Posts Tagged ‘bicycles’
Just cause I’m excited about the creativity thing I posted, like, minutes ago, here’s another video that is cool because the process that the artist (/vandal) goes through to make his art (/vandalism) is cooler even to me than the final product (and the final product is cool: though it’s easy to call it vandalism, it’s also unquestionably a shameless act of urban improvement). I like the idea of a process being complicated and labor intensive in service to a seemingly simple outcome. Again, this is not a life philosophy, but a catalyst for my creativity.
for extra credit, identify the common theme between this and the previous post.
The title of this post is not a new philosophy. It is a quote from this fun little video featuring Todd Barricklow, a maker of impossible bikes. Combining several appealing ideas (bikes!), the minute-and-a-half video is here because I find it inspiring. I think I could use some encouragement in the area of creativity, and this video has just the right mixture of provocation and fun.
Taken on its own, this post might seem out of place, but I see this as the first in a series of posts on creativity catalysts, inspiring perspectives on people making new things in ways I had not considered. (It’s the first in the series because it’s the last in a long list of collected videos and other sources I’ve been collecting over the last couple years … stay tuned for more.)
I just got my favorite bike back. It hasn’t been gone or anything. But it has, for a year or so, had a motor mounted to it … which is another story, except to say that the motor was an awesome chinese two-stroke disaster that was anything but green. The motor is destined for another junker frame I saved from the dump, and this bike, my Two Wheeler, has been restored to it’s pure and simple, single-speed (=slow) glory.
Today I was thinking about how environmentally perfect my bike is, and how I’ve often bragged about it over the years, feeling superior to Prius drivers, etc, etc. But I realized today, as I was pedaling around town, enjoying my resurrected roller, that I don’t ride bikes because they are green. At least, that was never a reason for me to start, nor was it why I fell in love with bikes. I ride bikes because bike riding is fun. Sure, I love that my fuel is yummy food, not stinky petroleum. I love that I don’t create greenhouse gasses and I love that I don’t make noise and air pollution. But I really just love riding bikes: that’s mainly why I started, and that’s mainly why I don’t give it up.
I love the freedom of it. I love the wind, the lack of traffic, the simplicity of the machine. I love that I can build and fix bikes with my kids. I love that I am not limited to streets, but can ride in a field, along a trail, and even the wrong way on a one-way street (carefully). I love weaving gently back and forth when the sun is shining and I’m wearing flip-flops and just rolling along without really pedaling at all. Riding is freedom to me. But more to the point, riding bikes makes me feel like a child.
I can admit that I don’t ride my bike because it’s green. I’m so glad that it is, really, but that’s not why I love it.
As I was having this moment of honest self-evaluation, I wondered how many other childlike, innocent pleasures there are that are naturally good for the environment? To put the question another way, when do we become old enough that our tools and toys become as much a danger to our environment as they are a solution to our problems?