Biketown Releases Small Fleet of Portland Bike Designs in Celebration of Black History Month

“I wanted to create a visual that embodied a point of view about our connection and journey,” designer Marcellus Johnson says.

Portland's bike share program got a small redesign today.

In celebration of Black History Month, Biketown released its first "culture collection"—a fleet of five bikes designed by company color designer Marcellus Johnson.

The bike share service is owned by Portland Bureau of Transportation and sponsored by Nike.

Related: I Spent a Year Using Biketown to Commute. Here's What I Learned.

According to a Biketown press release, the designs are meant to celebrate "multiple dimensions of the African diaspora by bringing together patterns from different African countries into one modernized print through color and geometry."

The handful of bikes are available around Portland starting today, and are the first in a series of bike designs that the company says will be rolled out throughout the year to honor "some of the communities and cultures that make up the fabric of Portland."

The 2019 Black History Month design is a collage of traditional African fabric designs, featuring a West African kente cloth pattern on the basket.

Johnson, who is a Pensole Footwear Design Academy alum, says, "I wanted to create a visual that embodied a point of view about our connection and journey. The tearing and combining of these prints illustrate the boldness and uniqueness of the African diaspora."

The company also plans to release a book that maps out African American-owned businesses that are located near Biketown stations. It will be made available for free at the featured locations.

Related: Portland is Now Home to the World's First Sneaker Design School.

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