Espanola Lowrider Bike Club Transforms Bicycles

If you’ve ever seen a lowrider – cars transformed to become as much a work of art as a mode of transportation – then you know they come with four wheels. Until now, that is. Thanks to the Espanola Lowrider Bike Club, two-wheeled bikes are getting the low rider treatment.

A girl paints on a blue bike at the Espanola Lowrider Bike Club to transform it.

A Team-Effort

The club is a collaborative effort that brings together teens with artists and mentors who show them how to do everything from metalwork to intricate paint detailing. The results then go on display at The Spanish Colonial Art Society and each one is a wonder to behold. 

A mentor and his son work on a bike at the Espanola Lowrider Bike Club as the boy is in a safety face mask and yellow safety apron.

Artist and Lowrider Bike Club mentor, Cruz Lopez worked with his son Zaiden on a bike adorned with a silver skeleton – a feat of engineering and art. The bikes are arranged throughout the John Gaw Meem-designed space with quotes from the kids who worked on them. Words like “patience,” “rewarding,” “technical,” “creativity,” and “challenging” popped up – testament to the skills the kids learned, their artistic expression, and the tenacity that they brought to the project. 

Four students in the Espanola Lowrider Bike Club work on transforming a blue bike tire in the shop.

Perhaps Jennifer Orozoco summed it up best: “Just because it seemed impossible for some kids to make something great, doesn’t mean they don’t have talent.”

Then, after looking at their work, I couldn’t agree more.

Story and Photography by Julia Platt Leonard

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