Pedal Craft Phoenix celebrates growing urban bike culture

Pedal Craft Volume 3 blended Phoenix's growing urban bike culture with community during Friday's bicycle-themed poster show, featuring partner booths from State Bicylce Co. and New Belgium Brewing, a guided night bike ride of downtown Phoenix and bike-themed poster designs from 15 local artists.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton dropped by the event to remark on Phoenix's mission to construct bike-friendly streets. Pop art posters quickly sold for $15 inside a packed gallery Friday evening as artists, bike enthusiasts and activists mingled. Jon Ashcroft said he and Pedal Craft co-founder Jonce Walker realized there was a crossover between bike and design culture when they founded Pedal Craft several years ago.

“We just realized there was a huge crossover in bicycle culture and the design culture, and we just wanted an event to bring those two together," Ashcroft said. "Basically, we just wanted to create an event that we would both be excited to go to.”

Ashcroft said Phoenix's bicycle culture pales in comparison to urban bicycle hubs like Portland and Minneapolis, but Pedal Craft is working to support a bike-friendly community in the heart of the city.

“Phoenix has extreme heat, but it’s really the perfect bikable city, because it’s the perfect grid, it’s super flat," Ashcroft said. "It should be this huge biking hub, but it doesn’t get appreciated for that."

Brandi Porter, a journalism junior, volunteered at Friday's event to support bike culture in her community.

“ I feel like there’s this great momentum that is increasing in Phoenix, and I think Pedal Craft is a part of that momentum," Porter said.

Porter said the recently installed bike lanes stretching on Grand Avenue between Van Buren Street and 7th Avenue serve as a step towards a more bike-friendly city. Porter visited the road for the first time after Grand's bike lane was installed.

The green lanes are part of a city-wide bike plan.

“The bike lanes make it more of a destination in my opinion,” Porter said.

Illustrator, art director and printmaker of Trapdoor Studio, Jon Arvisu designed a bike-themed T-shirt for Pedal Craft Volume 3. His minimalist work featured a rebellious figure atop a classic Schwinn bike.

“My oldest brother had a Schwinn Stingray, and it was my favorite bike. I always wanted to be a rebel ... all these little things," Arvisu said, pointing to the details on his shirt design, "the tattoos, the cigarettes, the slingshot, the matches ...," Arvisu said. "The whole point is that it’s kind of nostalgic and relatable. Not only is it my interest, but hopefully other people can relate to it." said Arvisu.

Arvisu continued, saying that people art because they are interesting in it, and hope that others will be too.

A percentage of the proceeds from the poster show were donated to The Welcome to America Project, a non-profit organization that provides furniture, education and additional resources to refugees.

Reach the reporter at aovnicek@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @aovnicek


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