How a Philly shop built a bike — quickly and at a discount — for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The buy – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Stephen Bilenky wasn’t positive what to suppose when he received an e-mail from the U.S. State Division on Could 23 asking whether or not he may make a motorcycle — in lower than two weeks.

That was a giant request for Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia’s Olney part, a small enterprise whose clients could have to attend not less than six months for a bicycle and typically as much as 18 months, relying on how personalized.

What’s extra, the price range was simply $1,500. Costs for the 75 or so bikes Bilenky makes yearly begin at $4,500.

However when he realized the title of the eventual rider — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson — he determined to go on with it. “This is a chance” to lift his store’s profile, he thought on the time. “Managed chaos” adopted, mentioned Bilenky, who has been in enterprise for 37 years.

Bilenky, 67, and his three workers pulled it off, ending the {custom} body comprised of Columbus metal and portray it by Memorial Day weekend. The purpose was to have the bike prepared as a present from President Joe Biden to Johnson, an avid bike owner, on the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England. The summit begins Friday.

The bike is painted blue with pink and white decorations to evoke the British Union Jack, signatures of the 2 world leaders on the cross bar, and U.S. and British flags on the pinnacle tube. It was shipped June 4. The matching, custom-painted helmet took longer, and needed to observe on Monday.

One of many challenges of the State Division request was that the bike have as many U.S.-made parts as doable.

The edges got here from Velocity USA in Michigan. The hubs, cranks, and headset are from White Industries in California. Sram, in Chicago, provided the derailleurs and equipment shift levers. The saddle got here from Selle Anatomica, additionally in California.

“It was a loopy 10 days,” Bilenky mentioned.

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