Spokes & Ink Bike & Poster Festival
Monroe Center for the Arts & Education
August 18, 2013
By Harvey Botzman
The Rochester Cycling Alliance did it again!
We were at Rochester’s Spokes & Ink Bike & Poster Festival, on Sunday, August 18, 2013. Spokes & Ink is a festival produced by the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, 713 Monroe Avenue. If you don’t know where Center is just look across Monroe Avenue from where Oxford Street ends and there, just to the south (left) of Dog Town Hots is an old firehouse emblazoned with the Center’s name.

The intersection of Wilcox Street & Monroe Avenue was filled with bike racks in front of the RCA’s display. Further down Wilcox Street the Conkey Cruisers were promoting their program of encouraging neighbors in the northwest section of Rochester to “get out & bike” for heath, fun, & knowing your neighbors.
Local trick bike riders from Rochester Action Sports Park performed on their own street stage near the intersection of Wilcox & Richard Streets to the delight of the festival attendees.
Scott Wagner and his crew distributed safety brochures and information about RCA’s role making Rochester a premier bicycling destination. Over the course of this one day festival the RCAers staffing our booth estimate they spoke with to more than 100 bicyclists or potential bicyclists.
Two featured bicycling events at the Spokes & Ink Festival were led by RCAers. At 12:30 PM, Scott Wagner gave a well attended Urban Cycling Safety Clinic. Scott described the new Sharrow and Bike Lane markings on Rochester’s streets. He explained why these markings are used and more importantly where the bicyclist should be positioned when riding on a street with or without sharrows & lanes. He emphasized the importance of riding with traffic and stopping at stop signs and red traffic signal lights. “Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists & vehicle operators according to New York State and most other states’ laws.”
Helmet use by adults brought forth the refrain, “If you have no brains, don’t wear a helmet; if you have some brains, keep them covered with a helmet,” from those watching and listening to Scott’s presentation.

The RCA’s Zack Declerck (who with Scott Wagner organized the very successful Rochester Bike Week & Film Festival in May, 2013) led a 5.3 mile ride through downtown at 4 PM. Earlier in the afternoon Shawn Brown led a 5.3 mile ride to and around Cobbs Hill.
Inside the Genesee Center for the Arts, Print Shop, the exhibition of bicycling posters included two by the RCA’s very own Karen Lankeshoffer, RCA representative from Henrietta. All the posters are individual designs hand printed on the Genesee Center’s letter presses in the Print Shop. The Print Shop as well as the Genesee Pottery and Community Dark Room offer courses throughout the year. View the poster exhibition at: http://www.geneseearts.org/spokesandink/photos/. (Note: the 2013 posters will be on the Spokes & Ink web page by the end of this week.)
You may be able to purchase some of the posters by contacting the Center & Spokes & Ink director, Kate at office@geneseearts.org
Near the band stand on Wilcox Street, the Genesee Pottery displayed hand built wares as Mitch Messina kept the Festival’s attendees intrigued with his description and demonstration of the process creating and firing raku pottery.
Rounding out a wonderful day on the Avenue with a gecko as signature icon were bands and food vendors. Gin & Bonnets, Tin Can Set, Hieronymus Bogs The Pickpockets entertained us with music throughout the day. The delicious food and beverages served at food trucks, the vegan/vegetarian ice cream bike cart, by local sponsoring grocery stores and restaurants rounded out a fun filled, exciting, and low keyed bicycling and art (print, photographs & pottery) day in Rochester NY.

Spokes & Ink Bike & Poster Festival was sponsored by: Abundance Food Store, Archimage, Dog Town Hots, Electronic Merchant Systems, Monroe Avenue Merchants Association (MAMA), Monroe Real Estate, O’Callaghan’s Tavern, Wegmans, Woman Tours, and Yelp.