Author: Lisa Marie Patzer
In 2006, when I moved to Philly from Denver, I decided to sell my Subaru and see if I could get by without a car. I relied on SEPTA, Philly Car Share, and my two trusty bicycles for transportation. Since then, I’ve developed a new appreciation for what people do with bikes. This first picture is of a 1988 Pinarello Montello and is very similar to the bike I ride around town. A very average bike.
But then there is this guy.
He works for Wash Cycle Laundry, Philadelphia’s sustainable laundry and linen rental service. They haul tons of laundry every week using bicycles and trailers. Bilenky Cycle Works, (BCW) is a specialty bicycle shop in North Philly dedicated to making custom bicycles “one frame at a time.” They can make you a pizza delivery bike similar to this one if you want.
In October of 2010, BCW organized the first ever Philly Bike Expo, bringing together bicycle makers and enthusiasts from around the country. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from that event.
The University of Pennsylvania has it’s own history with the bicycle. This photo, made available by the University Archives Digital Image Collection, was taken in 1914 in front of College Hall. I would like to see the woman in the white dress and big hat riding one of those bikes.
And this was taken in 1963 in front of Annenberg Center.
This illustration is from the University Calendar, September 1905, and below it is a black and white drawing by Morton Livingston Schamberg, circa 1900.
And here is a photo I took today on campus.
Old and new, bicycles are a part of the Philadephia experience and life on campus. For more information about bicycling in Philadelphia, check out The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia web site.