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Joe Biden’s G7 Summit gift for Boris Johnson: A custom-made bicycle

Boris Johnson is a keen cyclist and is often pictured cycling on the streets of London, with his security detail in pursuit. Joe Biden is also known as a regular cyclist and was revealed to be a fan of indoor cycling with Peloton.

By: PTI | London |
June 13, 2021 4:44:39 pm
G7 summit, Joe Biden, Boris JohnsonUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens to US President Joe Biden during a working session at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England. (AP photo)

US President Joe Biden chose a custom-made, hand-built bicycle as his gift for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for their first in-person meeting ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall this weekend.

The bike is made by a small company in the American city of Philadelphia that was reportedly given just a few days to build a red, white and blue bike that normally takes months to construct.

Johnson is a keen cyclist and is often pictured cycling on the streets of London, with his security detail in pursuit. Biden is also known as a regular cyclist and was revealed to be a fan of indoor cycling with Peloton.

The bike gifted by Biden was made by Bilenky Cycle Works, a business with a staff of four who usually take up to 18 months to make a machine. The owner, Stephen Bilenky, was contacted by the US State Department on May 23 about designing the bike and a matching helmet, the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer’ reported.

It says the budget was just USD 1,500, a third of the minimum price the firm charges. Bilenky told the newspaper that he had accepted the order to raise the firm’s profile and that “controlled chaos” followed.

“It is a very modern version of an upright British roadster with a custom paint scheme with the Union Jack flag and a matching helmet,” he was quoted as saying.

Johnson’s gift for the US President was a framed picture of a mural showing the American anti-slavery campaigner Fredrick Douglass. The image of the former slave, who became a leading figure in the 19th century slavery abolitionist movement, is part of Edinburgh’s mural trail.

US First Lady Jill Biden was given a first edition of The Apple Tree’ by Daphne du Maurier, the English author who lived in Cornwall, while Carrie Johnson was presented with a leather tote bag made by military wives and a presidential silk scarf.

The leaders formally met at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, south-west England, just ahead of the G7 Summit launch on Friday.

Johnson dubbed his meeting with Biden as “breath of fresh air”, leading many in the UK media to compare and contrast the somewhat erratic US-UK meetings with former president Donald Trump.

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