...two wheels, a drive-train, saddle and steering all connected by a bunch of tubes with a person balanced on top. In the history of machine-human interaction was there ever something more beautiful and unlikely than a bicycle and rider?

Below are some things I've gathered on my electronic and physical travels. I make no guarantee that anybody else will care :-) This page will grow as I find time to add to it. If you like my photos (most here are mine), please let me know.

toys toys too Timber Singlespeed Duchamp Bicycle Wheel
A miniature national-team Tour De France in a shop opposite the Louvre. The Italians are taking a drink as usual. This one is now drinking from his bidon on our furniture at home :-) (July 2009) A plastic TDF. The Belgian looks nice and relaxed but I think the maillot jaune will escape. (July 2009) Bicyclette La Souplette, 1895. I bet its not very stiff! (July 2009) Duchamp used only the very crappiest hub in his famous art work. (July 2009)
Cycles Laurent Paris Design Studio Hotel TV TDF Prisoners
Cycles Laurent, Paris. Here's L'Equipe derny on the wall inside. (July 2009) A design studio(?) tying to sell fixies. (July 2009) TDF in my four-hundred year old hotel on flat-panel LCD. (July 2009) The TDF for prisoners! (No kidding) All escapes will be shut down by the police. (July 2009)
six day race - painting

I saw this evocative painting in Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris.

Alexandre GANESCO (1910-1979)
Les "Six Jours" du Vel d'Hiv (1930)

added 27 July 08

I will let the Korean industrial designers and inventors speak for themselves about this zany but lovely invention...

The Sound From Wind
by Joseph Kim, co-author: Hwang Jin Wook

"THE SOUND FROM WIND makes a melody through wind when you are riding on a bicycle. By using principles of the instruments such as the Flute or the Ocarina, it makes Analog sound, not Digital sound. You can use buttons on the handle in order to makes various melodies.

When you are on the road with THE SOUND FROM WIND, You will be a musician.
Because the road is a concert hall and bicycle is an instrument of orchestra. Performance is simple. Sound and volume can be controlled by your fingers and speed of bicycle. That is to say, THE SOUND FROM WIND is the instrument which uses your whole body."

added 2 July 08


Bluddy hell :-(

"The collision near the Mexican-US border, captured on film by a Monterrey city official. One cyclist died and 10 were injured when the car ploughed into riders taking part in a road race. PICTURE: AP Photo: AP" The Age, June 4 2008

added 2 July 08

Team Telekom Lego Could I have one of these kits please?
How could I resist? The 2007 TDF poster has Australia as the front wheel of a bike, Britain as a chainwheel, Antarctica (?) as the rear wheel... and it starts on 07/07/07... a special day!
Eddy Merckx Ticket Am I the only person in the world dumb enough to have an Eddy Merckx signed train ticket? I even surrendered it (temporarily) to the ticket gate to get me home!

A cute London cycle shop sign that (mis)interprets Darwinian evolution as "progress" implies that cyclists are superior to suits. (The "one way" sign reinforces the message.) There are many sub-cultures within cycling, each seemingly feels some degree of superiority over the others. The only thing that is true is that cyclists are smarter than those who aren't ;-)

An entire page of photos of my lovely fixed-gear road ride.... but its not as nice as my track bike ;-)
Danish rent-a-bike station. These allow you to collect a bicycle from one location and ride it to a different station to deposit the bicycle. Have a look at their website. The area of Goteborg (Sweden) in which I was living had a similar scheme for renting bicycles. Could such a thing work in Australia? I expect that the bicycles would be vandalised. Maybe the idea could be adopted to allow people to get around our university campus?
A Kraftwerk album cover. Its not my favourite of their albums but it has some decent tracks. I think I still prefer the original TDF track to the newer tracks.

A lovely old bicycle shop in Christchurch, New Zealand. I've never been inside but love the exterior. The old sign and rusty corrugated iron roof are so romantic :-)

The door of a bike shop in Trøndheim, Norway.
A sculpture (I think it was made by handicapped people or for sale with proceeds donated to charity) in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Strictly this is a tricycle (maybe a pedal car?), not a bicycle. All the same, I was most amused to see a gentleman pedalling this across the bridge to work in Berne, Switzerland. The machine even has windscreen wipers, indicators and disc brakes.
Close-ups of some bicycles in the Museum of the History of the Sciences, Florence, Italy.
The switch-back from hell. This handmade road is an architectural marvel on Capri, Italy. It makes the switchbacks of the TDF look like a picnic. The road overlooks the spectacularly blue ocean. Sadly it is closed to walkers and traffic and can only be marvelled at from afar.
A "pick-a-plank" bridge. I've raced across one of these in the wet. Needless to say the race rapidly came to a halt as several of those at the front of the bunch were unceremoniously dumped on the road with bent wheels whilst those in the middle and back slipped and slid our way across the wet timber slats in our cleats. Hmmm. Not a good choice of race route.
Here are a few images from Shanghai. No flashy carbon-fiber here! All is strictly "rusty-steel-and-old-bolts"
A street-side "puncture repair stop". If you have a flat tyre you may use the provided basin of water to find the hole. You then patch it up and use the provided pump to get on your way again, leaving small change in the bottom of the water basin so that the owner can eat something for dinner. A classic Chinese bicycle that has seen better days. Singlespeed is always the way to go around here. Even those bikes with derailleurs look as though they might in practice only work as single speeds :-) A shop selling relatively new bicycles. One of these beauties costs around $50.
zero bike I stumbled across this "Zero Bike" on the web... a prototype of a machine with hubless, magnetically suspended wheels and a magnetic drive. Apparently the bike was designed by Makota Makita and Hiroshi Tsuzaki from Tokyo, Japan. It certainly looks impressive! I can't help but wonder if it would ride well. How would the front wheel resist sideways motion without flexing?




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