Biking Cosmopolitain

There is a local photo show in the works right now, shot by Bill Powers, who is in cahoots with George, the Hub bike shop owner, that is promoting lifestyle bikers in the city that bike all year around in style, rain or shine. George, who owns the Hub, has a sincere vision, to bring the biking culture of Amsterdam to NY, and the whole world. I fancy a world where everyone is biking too, so I wanted to bring this idea to as many people as possible. Bill shot my photo in this post, and several other shots while I was biking through the hood. We are all collectively looking for a space to exhibit these images, so please comment if you know a place that could be fitting. The Hub bike shop is currently viewing some of the black and white prints for the show, mine included, located at 139 Charles St. in the West Village. Each model that was shot for the show, was interviewed and will have their bio next to their images. Below is my bike story for this show.

I always preferred vintage bikes. I never went for the road bikes or the mountain bikes. I liked the look and feel of the upright bike. My first bike in the city, was a vintage ‘80s, black utility worker’s bike. A very heavy duty, commuter bike. At the time I lived in Greenwich Village and I rode everywhere. If I had an errand, I was on my bike. If it was a job interview, I put on a suit, got on my bike and arrived on time. It was how I got around. My transportation, rain or shine. Temperature doesn’t bother me. Yesterday I had an interview for an internet radio station called Pandora. It was frigid. I put on my shearling coat and headed up to Union Square. Last night it was zero degrees. I was out biking. There isn’t a part of the city I haven’t biked to.

I care about how I dress, how I look. Biking is a life style. My current bike is a black Biria step through. Six speed. It’s got two baskets, one in back, one in the front because I‘m always carrying things. I used to run a small flower business in the downtown area. I carried bundles of flowers on my bike, from the flower district on 28th street, to my home studio in the west village.

When I have something on my mind, something bothering me, and I don’t even have a place to go, I get on my bike and just go. I just ride. There’s a German movie, “Run Lola Run”, about this girl, Lola. Lola is in trouble. If she can’t come up with the ransom for her boyfriend, he will die. She has only 20 minutes to come up with the money and she runs and runs through the city. I dream of a film about a girl like Lola but, instead of running, she’s on a bicycle.

A lot of people say I’m crazy to bike everywhere and not wear a helmet. I never wear a helmet. I do think kids should. I’d want my kids to be safe.

I do bike on the more dangerous streets like Park Avenue and 7th Avenue and I have been yelled at when I ride, by pedestrians, drivers and other bikers. I take whatever street works for me. Yes, I have been yelled at. Yes, I have had my bike stolen a few times. But I spend most of my time on the village side streets, Bank Street, Perry, Charles, Greenwich, Waverly, Christopher, Grove, Washington, Bleecker, MacDougal. Those streets are my landscape, my home, in my city.


Victoria Monsul

Writer, Bikes, George-y, Native Advertising, Custom Content Studios, NY.