bikes — the jacks of all trades

I didn’t get to ride at all this weekend, and I’m terribly chagrined about that. I had planned to ride to Wauseon, OH, but something came up. So the closest I got to riding was performing some much needed maintenance on my commuter yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping to try the Wauseon ride again this coming weekend, most likely on Saturday. If there are any local readers interested in joining me, please let me know. I’ll try to map the route later this week on Map My Ride. It will be around 65 miles round trip.

Meanwhile, I spotted the following recently:

cyclissimo(wer)

cyclissimower

pedal-powered sharpening stone

pedal-powered sharpening stone

I’ve read lots on transportation cycling and on what you can carry or pull with a bike (along with advice on how best to do so). But these pedal-powered machines got me thinking about what other sorts of things you can do with a bike. People often talk about the bike as an ideal model of efficiency. In fact, the history of its development originates with the search for human-powered locomotion — an extension of the body and its natural abilities. So the fabricated machines above are simply a matter of translating and/or extending that fundamental principle to other applications. It’s not unlike the way automobiles were first used before they became so much about status and individual identity. People would buy them and turn them into machines for all kinds of tasks (e.g., pulling off the rear wheels, raising the back end, attaching belts, and converting the automobile into a table saw). Come to think of it, this reminds me of something I once saw at a motorcycle rally. A guy had made a margarita blender out of a weed-whacker engine. Right on. Surely a bicycle could be easily modified and adapted to function quite nicely as a homemade ice cream mixer.

So what else have you seen, or what else can you imagine, a bike being used for? I’m sure you’re all familiar with the beautiful and functional work of artists and recyclers like Andy Gregg and Frida Ottemo Kallstrom.

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