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Here’s the 12th portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series.

Bike Portrait of Andrew the painter for Why I Ride series by Dmitry Gudkov
Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Andrew is a New Jersey native, a longtime Brooklyn resident, and a painter. I happened upon him and his bike/trailer at the waterfront park in Williamsburg, where he was completing a depiction of the new condominiums along the water. As it turns out, Andrew didn’t become a New York cyclist primarily for exercise or recreation, but out of a kind of professional necessity. He still uses his car as a main mode of transport, but the bike has become an indispensable tool for his work.

Because much of his art focuses on New York cityscapes taken from interesting perspectives, his bike/trailer combination is sometimes the only viable way of getting himself and his art supplies to the vantage point from which he wants to paint. For a time he got around solely by car, but the realities of New York streets pushed him to develop his current system. "I couldn’t afford all the parking tickets I was getting, so I needed a new solution."

Now he loads his bike and trailer into his car and drives from his Flatbush home to the location he wants to paint. After securing a safe parking spot, he rides the rest of the way. In addition to allowing him and his equipment access to more parts of the city, his new method has spurred him to ride more often just for the enjoyment of it.

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