Category Archives: local

Oh, the places you’ll go with a bike & SEPTA

Several years ago, there was a lonely bus rack. Purchased by cycling advocates to encourage people to use SEPTA buses in conjunction with their bikes, most of the time this bus rack stayed in the back of a dark garage.

lone rack
We agreed to store this bus rack, which ended up being pulled out to the sidewalk each morning. New bikes built were displayed here for passersby, providing a constantly changing street-side display.  This worked well for a number of years.  And I noticed this bus rack turning invisible. No one noticed it. Those that walked in commenting on the bike on display outside, right on the bus rack, didn’t even know it was a bus rack.

In conversation, though, we discovered that many people didn’t know quite how to get their bikes on a bus. More than we had realized. So we decided we needed a bus behind the rack to encourage questions and learning.

Then I saw Meg Lemieur post a photo of a garage door with a heart.
garage door with heart

Surprised, we called Meg, who agreed to paint a bus mural for us! And managed to create a very large mural in her very tiny studio.

Even the delivery of mural to our shop in her very tiny car was creative, with use of air mattress and shrink wrap.

mural delivery

The day Meg delivered the mural, our very loyal customer & friend Charles was visiting. And offered to help mount the mural on our outside wall. Follow Charles & Afshin’s installation here.

We soon discovered that this 2-dimensional work of art needed to fit the 3-dimensional world of the bus rack, which involved creating wooden bumpers for the bus. A week or so later, the bus rack finally met it’s bus!

Oh, the places you’ll go with a bike and SEPTA!


Thrifty Thursdays begin at PHEW…BYOB!

Bring your own bike.  Use our tools, space, and know-how.

Bike Fixing Stations

Don’t know how? Learn from each other. Like what? how to shift gears, adjust brakes, fix a flat tire, get to work safe & dry, and more. And share your cycling stories about the more enjoyable routes.

Thrifty Thursdays provides our neighborhood a weekly opportunity to maintain their own bikes and share cycling stories, with guidance from our staff and friends.

When? Every Thursday 6-8pm, starting this Thursday

Where? at PHEW! the bike shop at 7153 Sprague St, 19119

Cost? Sliding scale of $5 – $15 to cover cost of tools & supplies

Questions? Reach us at 215.821.9266 or

So, don’t be shy, come on by for Thrifty Thursdays at PHEW!, your neighborhood bike shop!

From bucket to bike trunk…

We’ve all seen them… buckets from cat litter, bird feed, even feta cheese with a square or rectangular opening.

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If you’re a regular purveyor of these, you’ve already come up with secondary uses for these buckets: storing out of season items, around the garden for schlepping rocks & weeds,  as drums or seats at outdoor parties, etc.

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Over the winter, we re-imagined these as trunks for your bike. A quick Google search (bucket panniers) showed many others had had the same idea, posting their photos and DIY instructions.  But what if you’re not handy? And just need a sturdy, lidded, water-tight, rodent-resistant container to get your gear around? Scouring the neighborhood for these lidded buckets on trash days, many have now been converted to this: 2013-03-22 15.01.19

Easy to attach to your bike’s rear rack, you choose if you need one or two. When mounted, they sit at the same height as the bike rack, so you can load a wide object on the back of the bike. 2013-03-22 15.20.36

Take these on your next jaunt to the grocery store, the farmers market or your next dumpster diving expedition.  I’ve thrown in my bike lock, gloves, bungee cords, laptop, file folders, rag, another set of gloves, bike lights, a sweater, lunch, and still have room.

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At PHEW!, it’s often used to bring home the compost!



How much, you ask? Depends….

Just the plans. Inquire here. $1
DIY kit. Includes hooks, bungee,
wood & aluminum cut & drilled
$15 for one, $25 for two
Bike trunk-to-go. Ready to apply your own
reflective stickers
$35 for one, $60 for two
Learn to make your own. Includes
all materials to make one. Inquire here.
$25 for one
Just a bucket $1
Just a clean unbranded bucket $5

Some testimonials…

  • The low center of gravity made riding with the buckets very easy.  I was able to stand up and lean into turns confidently.  It is much better than trying to steer with a lot of weight on top of the rear rack.
  • The buckets hold so much more than a milk crate, and a milk crate can always be mounted on top of the buckets.  I think I could buy a month’s worth of groceries in one bike trip! They mount onto the bike very quickly.
  • When I got home I was able to quickly lift the buckets off the bike and bring them into the kitchen.  They are definitely more convenient than a milk crate.

Stop on by to try a bike trunk for yourself.