For Brooklyn artist and avid cyclist Anthony “Tonky” Clune, inspiration came in the form of a brush with death. The day after being hit by a text-messaging motorist, Tonky came up with the idea for RydeSafe. In an effort to ensure maximum safety for cyclists, RydeSafe bike decals illuminate bikes so that, hopefully, even the most negligent motorists won’t be able to miss the Tron-esque riders rolling down the road.
Tonky came out of his accident unscathed, but was motivated to contribute to the safety and success of cyclists everywhere. “I’m so stoked for the opportunity to help the cycling community ensure its own safety,” he tells us. “I’ve stumbled on a simple and elegant idea that actually works. As gas prices rise and our planet melts, more and more Americans are taking cycling out of the realm of recreation and into transportation. So we need to raise awareness of distracted driving. Your car is big and metal.” Brooklyn-based since 2004, Tonky continually finds himself inspired by the community of artists that surrounds him. “Brooklyn has its ways of reminding me that I’m not the only pebble on the beach,” he says. “Living in such a big, vibrant, and diverse borough keeps you humble.” Like many Brooklyn artists, Tonky’s work is varied and can be seen in many forums. He believes that “there’s an electric sense of people making and sharing work because they need to. A shared sense that the work comes first. What it means to be a Brooklyn artist is your job to determine.”