the doors opened on the first day. A large winter storm settled into Philadelphia the weekend of the second year and expectations were again low because of the snow. Cyclists stood up and rode in on the ice to the expo in amazing numbers. The bike valet was full, it showed the expo team how passionate and enthusiastic cyclists in the tri-state area are.
This year is packed with amazing seminars on a wide variety of cycle topics. This year many exhibitors are returning as well as a few new exhibitors like Shimano Cycling, Knog, a manufacturer of cycle accessories and several bag makers from the west coast. The swap meet on Sunday, organized by the New York Jumble, will be enormous and for sure the place to get great deals. Another highlight is a gathering of food trucks of all types for expo attendees to enjoy. Make sure to get there early on Sunday for this.
Top Expo Events to Attend
Internal Gear Hub Panel: Exploring your Inner Gear
– A multi company demo and discussion on these amazing hubs.
Building the Perfect Bike series
– Seminars on the ideal bike fit to materials to paint and accessories, each presented by an expert in that area of bike building
Vikingcat – A Viking themed Alley Cat race Saturday at 3pm
– The main checkpoint is on the river where riders will have to boat across the water