You know - the kind that can be locked to a street sign in midtown for 6 hours with impunity, but proudly ridden to a party downtown at night? The New York beater takes many forms from function to fashion but the best artfully tread the fine lines between. Between Awesome and Invisible is our quest to document the best.
Meet JP. He's a Brooklyn based freelance photographer, founder of nolifelikethislife.com. BMX was his first love, MTB his second, but really, he’s into every discipline. Chalet travelled with him to Colombia this Spring and he survived, minus one achilles. With his prototypical beater bike used primarily to get from job to job, what better way to kick off this ongoing series.
Who are you?
JP Bevins, I'm a freelance photographer and run the website NoLifeLikeThisLife.com
How long have you been in NYC?
Been here 3 years as of January 2015, by way of Philadelphia, Boston, and Hartford
How many bikes do you own right now?
I think about 6 fully functioning bikes right now. Road, Cross, Mountain, Track, Beater, BMX, and a bunch of other odds and ends. And a sick NOS GT Zoot Scoot.
We should probably ask about the Zoot Scoot (or perhaps not) But first, tell us a little about your beater...
It's a 1984 Gitane Kilo track bike. Nervar track cranks with some Odyssey BMX pedals, the cheapest QBP coaster brake wheelset with some Panaracer Pasela's to keep it on point with the gum walls, Velo Orange cruiser bars, forget what kind of stem, Strong V track grips, and a super rare 90's white perforated leather/titanium Flite saddle that is absolutely destroyed and covered in gaffer's tape. I just can't seem to retire that saddle, it's got too much history. When I first got the bike, it had some flipped and chopped drops as some makeshift bullhorns and the sickest polka dot bar tape. Some really nice, but incredibly corroded track wheels. Suntour sprint hubs to some nice aero Arraya clinchers. That wheel set must have been so tight brand new.
Where did you get it?
Oh man, the bike I got complete from the owner of LTI, my film lab at 30th and Park Ave. It was sitting in the basement under the film lab since the 90's. I still have a bunch of photos of it first pulled out of the cobwebs and 30 years worth of basement grime. (That's a long story JP is saving for NoLifeLikeThisLife so look out for it)
When do you ride it?
It's my daily bike. Does everything that I need to do around the city. I usually go out for rides in the morning when and where I can. Or I'm out all day or traveling on/with a specific bike. But when I'm home, or trying to get to a photo studio or the post office or whatever, it's always the Gitane really