This past weekend, thousands of bike enthusiasts converged on the PA Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia, PA for the 2017 Philly Bike Expo, a gathering of bike companies, framebuilders, artists, organizations and other exhibitors representing over 150 brands. In addition to the expo, the event also features seminars and group rides for a full weekend of fun.
In the expo, it was great to see a strong presence of local framebuilders and artisans. As a Pennsylvania native, the east coast is near and dear to my heart and underrepresented at a lot of bigger shows. Some favorites included Engin Cycles, as native as native gets out of Philadelphia; Weaver Cycle Works from New Jersey; Groovy Cycleworks, now based in Ohio but with Pennsylvania roots; and Winter Bicycles, a transplant from Oregon to good ol’ central Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of some of these builders and more this upcoming week.
The expo was hopping both Saturday and Sunday with people of all ages and from all walks of life – middle-aged and older couples who had obviously ridden there, still clad in clipless shoes; families with kids; groups of cyclists of all styles, from racers to messengers to weekend warriors. Several local youth cycling programs were represented, including Cadence Youth Cycling (who recently published a post about the Youth Bike Summit on our site) and Neighborhood Bike Works, who provided a free bike valet indoor parking service all weekend for attendees of the Philly Bike Expo.
Seminars provided opportunities to learn about topics ranging from bike fitting and yoga to local trail projects and non-profits to bikepacking and how to use the bicycle as a tool for simplification. I attended the latter, a highly informative yet hilarious talk presented by Benedict Wheeler, better known as @ultraromance on the interwebs. He spoke about his own experiences with the bicycle, from exploring as a kid to racing to using it as a tool for transportation and then falling in love with exploration and going slow again. He then opened up the floor for discussion and questions about absolutely anything, from what hair products he uses (joke) to what he takes on long bike tours and how to find a good spot to camp along the side of the road.
Multiple organized group rides a day offered opportunities to get out an explore the city and its parks. There was a Brompton breakfast ride, a ride with the Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling Program, historical and art tours via bicycle, a cross ride and a morning “Coffee in the Woods” ride – something for everyone, no matter what type of riding you prefer.
This year, the Philly Bike Expo had a record year for vendors and attendees, and from what I saw, it only stands to grow. It’s a can’t-miss event for bicycle enthusiasts. You can find more general show info at www.phillybikeexpo.com and stay tuned for builder profiles and bicycle eye candy on our site later this week!Tweet Print