Traveling by bicycle allows us a slowed and personal relationship with our daily scenery. Here we introduce you to two amazing projects, each a documentation of our culture in vastly different mediums: film and oil painting–both using the bicycle as the catalyst to understand the world a little better.
You’re U.S. launched in Spring 2011. Over five years Emile B. Klein will bicycle across America’s 50 states to observe, interview, and paint portraits of Americans. Subjects will be given their portraits in exchange for providing room and board. The collaborative relationship formed between painter and subject will inspire unique insights into the character of our nation. Klein plans to paint 150 lasting American impressions.
When Emile asked Swift about our company we said:
Utilizing the bicycle to express a passion for skilled trades and the arts are what seamlessly joined Swift Industries and You’re U.S. When Emile approached us to join his endeavor, we were taken by this pilgrim’s homage to his homeland’s diversity.
As tradespeople who are committed to making the products that we sell we represent a thriving but dominantly unseen culture in our country. Through various mediums, the folks at You’re US are bringing images and voice to the community of craftspeople alive throughout the nation.
Swift Industries is run by three people in Seattle Wa. We make every single bicycle bag for the customer from start to finish. Archaic as it may be, we don’t use computerized machines which calculate and execute the perfect attachment seam, but rely on intimate knowledge of our machines and materials we use to navigate our patterns.
The timeline of our personal interests as cyclists is mirrored by the bags we’ve designed. Our panniers came from our love of touring, the front bags from a delight in urban cycling and long days rides to escape the city. Three years ago Martina built her first set of bicycle wheels. This week, and over 7,000 miles later the wheels were retired. We are passionate about cycling. In the “chicken or the egg” of Swift Industries, our love of bicycle travel and commuting came first. The rest was born from there.
We are two friends, journalists and avid travelers that impulsively decided that we would soon leave everything behind to travel America by bicycle. Why?
We want to dance with life. We want to challenge ourselves mentally and physically, become more aware, reconnect with nature, and be inspired. Most importantly we want to meet unique, wholehearted people along the way, and recognize those who have made a positive impact, whether it’s on their community, the environment, or us.
The focus is finding solutions and positive ways of being. We plan on cooking, camping, and doing everything ourselves with minimal effect on the planet, but maximum benefit on our health.
Cycling is not just a recreational activity, it can also be a fun, healthy and environmentally responsible way to travel. By cycling across America using man-powered transportation only, we simply hope to encourage others to ride their bike more, whether it’s to the market, work or across an entire country.
We are multimedia journalists at heart, therefore photos, videos, and blogs will be our voice throughout the trip. We hope to spread knowledge and positivity to our audience and show that there are some people in this country who we can really learn from.
America ByCycle http://www.americabycycle.com