President’s Note: This event is not being put on by the Society of Three Speeds, therefore, I have nothing to do with it nor have any more knowledge of what’s going on. But I’m just relaying the info! In short: If you want more info, contact the organizer via the email below, NOT by leaving a comment here!
For nine years, the Great British Bike Weekend in Philadelphia — “Three Days for 3-Speeds” — celebrated the Classic English Roadster Bicycle. It attracted a wide bunch of British bike riders and fans for rides, rallies, and pub visits, on a shoestring budget.
A shadow of sadness lay over the last GBBW nearly a decade ago; Raleigh had just ended a century of steel frame production in the UK, and Sturmey-Archer had moved hub production to Taiwan. Even Brooks, the saddle-maker, was in danger of closing.
But English cycle manufacturers did not surrender. Brompton of London have just doubled the size of their West London factory; Sir Alex Moulton has passed away, but his namesake company continues to refine their highly engineered bicycles; and Pashley still craft roadster bicycles that look as though they rolled off a Canterbury lane in the 1930s.
Now, the GBBW is back, with a wider focus and more fun.
We’re reaching out to owners of vintage 3-speeds, to be sure; if you ride a Rudge, a Robin Hood, a Raleigh, Hercules, a Dunelt or any of the classic and colorful roadster bikes made in the millions, you’re invited.
But we are also expecting to see Brompton folders, Moulton “F” and Spaceframe machines, and Pashleys—“Straight Outta Stratford-On-Avon” at the GBBW.
Philadelphia is a great biking town, and we’re right on the Northeast Corridor, easy to get to by all sorts of modes! Enjoy great cycling in our historic city.
Here’s the rough schedule:
7 pm. OPENING RECEPTION & EVENING RIDE;
Starts/finishes: Bridgewaters Pub, Amtrak 30th Street Station. 30th & Market Sts. (lights required)
10 a.m. MORNING SHOP RIDE.
Visit three Philadelphia shops with strong ties to the British cycling tradition. Tea will be served.
Starts: Trophy Bikes, 712 N. 2nd St.
1 p.m. BRITBIKE WORKSHOPS
Hands on discussions of what makes British bikes tick.
(Topics/Locations TBD) Bring your notebook!
2-3 pm LUNCH (this is free time)
BUT we recommend Philadelphia’s Chinatown, and Reading Terminal Market, both nearby.
4:30 p.m. Our signature event: THE GREAT BRITISH BIKE & PUB CRAWL
Philadelphia has a great selection of wonderful taverns—we’ll visit a handful by bike during this
easy-paced, 10-mile ride that ends in the early evening hours. We’ll have dinner in the second or third pub. Bikes will be attended at all stops.
Starts: Grace Tavern 23rd and South Sts. Jacket and tie suggested.
NOTE: Rider of the NEWEST bike in the group is required to purchase a pint for the rider of the OLDEST bike at this event!
11 a.m. We’ll hop the SEPTA Regional Rail to a nice location, then bike back along the path to
30th Street Station and Bridgewaters’ Pub for a closing convocation and pints!
Meets: Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Filbert entrance. FREE ROLL OF KODAK TRI-X film to the first 5 riders to arrive with, shall we say, real cameras.
Suggested donation: $10 any one day. $11 all three days!
Meals, pints, train fare all pay-as-you go.
Please RSVP with some information about your British-made bike
— with GBBW15 in the subject line.