I unofficially met photographer Dmitry Gudkov on Twitter (@gudphoto) through the #bikeNYC hashtag, then officially met him at this year’s Bike Expo New York in early May where I modeled in a fashion show for Momentum Magazine. Dmitry’s #BikeNYC gallery of breezy, casual photos of real New Yorkers with their bicycles is a delight to peruse. I’m thrilled to be included.
During the quick photo shoot that yielded this portrait, Dmitry asked me if I always ride around town in a suit. The short answer is “Of course not,” but between this website as well as Twitter, Facebook, New York Roll Models, my column in Momentum Magazine and the fashion show at the Bike Expo, I suppose I project a “guy in a suit on a bike” image – an image with which I’m perfectly happy in our hypercasual times.
As a bicyclist in the city, I’m merely a latecomer to the party that Bill Cunningham and David Byrne have been having for decades. Aside from a sense of occasion about life and the joy I get from riding a bike, one of my hidden alternate agendas when pedaling around town is to showcase the bicycle as a real, workable option for men commuting to suit & tie situations, whether for work or play. No specialized clothes are required to ride a bike, and style need not be compromised.
After the Bike Expo this month, I had lunch with the wonderful Mia Kohout, the Editor-in-chief of Momentum Magazine. I write a regular feature in the Vancouver-based magazine called “Letter from New York,” where I dispatch about cycling in the city as it relates to style. At one point, Mia said to me “You’re becoming a bicycling advocate.” For a nanosecond, it was like a splash of water to my face. It never occurred to me. But then I thought about it for a minute and liked it. Maybe I am becoming a kind of advocate for city cycling in New York City. In the process, I hope I can a little flair to the affair.
My sincere thanks to Dmitry for including me in his wonderful, growing project. It’s an exciting time for bicycling culture in New York, and he’s capturing it beautifully.