BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Like the creative that she is, Fly Orr has turned the trauma of being injured by an e-bike into art. But it wasn’t easy.
The comic artist, who goes by Fly, was struck by a speeding e-bike on Dec. 20 as she was crossing Eighth Street at Broadway. She was on a routine errand, on her way to shop at Trader Joe’s. Due to a combination of some past injuries and a congenital knee condition, she wears a knee brace, plus walks with a cane. She had the green light.
After the cyclist slammed her to the ground, he hopped right back on his bike and sped off. Fly, meanwhile, was left with a broken wrist on her right, drawing hand. She was taken by ambulance to the Bellevue emergency room, where her arm was put in a hard cast.
She’s known for her PEOPS series of portraits of local East Village artists and activists. However, with her drawing hand out of commission for six weeks, she decided to try drawing “Lefty PEOPS.” This is her first one, about — what else? —her experience of being violently struck by the e-bike.
It’s titled “Broken & Broker,” because, as she notes in the toon, the injury has impacted her ability to earn a living as an artist.
As she previously told The Village Sun, she feels that e-bikes should be licensed and registered. They are not bikes but “motorized vehicles,” she writes in the toon, in which she dubs the one that was going “so fast” when it crashed into her an “ebike projectile.”
She concludes the comic with a message to Mayor Adams: “Mr. Mayor this happens all the time!!” E-bikes should “follow rules of the road or face the consequences…penalties for violations & hitting pedestrians… This would be safer & make $ for the city.”
The mayor recently admitted to The Village Sun that the situation on the streets with speeding e-bikes has become a serious problem. He said he plans to work with Police Commissioner Jeffrey Maddrey on implementing some “real enforcement,” though without deterring people from cycling.
“We have to regain control of our streets,” the mayor stated. “Because you’re right — [riding] on the sidewalk, going up and down one-way streets — that becomes increasingly more dangerous and [is] some of the reckless driving that we are seeing.”
Fly said drawing this first Lefty PEOP was definitely harder than doing it right-handed. But — not surprising for a former D.I.Y squatter who built a home out of the husk of a burned-out tenement — she took it as a challenge.
“Yeah the comic took a looooonnnng time… a Lot of erasing,” she said. “But I’m doing much better at the lettering. I think I will keep practicing even when I get this cast off… another 3 weeks… guhhhhh.”