At roll: one of the core ideas behind why we do what we do is that we celebrate where life takes people, bikes just happen to be one of the vessels that we experience life on and we want to share those experiences with people. That is why, when we were thinking of what we wanted to do in our first summer as a bicycle company one of the first events that came to mind was Columbus' Stonewall Pride Fest. Columbus is extremely diverse and Pride celebrates all of that diversity and goes on to support where our community is going. We wanted to be a part of it!
Donating bikes to be raffled or auctioned off for a charity or cause is something Stuart Hunter, CEO of roll: Bicycle Company, does often. But we wanted to take the Pride Bike one step further and work together with a few other individuals and organizations with deep roots in both the LGBTQ and bicycling communities in Columbus.
The collaboration came when I was riding mountain bikes with Chris Carter, the main tattoo artist and owner of ihearttattoos, talking about the idea. I think his work is incredible, I want him to do some single-track spiraling up my leg someday, so I asked him if he would be willing to work with us on the bike. In a true display of Chris's humble character he declined and said that one of his artists, Haley Hagerman, would be perfect for it because of her connection to the LGBTQ community in Columbus. When he introduced us the following day and I told her the idea I could tell by her reaction that her connection and love for those who the bike would be cerebrating was deep and knew that she would do a really good job with the bike. I left her the frame and let her at it. When I got it back I was astonished with the detail of the art.
Aside from the iconic rainbows that have become the symbol and unifying flag of Pride, Haley filled the bike with bright and robust flowers. "I did flowers" said Haley, "because they're happy and colorful and persistent, just a great vibrancy I feel the LGBTQ community strives to accomplish and promote." What Haley did was encompass and celebrate what the LGBTQ community is through her art and did it on a bike, something that we stand behind as a vessel of moving forward and bringing people together.
I hope to see everyone out at Pride Fest next weekend, June 16-17 at Bicentennial/Genoa Park. We will have the booth with the bike, which we will be raffling off both at the event and HERE for $10 an entry. All proceeds to directly to Stonewall Columbus.
Thank you Chris, Haley, ihearttattoo, and everyone at Stonewall Columbus!