There are few things that say city landscape like bikes, buses and street art. Which is why we were excited to see a new mural outside Philly Electric Wheels in Northwest Philadelphia.
The mural, as shown above, depicts a SEPTA bus with a bike rack on it—and what’s really, really cool about it is that the rack is real. And it works.
According to a blog post about the new mural, the story begins when Philly Electric Wheels used the rack to display new bikes for sale in the shop. It was a hit—for a while.
“I noticed this bus rack turning invisible. No one noticed it,” writes Meenal Raval, owner of Philly Electric Wheels. “Those that walked in commenting on the bike on display outside, right on the bus rack, didn’t even know it was a bus rack … We discovered that many people didn’t know quite how to get their bikes on a bus. More than we had realized. So we decided we needed a bus behind the rack to encourage questions and learning.”
Meenal contacted local artist Meg Lemieur and asked about getting a SEPTA bus mural for the shop, and later add the bike rack to it. According to Lemieur, the mural and rack, combined, made sense for the shop.
“I know Meenal Raval, one of the owners of Philly Electric Wheels, from working together in supporting Philadelphia’s needed transition to clean and renewable energy in order to ensure a healthy environment for the city and its neighbors,” says Lemieur, by email. “Meenal’s work with the bike shop is definitely a part of that. She called me one day saying that she had always wanted to have a SEPTA bus painted on the front of her shop so that she could mount this SEPTA bike rack to it. She teaches her customers how to use the bike rack, which is a thing a lot of us city cyclists avoid because of the glares we get … as we fumble with the rack trying to figure it out.”
She adds: “I thought it was a great idea and I love painting mural-sized pieces, so I jumped at the job. And now that I know how to use the bike rack, I will definitely use them myself!”
If you’re interested in checking out the mural, go to Philly Electric Wheels at 7153 Sprague St.
And for Meg Lemieur’s work, check out her website: www.meglemieur.com