Dirt Rag Magazine

Trail Talk With Cush – Going to the junkyard


Bilenky’s Junkyard Cyclo-cross celebrated its ninth anniversary and as usual, it was a scene like no other. It’s the first and only race held entirely in a junkyard.

Bilenky crop-1

More than just a legendary North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania party, it’s a signature of all that’s great with bike riding. A true gathering of tribes from not only every style and discipline of biking, but spectators as well. Given the nature of the course, namely a tough circuit around a junkyard complete with car jumps, oily concrete turns, rhythm sections made from truck and tractor tires, a giant teeter-tooter, ruthless heckling and beverage hand-ups, it’s no surprise that guys and girls with mad mountain bike technical skills and dudes on BMX bikes routinely ride away from the Lycra-clad ‘cross racers who try to make a showing. To say it’s a fun event is like saying Jesus Christ was a well known carpenter.

The man himself, Stephen Bilenky began building frames in 1983 and he still makes award winning bikes in all disciplines from a small shop nestled next to Big Guy’s Used Auto Parts, which serves as the race venue. If you don’t have this on your bucket list, you should. Next year will be the diamond celebration so bring your flask, leather jacket and anything with two wheels. See you there.

Stephen Bilenky keeps tabs on the day.

Stephen Bilenky keeps tabs on the day.

Barriers look different at a junkyard race.

Barriers look different at a junkyard race.

The Huxtable Hut heckle pit.

The Huxtable Hut heckle pit.

Officer Dangle showed up.

Officer Dangle showed up with his cat.

Care for a drink...

Care for a drink…

...from the bar...

…from the bar.

There was dirt...

There was dirt…

...and a proper pit zone.

…and a proper pit zone.

This is a door bike. it didn't handle so well.

This is a door bike. it didn’t handle so well.

The teeter-totter was a crowd pleaser.

The teeter-totter was a crowd pleaser.

And too all, filthy Santa says, have a Merry Bilenky Holiday.

“And too all,” filthy Santa says. “Have a Merry Bilenky Holiday.”


Photo Gallery: Bilenky Junkyard ‘Cross


A long-standing Pennsylvania tradition, Bilenky Cycle Works has hosted a… unique cyclocross race each winter through a salvage yard. There are no UCI officials measuring tire widths, the barriers are not to spec, and #handupsarenotacrime.

This Saturday the annual event was pushed to new levels with the influx of humanity (and inhumanity) in town for the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. The Junkyard Cross was tapped as a qualifying event for the Big Show, with heats of riders dualing for a finale and a chance to race in the Sunday’s main event. If you favored style over speed, you could still enter Sunday’s Everyone’s A Winner race, complete with universal #1 number plates.

There were a few scary moments, and likely some flat tires, but overall the event was one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve ever seen. Until Sunday that is…

Stay tuned for more!

Click here to see the gallery!

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