Junkyard cats are notoriously difficult to wrangle, which is why we don’t have any portraits of Casey Sussman or Stephen Bilenky from this year’s Philly Bike Expo. What we do have, however, is a photoset documenting the duo’s new Tracklocross bikes from their collective endeavor Junkyard Cats. Paying homage to Junkyard Cross races of yesteryear, bikes that Sussman (Mars Cycles) and Bilenky (Bilenky Cycle Works) build together will feature the Junkyard Cats name, including a five-size, five-color run of handmade, lightweight steel, raw, un-filed fillet brazed Tracklocross bikes. Jarrod Bunk pulled one of these Tracklocross builds aside to photograph at this year’s Philly Bike Expo, which we’re looking at in detail below.
You might have seen this blip come across your radar over the weekend but if you haven’t check out this wild story:
“When the Biden administration needed a bike, they came to Bilenky Cycle Works… On May 23, 2021, Stephen Bilenky received a cryptic email from the US Department of State Office of Diplomatic Gifts, requesting a custom USA-made bicycle for an unnamed foreign dignitary to be delivered by June 5. “Is this a scam?” Stephen wondered. Despite his misgivings, he replied to the email and agreed to a Zoom meeting the next day. In that meeting, he was assured that this request was legit. A color scheme of red, white and blue (to match the flags of both countries) and the fact that the foreign leader was 5’8” tall were hints. Only after Bilenky agreed to take on the project was it revealed that the gift was for bicycling enthusiast and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Putting everything else aside and working 14 hour days, Stephen and his team created a masterpiece in under 2 weeks. When your country calls, you answer! The final product was delivered to Washington, DC in time for the President’s trip overseas. “
Read the full story at Bilenky!
Part of the job of a framebuilder is to address their client’s concerns and for shorter riders, having a bike that rides like it should can be a challenge. At the Philly Bike Expo this year, Bilenky took hold of one such challenge, managing to build a bike with ample standover while not sacrificing geometry or, most importantly, the ride quality.
Year after year, Bilenky‘s Junkyard Cross brings in a varying crowd of cyclists from the party-racers to the pros. This year however, Steve and the gang played their cards a little differently, embracing the SSCXWC in Philly and throwing Junkyard Cross as the qualifier for the main event. Things got weird for sure…
Photographer Chris Lee was on the scene with his 35mm SLR and DSLR to catch all the action. Check out some selects in the Gallery!
Is almost too purple for even me. Almost! See more of this rad machine at Urban Velo!
I love this video so much. If you are a supporter of hand-made bikes or hand-made anything, you should watch it.
Produced for: Bicycling Magazine /// bicycling.com
Directed by: Andrew David Watson /// andrewdavidwatson.com
Edited by: Josh Camerote /// joshcamerote.com
Music by: Southern /// southernmusic.bandcamp.com
I’ve been spending the past few days going through my “Year in Review” content and I stumbled upon these photos from the 2012 Philly Bike Expo that never made it up on the site. If you’ve spent any amount of time in Philly on your bike, chances are you’ve seen this bike zipping around town. Jorge’s Bilenky track has seen plenty of street time in its day. Prior to Jorge owning it, this green machine was owned by Roland at REload. Made by Bilenky in Philly, complete with S&S couplers, this is the ideal travel bike. I even hear there’s an S&S REload bag to match. More people need to make S&S bags!