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Bekka Wright has combined together art, cycling, and the nearly unlimited reach of the Internet to shine a humorous light on some common challenges.
The happiness and freedom found on a bicycle is often one of the most appealing reasons to start riding. However, there are certain frustrations most riders will deal with that tend to dampen the mood from time to time. In an effort to find the humor in road sharing politics, Bekka Wright has combined together art, cycling, and the nearly unlimited reach of the Internet to shine a humorous light on some common challenges. Wright recently released a 24-page comic book, Bike There, a guide on how to bike around a city. Through Wright’s website and online store, the comic book has already been well-received. “Where I have been surprised is that some advocacy organizations are using the book as an educational outreach tool,” said Wright in an email correspondence.
The approachable, mini-comic format fits well into Wright’s busy routine. “Because it takes a long time to make a book, doing a mini-comic series instead means I can have more little books more often without hiding myself away for a year or more on a single large book project. It also means I can focus the mini-comics by topic and explore a little more.”
Through Bikeyface, Wright has injected laughter into the problems of infrastructure, politics, and stereotypes. “When I started biking I noticed that discussions of bicycling kept taking negative turns in the press and in transportation policy,” said Wright.“I thought that was strange because riding a bike is so fun, aren’t bicycles a positive thing? Why put people off of bicycling before they even start?”
“Laughter can be a powerful tool to welcome more people to use bicycles and make the community more inclusive. It’s also a great educational tool and can help spread understanding of nuanced and sometimes complicated ideas in a more accessible, approachable way.” Wright’s reasonable, humorous approach to everyday annoyances is entirely solutions-based, and she intends to keep it that way.
And how does the artist deal with negativity when it inevitably arises on the road? “When I feel threatened I admit I am angry – and it’s okay to be angry. We can’t always be a bundle of rainbows and sunshine. But it’s important to recognize what behavior is threatening and what is simply annoying and react proportionally. I try to have a live and let live attitude when anyone does anything that falls in the ‘simply annoying’ category. So I counterbalance stressful moments by joking, chatting people up at stoplights, and by consciously noting all the positive things I see”