The name “Robin Williams” still makes us smile. This is befitting for a man who loved to make people laugh. But it wasn’t just his singular comedic genius that brought joy to the world, but also his fierce advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities. The lesser-known sides of Robin Williams—the athlete, the bike nerd, the activist—were all tied to his love of cycling. Williams collected bikes, lots of them. Some bikes were custom-made and some were bought spontaneously off the rack.
As any city kid knows, there is a pure joy to getting your first bike. Suddenly, you can venture beyond your block and explore foreign places — like neighborhoods, parks and bridges on the other side of the borough. Growing up in St. Albans, Queens, Elias Williams savored that freedom.
Although an accident led him to cut back on his riding a few years ago, Mr. Williams, 25, still enjoys the fraternity of the two wheels in his adopted borough, the Bronx. There, tucked between Yankee Stadium and the elevated tracks, he has been photographing the denizens of Mullaly Bike Park. Billed as the city’s oldest such park, he found a welcoming community of BMX riders who spin, glide up and down ramps, do 180-degree turns and more.