Now, this is a “special” ride!
The modest tricycle is probably the last thing you’d expect to see driving down the Golden Gate Bridge, but that’s what makes this trip by the tricycle dubbed “TNT Traysikel” that much more historic.
In a series of photos posted on Instagram, the tricycle can be seen cruising through different parts of California, including the popular Golden Gate Bridge, as it is joined by other Filipino-American riders from various parts of Northern California.
Made by Filipino-Americans Michael Arcega and Paulo Asuncion in 2020, the TNT Traysikel, according to its social media account, is a “mobile public artwork that operates as a cultural marker for the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District” in San Francisco. It resembles the motorized sidecar made locally and is fitted with an LED light kit and hand-painted by Meng Nguyen using enamel paint.
“TNT Traysikel is an immigrant metaphor constructed from a deep colonial history. As a social sculpture, TNT Traysikel was used as an aesthetic object, a protest tool and symbol of solidarity with the Black community against Police brutality and delivery vehicle during the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be the main site for collecting stories of Filipinx diaspora in a forthcoming documentary,” its original description reads.
Beyond being a cultural symbol, the TNT Traysikel will also serve as the focal point of an upcoming Fil-Am web series, “TNT SideCaraoke,” a rolling interview show exploring the Filipino and Filipino-American experience.