Why Saito Rides

Here’s the tenth portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series.

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Saito is an artist and animator living in Long Island City. Originally from Okayama, Japan, he’s been living and working in New York for 20 years. This rusty and somewhat squeaky bike, a gift from an old roommate, has been his ride for the past 10 years or so. “People always compliment me on the bike – I don’t really know why. My friends keep telling me to do something about the rust, but I’m busy so I never get around to it.”

Saito likes the bike because it’s small and light, and easy to take up and down stairs. He uses it for transport as much as possible. “It’s good for health, and I really enjoy the fresh air. I’m a little claustrophobic, so I don’t really like the subway, but I take it in the winter when there is snow on the ground.” There’s one other important reason why Saito prefers the bike – it was actually the first one he gave me when I asked: “It’s free!”