The Uppity Bike Commuters Collective asks the question “Why do people feel compelled to harass, sometimes harm others who are riding bicycles?” The seeds of the UBCC were planted through an interaction that occurred while working as a bike messenger in Philadelphia. An automobile driver rode up next to me at a stop sign and shouted, “ Aren’t you all Uppity!! Riding your bike in the street!! ” This stuck in my memory for many years. Later on while living in San Francisco, a school colleague was run off the road by a Fed Ex truck while riding her bike. Ideas arrived about making art concerning the bicycling transportation experience. These thoughts were shared with a circle of fellow bicyclists. Celebrating our lives on bicycles, we decided to flip the script. The Uppity Bike Commuters Collective was created. Featuring 5 core members: Professor Crank, Dr. K, The Unicorn, Notorious D.A.V., and Mr. Bubble(S).
The Uppity Bike Commuters Collective makes a pragmatic statement about the necessary perspective of bicycle transportation while addressing an absurd societal attitude towards us. Since the System of Enclosure, the use of public spaces along with privatization has been contested. To our experience, everyone who regularly rides a bicycle has a story to tell about being harassed in some way. Morality, Identity, Body Politics and Class all play a role. Living within a culture whose predominant ethos is production, a bicycle is often looked at as less than. In contrast, the UBCC ( UBC for short ) presents bicycle transportation as essential for the democratic functionality of public space. In addition, the UBC also promotes the bicycle as agency for creating community, solidarity and personal independence. By publicly interacting with and (re) – creating these scenarios through stickers, posters and t-shirts: The Uppity Bike Commuters Collective unveils cultural mechanisms and creates dialogue; as well as positive connections of shared experience.
Copyright Uppity Bike Commuters Collective 2019