Cycling Ahead: The View From a Mobile Protest in New York City

4 months ago 31
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Being on a bike changes the way you interact with New York City. The rhythms of traffic, the foot patterns of pedestrians, even the ceaseless honking all hit you differently when you’re cruising through Chinatown and onto the Manhattan Bridge, or exhaling furiously as you pedal up the Hudson River Greenway toward the Bronx.

For many who have adopted the persona of “New York cyclist,” another identity isn’t far behind: activist. Bike protests over racist policing have been raging across New York for weeks, and they show no sign of slowing down, as Sunday’s 15,000-strong rally for Black trans lives proved. While bikes have always been in evidence at those protests, often with “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for George Floyd” signs taped to them, a recent protest that started in Brooklyn on Friday—one of many across the city—put bikes front and center.

“There were constant chants and uplifting from the other riders,” said Ian Reid, who was on hand to photograph the protest for Vogue (and followed the protest on his own bike). “The sentiment amongst the riders was that them being in the street moving was equal to being a moving billboard or advertisement for what has been going on and the change that needs to be made.”

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