BIKE GROUP PLANS ART RIDE, OR VICE-VERSA

criticalmass2Some of the participants in Spoke & Art’s inaugural ride in October.

[UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to post-storm road conditions.]

Here’s a possible conversation starter: the sight of a people dressed in day-glo and riding bikes through Red Bank. At night.

Kate Okeson is organizing just such an event for Monday night.

Okeson, a Branch Avenue resident who teaches art at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, is the founder of Spoke & Art, a loose-knit effort to promote a variety of community-jelling ideas, including bike riding.

Unlike Safe Routes to School, another new organization but one that takes a conventional approach to securing bike and pedestrian paths to all the schools in town, Spoke & Art is more about mobile art events that spark awareness, Okeson says.

She calls it an “activisty/collectivisty” type approach that incorporates performance art “to bring people together.

“Conversation caused by something you see is a very effective tool” for raising awareness of issues such as bike safety, Okeson tells redbankgreen.”When you take art into the public space, you get people involved.”

Among other outreaches, she hopes to eventually use vacant storefronts for a three-day gallery show that would be part of a tour of Red Bank to promote its walkability.

For Monday night’s ride, which starts at 7:30p at a location to be announced, riders are encouraged to do their bikes, and themselves, up in glow-in-the-dark materials.

At publication time, Okeson hadn’t yet decided where the ride would commence or what route it will follow. She says she’ll post that information as a comment under this story over the weekend, so check back if interested.

If you want to participate, shoot Okeson an email. She also asks that all riders familiarize themselves with the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s bike regulations regarding night riding.