The illustrator of The New Yorker’s upcoming cover and his bike rides

When The New Yorker uploaded the cover of its October 26 issue, we were instantly impressed. It features a dad cycling on Williamsburg bridge with his daughter who is comfortably sitting on a bike child seat.

The artist behind this beautiful magazine cover is R. Kikuo Johnson. He’s been biking in New York for years now and he’s glad that more people in his city are currently discovering cycling.

First Bike Ride had a conversation with this cool artist. He told us that he got his first bike when he was 4 years old. It was a hand-me-down from his older brother.

“I rediscovered cycling again at 28. By then I had been living in NYC for 5 years and was tired of relying on subways and taxis,” he told First Bike Ride. “The moment I bought a bicycle, New York became an entirely different city, and exploring it by bike was thrilling.”

Riding a bicycle is his primary mode of transportation and he told us that he’s doing a lot of thinking when he’s cycling.

This award-winning artist has been producing awesome artworks. He’s done a lot of covers for The New Yorker and his works have appeared in publications like The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

“Some of my best ideas come to me in the saddle. In that sense, my bike is part of the creative process,” he said.

We want to know his thoughts on why it’s good for people to get into cycling.

“Cycling is good exercise and it’s great for the planet, but more than anything, it’s incredibly fun. In a congested city, bikes are often quicker than a taxi,” he answered. “A bicycle can also allow a rider to slow down, and stop along the way. It’s the best way I’ve found to simultaneously cover a lot of ground but not miss anything.”

During our conversation, we told him that First Bike Ride is a new entity that encourages people to cycle and that we’re based in the Philippines. His reply surprised us.

“I’m part Filipino.”

Photo from The New Yorker

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