Ride Your Style
By Leyna Roget
A revolution is upon us. You can hear the steady clicks of movement in a sea of tiny red flashing lights, feet pedaling with mechanical repetition; whizzing gusts glide past your vehicle’s side viewer mirrors, temporarily halting traffic. Weekly riding groups emerge as a tour de force in the streets of downtown Los Angeles’ motorized metropolis, claiming their stake on the open roads.
For the committed minority, biking isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle. Why not gear up for the ride with the creative styling of local visionary bike mechanic and styler, Toons One at his bike shop BikeStyler Customs. Toons, founder of BikeStyler Customs calls upon his background in structural design, fashion and cycling when transforming new and used bicycles into personalized works of rolling, functional art.
BikeStyler Customs looks for new ways to celebrate advancements in cycling hardware and design, by contributing their own funky-forward-hip-hop flavor to the palette of bicycles riding the streets. They specialize in custom paint and graphics, powder coating, chrome, gold and copper plating, pin-striping, color matching, upholstery covers, and original concept designing. Business partner of four years, J. Swift is excited to collaborate with local companies and artists such as Quamen BMX Bikes, recognizing opportunities to “bring light to new things”.
An avid biker, architect by trade, and human-powered transportation enthusiast, Toons’ decision to craft customized bikes was a profound professional discovery. Unable to afford a bike as a child, his anticipation and desire for self-expression took hold when he immediately disassembled his first bike, and opted for a Rastafarian inspired color scheme instead. BikeStyler Customs has afforded him the outlet for conceiving and constructing distinctive bike art for both riders and pedestrian observers.
In 1998 while living in Berlin, Germany, Toons was working in a bike shop and debuting his flashy blue-framed gem of a bike around town. His impressive paint job drew immediate attention. Much of Europe is eons ahead of the United States in its bicycle accessibility and culture. Toons explains, “in Europe they have different places where you can ride and stop to take a shower.” His eye catching designs and electrifying shades of color was met by quick demand. Upon returning to the United States in 2000, Toons began the process of establishing his mission and reputation in the creative arts, bicycling community.
Toons hopes to fulfill his aspirations to organize youth bicycle racing teams in low-income neighborhoods, locally and internationally. Some noteworthy bicycle projects in the works include a commemorative bike for 1899 international African American cycling icon Major Marshall Taylor. Along with expanding his repertoire, Toons enjoys being a part of the changing sentiments surrounding bike appreciation in LA. “I’m seeing more people that would necessarily smirk at me because I’m riding a bike, now starting to ask me questions about it.”
To find out more on customizing your bike call Toons at (323)960-0236 or log into myspace.com/bikestylercustoms