Cycle and Spray: Graffiti Bike Tour Explores Wywood Sunday

Categories: Cycling, Graffiti
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Graffiti Bike Tour winds through Wynwood Saturday.
Unlike its sister art forms that hang neatly in pristine galleries, graffiti offers no dainty placards to explain technique, meaning, or message. Three- or four-letter tags and, occasionally, year and crew, are the only hints at the personalities behind the spray cans and the stories hidden in the curves of winding letters and intricate stenciling.

Lucky for you,  this Sunday's Graffiti By Bike Tour offers an opportunity to snake through the mural mazes of Wynwood and the Design District with veritable encyclopedias of street-art knowledge, Olga Cano and Dario Gonzalez. We spoke to Cano about green transportation, the explosion of Miami street art, and what to expect on a graffiti tour.

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Attendance for the graffiti tours has nearly tripled in just a few years.
New Times: How did you come up with the idea to do a graffiti bike tour?

Olga Cano: We were looking for cycling events to put together -- we're big advocates of cycling in Miami, promoting cycling here, raising awareness, and bringing infrastructure. And then we started tying it into the arts. And we thought Wynwood would be a great area because it had always been neglected and now with all these murals it would be a great way to reintroduce people to the area and show them that getting around on bike is feasible. And it's perfect, because the area is too large to see everything by foot but small enough to do it on a bike. One of the ways that we organized it to promote cycling is by having everyone meet at the Allapattah station, which also promotes public transportation.

Since you started a few years ago, have you seen interest in biking grow?

Definitely. Just with this graffiti tour, the first time we hosted it we had about 40 to 50 people, and the last tour we had was it almost 120 to 130 people, so that's a huge increase. And the Museum of Art of Miami actually contacted us so we could host some of their patrons on a private bike tour. Even being able to tap into that community and promote bicycling... we help people see bicycling as an option.
 
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Families and kids are invited also.
How will this year's graffiti tour be different?

The idea is to show people how the whole scene changes every year simply because we have new artists coming out, and they buff many of the walls so it's always sort of like a refreshing take. We're going to be going through Wynwood mainly, and this year they started spreading out through the Design District so we're also going to be seeing four or five walls there and then finishing off in [the art park] Wynwood Walls. Most of the work we're going to be seeing is done through Primary Flight.

I think many people aren't aware of how influential Primary Flight has been in promoting Miami graffiti. It has been responsible for organizing all these artists and getting guys from L.A. and New York, and now we're getting all these international artists from Brazil, all over Europe, London, Belgium. It's really an international street art scene. And it's all thanks to Primary Flight. Since 2007 they've been raising funds to bringing all these artists here.

Is there anything else bikers and graff-heads should know about Sunday's tour?

Bring lots of sun block!

The Graffiti Bike Tour will set off from Allapattah Metrorail Station (3501 NW 12th Ave., Miami) at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 24. The ride is free, but participants need to bring their own bikes, and children 16 years and younger are required to wear helmets. Visit emergemiami.com.

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4 comments
Mosdense
Mosdense

Any idea if there will be another tour in the near future?

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

Miami graffiti is no where near what it used to be. In the 80s and 90s you had graffiti tags on just about everything from metro rail cars, buses, old buildings, schools, train cars, and signs. Everything nowadays is for the "art community".

mle
mle

Critical Mass Meetup Group's calendar says this is happening on Sunday. Just want to confirm whether that's correct, or if it's Saturday as stated int he article. Thanks!

Amanda_McC
Amanda_McC

Yes, 'tis Sunday. We've corrected the post. Thanks!

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