Why I Ride
Bike Month continues with a great 30-day exhibit called Why I Ride: The Art of Bicycling in New York. Many artists are featured at four sites in Manhattan, including The Lower East Side Girls Club. There is also a diverse on-line gallery to experience.
StreetFilms stopped by the gala opening to ask people why they ride.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [00:08] So tonight is the opening reception for Why I Ride and we’re going to be asking people why they ride. And we’re also here to talk to a number of the artists and see why they produce their works and so let’s go on inside.
Speaker: [00:28] Because I love it. It gives me a sense of freedom. I feel like I’m flying and you get a perspective you can’t get when you’re walking.
Speaker: [00:34] Because I need to get good healthy exercise. I need to be able to improve my body. And at the age that I’m at, and I’m not going to say, at that age I should’ve been really sitting like this. But I’m not, I’m like this.
Speaker: [00:50] Cos I love being active. I love interacting with people around me and seeing the city on two wheels.
Speaker: [00:56] Well I ride cos it’s fun. And I get exercise, and when I get from… when I start out and get to my destination I feel very energised by, you know, by the exercise I get when I’m riding.
Doug: [01:11] Cos it’s the best way to get around.
Speaker: [01:13] I always ride. Why do I ride? I can’t think of anything better to do.
Speaker: [01:21] I ride so I don’t have to get on the subway with all those cranky sniffly coughy annoying people.
Speaker: [01:26] I ride cos it gives me life.
Speaker: [01:31] Why do I ride? Because of the freedom. You’re powered by your own strength, your own desires. It’s freeing. I find it very freeing, very relaxing.
Speaker: [01:45] Cos it’s fun. That’s it.
Speaker: [01:50] Cos it’s fun.
Speaker: [01:51] I ride a bike cos we’re from anti revolution worldwide against the dominant car paradigm. And it’s fun.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:57] Boy, and that wasn’t even rehearsed.
Elizabeth Stalky: [02:05] Hey, I’m Elizabeth Stalky, I’m co-curator of the Why I Ride, The Art of Bicycling in New York City, and we’re here at the Lower Eastside Girls Club which is our primary venue. We had some great participation from artists in the city, so we chose 15 artists or artist groups and they’re represented here or at the other three locations.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [02:26] And Doug, you put together this amazing mosaic montage of photography. Why don’t you just tell us a little about your project?
Doug: [02:33] It’s just photographs I’ve taken over the last year.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [02:37] And how long have you been doing this?
Doug: [02:39] Not too long, I’ve only been living in New York, less than a year or so. They’re pictures of New York that long, pictures in general. I don’t know, I had a camera for years.
Speaker: [02:50] This piece is a series of memorial artworks about people who have been killed on their bicycles by cars. I started this project because of the fact that I ride all the time and I’m painfully aware of how dangerous it is.
Speaker: [03:08] Bicycles are so much in my life that it’s kind of natural that they come through in my work. And I think they’re a really positive symbol. I like the idea of forward motion, being a self propelled vehicle.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [03:26] Now why do you really ride?
Because my doctor said I have to exercise and this was the easiest and
the fastest way to meet gorgeous women and be out in the fresh air.
Now the fresh air is good but I haven’t met the gorgeous women.