Two years ago, I rode with a small group of friends from Brooklyn to Philly. Well, technically from Brooklyn to the WTC PATH station, then took the train to Newark and rode from there to Philly. Rather than riding along the shoulder of busy highways and biways, we took the gravel path along the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. It was shorter than the last time we did it (previously totaling 120 miles) but that’s because the route was dialed. This year’s ride came in around 100 miles and barely breaking 1,700′ of climbing. Nothing to brag about but for someone like me, who hasn’t experienced an actual Fall in a few years, it was a lovely ride.
Shot with my Yashica T4 and cheap Kodak film. Check out more photos in the gallery.
Details, oh the details. This magnificant J.P. Weigle randonneur bike was propped up in the Bicycle Quarterly / Compass Bicycles booth at the Philly Bike Expo this year. And yet, for the life of me, I couldn’t make my way through the crowd to reach Jan Heine or Peter in order to photograph it the first day of the show.
Once I got their attention, I rolled this beauty out into the overcast skies for some lens love. Where do I begin? Herse cranks, SON hub, Mafac brakes, NOT Reynolds 531 decal. It’s impeccable. Even though I’m indifferent about 650B wheels on larger frames, I can surely confess my love for this piece of work. Somehow, the proportions work and this bike just pops. See for yourself in the gallery!
At the 2012 Philly Bike Expo, one brand I was looking forward to meeting the most was Swift Industries. Their small, yet productive workshop puts out some of the best looking touring bags out there. From small to large panniers, saddle bags, rando bags and even Cetma porteur bags, their entire line screams functionality with personality. Rather than try to photograph the bags inside the convention, I rolled it outside.
These bags are all made by hand in Seattle, Washington and are fully customizable. Check out more below!
It’s kind of sad to see fewer and fewer frame builders showcasing track bikes and fixed gears at shows like the Philly Bike Expo. There’s nothing more elegant than a cleanly-proportioned bike meant to travel around the city and this Royal H Cycles fixed gear is exactly that. The colors just pop in these photos. Check out more below.
During our ride to Philly from Brooklyn, I had the pleasure of staring down this beauty. My friend Harry Swartzman is close friends with Jamie Swan, a frame builder residing on Long Island, NY. Jamie’s work is very precise, clean, classy and yet, Harry’s bike falls into his atypical character.
Harry wanted a light tourer, with modern lines. A long, slammed stem, with a sloping top tube and fits much more like a road bike than a tourer. Just look at the drive-side elevation. It’s mean! Jamie often prefers more traditional road, randonneur and tourers but I think this frame is exquisite.
If my Geekhouse Team Mudville was a little too subdued for your taste, maybe Brad’s team bike is more up your alley. Brad’s bike was the only one in the Geekhouse Philly Bike Expo stable but the bright purple powder attracted crowds all weekend.
This purple race machine has yet to see the mud but if you follow Geekhouse on Instagram (@GeekhouseBikes), you’ll see it covered next weekend. Til then, check out more photos below.
One of my favorite bikes at the Philly Bike Expo was this Chapman Cycles townie. At first glance, it may look like a pretty standard parts build but when you look closely, you’ll notice a lot of vintage parts in a dark black anodized finish. Brian Chapman really took his time with this one and it shows. The custom anodized Honjo fenders did it for me but don’t overlook all the frame details!
Each year, the guys at Landlords always come to the Philly Bike Expo bearing vintage bikes, parts and chill dub vibes. This year, they set up a shrine to the cycling gods and demigods of yesteryear. Check it out!
This year, I took on the Philly Bike Expo a little differently than year’s past. I didn’t want to even bother trying to cover it all, much less photograph all the Beautiful Bicycles in less than ideal lighting. Instead, I shot what I thought was interesting inside many of the booths and took bikes that I admired outdoors for some lens love.
We’ll start this off with a simple gallery, check it out below and there will be many more bicycles covered here over the next few days.
This weekend is the Philly Bike Expo. I’ll be there for the third year covering the event and partaking in the festivities. Scroll through my coverage from last year here.