We wake up from yet another stay in our favorite local family Walmart and get to work. We look up the first of MANY shops and work our way from west to east. Philly has a different fee from the other cities. It seems as we work our way from the south part of the country towards the north, the CycleLights love get less and less. Parking also starts to dwindle. Instead of being able to park in front of the shop. We pass a shop that wasn’t originally on the list called Via Bike and stop in. We arrive at 6 and apparently they close at 5, so as the staff leave we quick pitch our product to the owner who is pretty unsure but his son runs from the back and exclaims in excitement how much he wants them for his bike. The staff leave and the owner finds out we’re sleeping in our car for the trip, so he offers us his place to stay for the night. After heading out, we find 2 more shops that are still open in the rain then head to 2 local Steak (Philly Cheese Steak ) places to try the local cuisine and determine which is the best. While leaving a guy who’s car had been towed comes up in the rain and asks for money. It’s pouring rain and he tells us his car as just been towed and he need $8 to get a train ticket out to pick up his car. His family owns a restaurant and he promised to give us a free meal if we came in later in the week. We didn’t have much and we believed him so we gave him a few dollars to make it out to his car.
After picking up the food we head back to the shop/upstairs apartment where we were staying and climbed the 3 stories of bicycle parts and memorabilia to the top floor where the shop owner lived. We walk in to see a very old school yet up to date apartment with pictures and artifacts from the 40’s and 50’s. He’s sits down with us and prepares a snack and tells us a little about how he got started with the shop. After about an hour his friend shows up from a long days work and starts to make steaks on the grill. We talk more and more food finds its way to our table. After another hour of talking and eating the steak is gone but more food continues to appear on the table. Cheese and crackers… fruit and olives… asparagus and pizza…then finally ginger bread and ice cream top off the feast for the night. After stuffing our faces he takes us out to his back patio and shows us the view of the city. Since it had stopped raining we had decided to go on the roof and take pictures with our CycleLights with the Philadelphia city as our backdrop. When the clock nears 3am we decide to wrap it up and turn in for the night. We weren’t sure if we were initially allowed to stay for the night but when we went inside, everyone was already asleep so we follow suit. One of us on the couch and the other on the kitchen bench…
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