Bicycle racers take on a North Philly junkyard

    Each year a group cycling enthusiasts converge on a junkyard in North Philadelphia to race each other on dirt paths winding between junk cars at the annual Bilenky Cyclocross event.

    Participants race on all sorts of bikes, including homemade “funnies,” over a course that takes them under, over and around vehicles parked on the junkyard. The venue is between the railroad tracks and the bicycle factory of Bilenky Cycle Works in North Philadelphia.

    “We have a culture in Philly that is kind of DIY, rough and not always pretty. Especially this time of the year,” Harlan Price said. He is one of the local racers who came out to the event on Sunday. “A party like this charms it up,” he said after he finished first in the Men’s A race.

    The race took place under a picture perfect clear blue sky. Some riders wore costumes, and some spectators “heckle” the racers. One man waved a chainsaw at riders as they came through a partly destroyed caravan. The saw was real, but had lost its chain, making it safer.

     

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