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. Addressing an absurd attitude directed towards us, 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 necessity of bicycle transportation while celebrating our collective lives. To our experience, everyone who regularly rides a bicycle has a story to tell about being harassed in some way. Since the System of Enclosure, the use of public spaces along with privatization has been contested. Identity, Class and Body Politics 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 democracy 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