Riding into culture

The One on One Bicycle Studio hosts art and everything else about bikes

Claire Joseph

Grab your helmet and water bottle, we’re going to the art show!

One on One Bicycle Studio, a Minneapolis bike shop, has bikes for sale, bikes on display, bikes to be repaired, bikes in art and a coffee shop to boot. Right now, it also hosts the bike-related work of three local artists.

The art consists of different collections that share one rule: “They have to have something to do with cycling culture,” said Gene Oberpriller, a former professional bike racer and founder of the bike studio.

“Bikes, Comics & Beer” is the cycling-related art collection featured at the studio. Participating artists Andy Singer, Roger Lootine and Ken Avidor are all avid cyclists who don’t own cars.

Their profiles fit the studio’s bike-related theme, which includes the sale of shirts that read, “Cars-R-Coffins.”

In fact, one of Singer’s pieces shows a woman looking at a car for sale bearing a sticker that reads:

“WARNING: May cause obesity, global warming, and feelings of rage and frustration.”

The politics of these cyclists and the shop hosting their art cannot be missed.

Sometimes, their cycling politics spill over into politics that relate to everyone – car owners, bus riders and bike riders.

One of Lootine’s comics, for example, reads, “Bikes are freedom. Terrorists hate freedom. Only terrorists hate bikes.”

But it’s not just the advantages of modern bicycles being promoted at One on One Bicycle Studio.

Oberpriller pointed out that bikes have been around for more than a century and are, in fact, the main reason people started building roads.

Used bikes are one of the only older technologies that still work well today, Oberpriller said.

“Usually, they just need tires,” he said of antique bikes.

Beyond the comic art, the studio displays working bicycles as art.

“Bicycles have a certain art element,” Oberpriller said.

For example, a red carbon fiber “Colnago for Ferrari” bike hangs from the wall. Oberpriller said only 100 have been made and that although it would usually cost approximately $10,000, this one’s not for sale.

For a small bike shop specializing in specialty bikes, it’s clear One on One Bicycle Studio is in it for more than just the cash.

“It’s all about the experience,” Oberpriller said.