How NYC’s Most Meaningful (and Stylish) Bike Ride Came Together

4 weeks ago 20
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Marz LovejoyPhoto: Courtesy of Marz Lovejoy 

If you were by chance in New York this past Sunday, you might have seen around 200 stylish cyclists taking over the streets. The event, called #AndWeStillRide, started at the bicycle repair shop Dah Shop in the Lower East Side, crossed over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, then into Queens, and across the Queensboro Bridge back to the city, for a total of 27 miles. The ride’s goal was to benefit the

Ms. Jilly JillzPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyAngie ChavezPhoto: Courtesy of Marz Lovejoy

Dah Shop and the nonprofit Black Women’s Blueprint, as well as build a community of cyclists. As for the organizer, Marz Lovejoy? She completed the long ride while five months pregnant. Lovejoy, a singer, model, writer, and mother, hosted the first ride last year in September and continued it this year. The feat wasn’t an easy one. “I have two small children and I am pregnant right now and my energy is low,” says Lovejoy, who now lives in Copenhagen. “But I pulled through.”

Iyana, Marz, and MeliaPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyMarz and Dah Shop owner, Tyrone Photo: Courtesy of Marz Lovejoy 

Lovejoy credits the community—including her sponsors Tood and Awake NY—with bringing the ride to fruition. “Without their help, I don’t know how I could have pulled it off,” she says. The cause is a personal one. While Lovejoy has been riding since a young age, she had trouble finding a community of cyclists in New York, especially one of Black and brown women. “Now, during the pandemic, so many people have gotten bikes and seen their importance,” she says. “Before I could probably count on one hand how many Black or brown girls or women I saw on bikes my whole time in New York. That was a big inspiration and a driving force to put this event together.”

Merch for #AndWeStillRide by Angie Chavez. All proceeds go to Dah Shop and Black Women’s Blueprint. DM @marzyjane for details. Illustration by Angie Chavez

Her sponsors helped produce the T-shirts, the proceeds of which go to benefit the bike shop Dah Shop and Black Women’s Blueprint. Dah Shop is a Black-owned small business and “has been on the block for 13 years,” Lovejoy says. “That alone is major to me. Also, [the owner] Tyrone, is an amazing person.” As for Black Women’s Blueprint, it is a Black feminist organization that Lovejoy has been familiar with for several years. “I learned about Black Women’s Blueprint through mutual friends, mainly through Black women in the birthing world and birthing communities,” says Lovejoy. “I was drawn to the organization and I respected the work that they were doing. I can tell when organizations are about that action because I come from a family of nonprofit and community advocates.” The T-shirts also come with a layered message. Fellow cyclist Angie Chavez illustrated a green bike with each of its parts labeled, as a way to educate those interested in biking.

“And we still ride” rider bibsPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyMarcelPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyCha Chi and Kisha Photo: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyDah ShopPhoto: Courtesy of Marz Lovejoy

A bevy of cyclists turned out last weekend in some seriously chic clothes. Lovejoy wore a pair of Ganni leopard print shorts, a matching bikini top by Inamorata, a shredded shirt, a pair of Asics, and a Telfar hat. Lovejoy credits her look to Black athletes pioneering fashion in sports. “I was thinking about the history of track and Black women in track and how there have been so many stylish women in track and how they have made it a thing,” says Lovejoy. “I was thinking about comparing it to biking.” Other standouts include Chavez, who opted for a vintage Polo Sport cycling jersey and Irak X Adidas sneakers, and another biker named Joyce, who wore a stretchy black top with cut-outs and a pair of low-slung cargo pants.

FelmarPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyVolunteers: Amara, Trina, Shyvonne, and KimPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyImaniPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyPhoto: Courtesy of Jae Milez

All of that flashiness made heads turn. Lovejoy wanted the ride to attract attention and create a positive domino effect. “We passed a lot of young kids, and you never know who you will inspire when someone sees you,” says Lovejoy. “We don’t really realize it, but we are coming through super stylishly. We are laughing and playing music, and burning sage on the bike. When people see that, it looks cool. Now, when I see riders come through, it is really magical. That is one of the things that inspires me, too.” Lovejoy’s toughness is captivating. Halfway through the ride, she gave her friend her e-bike and switched to a regular Citibike. “I just do it because I believe in community,” says Lovejoy about the whole experience. “And the power of giving back.”

Tyrone and SZAPhoto: Courtesy of Marz LovejoyQuiana & Joyce Photo: Courtesy of Marz Lovejoy
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