Yellow Springs comedian likes to bike to work


Joel Levinson rides his bike to work in Yellow Springs in his video “I Like to Bike to Work.”

If you’re needing a little inspiration to get on your bike and ride it to work, take a minute to watch Yellow Springs comedian and producer Joel Levinson’s clever little music video “I Like to Bike to Work.”

Levinson, who moved from Los Angeles about a year ago with his wife and two boys, said he made the video for a contest about why folks bike commute.

The video didn’t win, but the contest sponsors said they liked it, the 35-year-old Levinson said. He thinks they chose a more serious video for the winner.

“The one that won the same contest last year was basically about how, Oh! There are some mornings that they get up and they don’t want to do it. And they get on their bike and ride 35 miles, and they have to convince themselves to do it the whole way,” Levinson said.

“It made it sound like it’s this intense, miserable thing, which is sort of the exact opposite of why I like riding a bike.

“So I was like, I should write something about, Oh, riding a bike actually feels nice.”

You’re not going to convince people to stop driving their cars to work if you make them think it’s some terrible ordeal, he said.

“But if everybody who lives within 5 miles of their work all of the sudden thought, ‘Yeah that would feel nice every few days to not have to sit in traffic and to get some fresh air,’ So that was the angle I used to approach it and try to make something that was upbeat and fun.”

And, he said, the video is a true story. He commutes across town to his office in the Soundspace Recording Studio.

The first verse:

“Moved to a new home closer to my office

Looked at my butt and decided to get off it.

Walked on down to see Scott the Bikeman,

Never looked back, now I bike whenever I can.”

Levinson said he really did go see Scott the Bikeman in Yellow Springs, and, like his song says, bought a bike for 60 bucks. He’s not sure what the make is, though.

“I think it’s called a Concord,” he said. “All I knew is that it had 12 speeds and it was blue.”

The only thing he asked for was a cushier saddle. He said he didn’t need anything fancy.

“The tires are two different tires, and it’s pretty rusty,” Levinson said. “But I love it. It’s great. It does the trick.”

The video is recorded with a GoPro that he mounted on his handlebars as he rode around Yellow Springs singing the song.

It drew some attention.

“There’s some construction going on in the neighborhood,” he said. “And the guys asked me what are you doing singing the same song every day riding past us?”

Levinson said he’s always working on web videos and hopes to move into making comedy movies. He said he’s doing another shoot this weekend.

He’s using local actors this time, but he often uses friends and family, who he can “press into being on camera.”

But, as in “I Like to Bike to Work,” he uses himself a lot, too.

“Because there’s nobody cheaper to get on camera than me.”

So if you’re up to 60 seconds of fun music with a message, check out Levinson’s video.

Second verse:

“Yes, it’s better for our shiny little planet

And no, to bike to work, you don’t have to own spandex.

Yes, it feels healthy like a workout in the sun,

But the reason I bike to work is that it’s fun.”

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