The 2016 Philly Bike Expo season got underway with the city's inaugural ArtBike! event on the evening of October 28, when 75 cyclists joined an evening ride organized by a collective from Philly Naked Bike Ride, Night Cycle Philadelphia and Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles bike shop.
ArtBike! is a street and gallery art project that promotes cycling, art and the Philly Bike Expo. After starting at 7:30 p.m. from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the group took a leisurely and circuitous route to Firth & Wilson, enjoying the cool evening air of late October.
The gallery at Firth & Wilson included work by Josh Pelta-Heller, Margo Hurst, Taliah Lempert, Hope, Maria Serrahima, Tom Duetch, and Jeff Williams. Food for the body could be had from food trucks, as well as local beers courtesy of Yards and the hosting bike shop.
"It was a blast! The evening went really well. The ride was fun and mellow, and for the exhibition people arrived on foot as well as by bike. The art was well received and we have multiple requests for purchases after the expo. It was fun for all of us. ArtBike! Is here to stay in Philly," said the organizers.
The art collection, from a range of artists from as far afield as Ohio, will remain at Firth & Wilson for an ArtBike! party there on Friday, November 4th. Then it will be moved to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for an exhibition inside the Philly Bike Expo show hall. Artworks are for sale. The next ArtBike! ride is a mural hunt on Saturday morning, November 5th, which ends at the Philly Bike Expo.
Given that Simon Firth of Firth & Wilson is a co-founder of the Philly Bike Expo, it was fitting that the first ArtBike! event should include his bike shop. Future iterations of this community art project aim at include additional bike shops, galleries, educational institutions and community groups in several parts of the city.