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Media Alert: Velo-city by Mark Hedden
To help document the island’s strangely undocumented bike culture, studio writer and photographer Mark Hedden has captured some of Key West’s more prominent bicycling icons — as well as some of the lesser known luminaries of the culture — with their bicycles.
Velo-City, an photography exhibition on view at The Studios of Key West’s Space 2 from May 16-June 14, is an appreciation of the various and manifold ways the bicycle is ingrained in our small town culture.
“The bike is a poor man’s chariot and a rich man’s escape, arguably the best machine mankind has ever invented,” says Hedden. “I know people who never pay more than $35 for a bike, and people who have laid out over $5,000 for a frame alone”.
By casual estimation, 5,000 people in Key West ride bikes on a regular basis. Most houses in town have a bike or three locked to a porch or a gate. Most successful businesses in the historic district cater, at least on some level, to their bike riding clients.
Hedden captures some of Key West’s more prominent bicycling icons, as well as some of the lesser known luminaries of the culture in twenty full-color photographs taken around the island.
“Key Westers ride for a million different reasons — because they can’t afford a car or because they hate their car, because it’s healthier, because they care about the environment, because they want to avoid a DUI, because they hate finding parking spaces, or because, for reasons they can’t quite put into words, it’s just so damn fun,” continues Hedden. “It is one of the more interesting ways to gauge a local’s character.”
Velo-City will be on view from May 16-June 14 at The Studios of West, with a reception on Thursday, May 16, from 6-9pm.