Biden gifts UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a cycling enthusiast, an American-made bicycle during his first overseas trip

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Biden gifts UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a cycling enthusiast, an American-made bicycle during his first overseas trip
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson; President Joe BidenRui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images; JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
  • President Joe Biden gave British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a new bicycle and a helmet.
  • Johnson gave Biden a photo of a mural of Frederick Douglass.
  • They exchanged the gifts on Thursday during their first meeting.

President Joe Biden on Thursday gave British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a custom touring bicycle and a helmet during their first meeting in Cornwall, England.

The gift was offered as "a gesture of friendship and in recognition of their shared interest in cycling," the White House said.

An avid cyclist, Johnson regularly rode his bike to work when he was the mayor of London. Earlier this year, he was criticized for going on a ride outside his neighborhood while the United Kingdom faced a surge in COVID-19 infections.

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Biden also enjoys a leisurely bike ride and was seen taking one last week with first lady Jill Biden to celebrate her 70th birthday. The president is also a fan of indoor cycling - his exercise regimen during quarantine included working out on a Peloton.

Johnson's new bicycle is painted blue with red and white details and bears the signatures of both leaders as well as US and UK flags. Bilenky Cycle Works, a family business in Philadelphia, built the bike and the matching helmet in less than two weeks, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday.

The owner, Stephen Bilenky, told the newspaper he'd gotten an email from the State Department about the bike order on May 23. "It was a crazy 10 days," he said.

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As part of the customary exchange of gifts between world leaders, Johnson gave Biden a framed photo of a mural of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Reuters reported.

Biden met with Johnson during his first overseas trip as president and ahead of the G7 summit from Friday to Sunday. The world leaders have gathered to discuss several topics, notably defeating the coronavirus pandemic.

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