Many thanks to Mark Pasnik and the folks at over,under for putting on the incredible, “Let’s Talk About Bikes” exhibit at the Boston Society of Architects Space. We were honored to be included in such a thoughtful way, and we were floored when we walked into the massive exhibit space.
There were bikes displayed along the entire perimeter of the second floor, with bigger-than-life photographs papering the walls behind each bike. We were excited to see that the exhibit designers used a photo of Seven’s own Staci Sommers as the backdrop for the Seven Cycles Berlin Bike display. Staci painted the Berlin Bike, and over,under conducted an extensive interview with her about the development of the Berlin Bike’s unique paint scheme, which is published in the “Let’s Talk About Bikes” brochure.
Along with the photographic backdrop were cool graphics that contained a description of the process that took the Berlin Bike from concept to build. We’ve never before seen such an aesthetically sophisticated display of this bike. Because of the layout of the exhibit, the guests were encouraged to ogle each detail of the bikes on display, but there was a flow to the space that kept everyone moving around from bike to bike, which actually encouraged conversation and resulted in a palpable excitement in the room.
Seven also had Mike Salvatore’s Elium track bike on display in the front window of the exhibit. We were honored to have 2 bikes in this show. There were bikes on display from SCUL, Saila, Royal H, each of whom are Seveneers who also have their own brands. There were also bikes from Boston-based bike builders Parlee and Firefly. We don’t usually get to see all of these bikes simultaneously, and it was a treat to get a closer look at the creativity and skill that each builder brings to their bikes. It was also fun to see the reactions of the guests to the artisanship on display.
The exhibit also celebrated bike photography, and the myriad ways that riding has inspired photographers from all over the city. Seveneers Matt O’Keefe and Jonathan Henig had photographs on display, and friends of Seven Susi Ecker and Natalia Boltukhova were also represented.
Giant video installations dotted the exhibit, with one featuring the experience of Team Greenline Velo, and another shot from the perspective of a commuter’s bike ride through downtown Boston. The video installations, along with the variety of bikes around the gallery illustrated the mission of “Let’s Talk About Bikes”: to show the diversity of riding cultures and history in the Boston area, and to encourage discussion about how all of us as a community can make riding bikes more accessible and safe. “Let’s Talk About Bikes” seeks to start a discussion among urban planners, architects, cyclists, and citizens about how the integration of a cycling-centric culture into an urban landscape can shape our cities in the 21st century, and can have a positive impact on everything from the economy to the environment.
Along with the creativity and energy in the room, there was also amazing food and drink, generously donated by Trade Restaurant, which is located next door to the BSA. This elegant touch lent the evening a note of celebration and fun that made everyone feel like they were at the best party in Boston. If you missed this event, do not despair! The exhibit is up through August 31. If you are in the Boston area this summer, we encourage you to make the “Let’s Talk About Bikes” exhibit at the BSA a must-see destination.