In the article “I thought of that while riding my bike” I touch upon how the bike is the inspirational vehicle for many artists and while in Australia, I once again saw how inspirational the bicycle is.
A Saturday afternoon at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia is a great afternoon in and of itself. Add a little art to the beach culture and you get people lined up for miles waiting to see what Bondi calls “Sculpture by the Sea”. Founded by David Handley with the purpose of adding another “free” community arts event to his beloved Sydney, Handley’s idea was inspired by an outdoor sculpture park set on 13th century ruins in the Czech republic. For the past 16 years Hendley has been able to add art to an already artful coastline.
A sculpture set to the gorgeous coastline of Bondi Beach is a sure fire hit. Some of my favorites were ones that incorporated the natural landscape in their art. Lucy Humphrey’s sculpture “Horizon” -a two-ton, 1.5 meter diameter, hollow acrylic sphere holding 1800 liters of tap water sits on the edge of the cliff in Bondi. Looking through the sphere you see the refracted image of the coastline causing the inversion of such.
Another fantastic one is one that looks like a stairway to heaven “Diminsh and Ascend” by David McCracken.
But my absolute favorites, were ones that were inspired by or used a bicycle; of course. “There’s many a slip” by Ken Unsworth left much to be interpreted with some of the most popular theories being that it is a “Hipster Sisyphus” (in Greek mythology Sisyphus was a Sinner condemned in Tartarus to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again.).
Michael Turski, “The Hive” is not just a sculpture but an actual working space. The colorful bikes are for the observers to pedal so that a battery powered office can function and the artist can work during the day. Bike friendly and green? Right up our alley!
Bicycles have been and will continue to be inspirational for many many years. After all, it was commuting back and forth on bike that inspired GiveLoveCycle's line of CarryAlls!
How do bikes inspire you?
Riding a bicycle for me is a complete adrenaline rush. I am not one of those extreme junkies or even that adventurous.
I'm not sure I will ever sky dive or bungee jump. However, I do feel a true giddiness when riding my bike. My first rush comes from the downhill of Capitol Hill. The breeze instantly hits my face and away I go, whizzing past the Capitol building, tourists, Congress people, police officers all in a blur.
When I reach the Capitol, I veer right or the Senate side to go down the hill.
The next adrenaline rush is on Pennsylvania Ave. I feel connected with the road in a way that is impossible when in a car. The road has bumps, different elevations, potholes, those silver circles that dip down (what are those things by the way?) but most importantly, I feel the clock ticking down for the changing of the lights. I know the timing of the lights so well and the next adrenaline rush comes from pushing through the lights with the additional left turn signals to catch the next green.
I ride all the way down Pennsylvania Ave, which dead ends into the White House grounds. I go around the ellipse and see the White House from the back side.
The adrenaline here is from a sense of pride. I feel lucky to live, work and bike in the same city as the leader of the free world. Our President could be conducting meetings of worldwide importance behind those windows. It also stands for so much, evident by the constant stream of tourists taking pictures or just standing admiring the view. Most days, I give my bell one ring to show my appreciation.
What gets your blood pumping everyday? Is it your daily ride to work like mine?
Walking back home from grocery shopping, I see a man in his 50's yelling at a girl on a Citibike and caning her bike. I asked if everything was ok and he looked at me angrily and said "I HATE THE BIKES". It really got me thinking that despite the popularity of the bikesharing program in NYC, (check out their System Data for statistics) people really love it or hate it. I wondered, is it this way around the world or only in NYC because it is still new? When will people really look at the bike share as a means of transportation vs a nuisance? Well only time will tell but in the meantime, I wanted to see what the world view of bike sharing really looks like.
Check out the awesome list furnished on Google Maps
I recently started riding my bicycle again to work and around DC. I also just had a baby and am currently exclusively breastfeeding and pumping. I had a conversation with someone I just met and both of these topics happened to be brought up in the same discussion. The woman said, "So you must be a crunchy mom. Are you obsessed with yoga too?" Do bikes and yoga go hand in hand?
HMMM. This is a new one for me. First, I am more of a pilates/barre type of person. Next, I reviewed my outfit: my GLC Guilden bag, an in season houndstooth pattern dress, and ballerina inspired flats.
Why did this bother me? What does crunchy even mean and is there anything negative about being crunchy?
Maybe it struck as nerve this person couldn't see how I would want to rely on my bicycle as my main form of transportation and a healthy lifestyle. Or is it more aimed toward how society sees mothers who bike AND breastfeed? I am a firm believer in doing what is right for you, your family and your well being. I would be proud to be this woman here - biking and breastfeeding like a boss.
Would it bother you to be labeled as a certain type of cyclist or parent? I'm more than a breastfeeding biking mom and if that's how people see me right now, I am fine with it. Are there naysayers in your life making it hard for you to do the things you want to do?
During my hectic week my bike is my work horse. I run from point A to point B and my trusty bike gets me there and back, I couldn’t imagine my week without it. During the weekends, when I try to leave the craziness of my week behind, my bike is my personal escape and therapist.
Whether I am going cruising to forget the stress or I am going on a tough ride to challenge my self esteem and physical endurance, my bike is more to me than a piece of metal on two wheels and many others like Dr. Barbara Springer, a physical therapist and retired Army officer, feel the same. Dr. Springer, National Director of Project Hero at Ride 2 Recovery, who’s mission statement is “To make a difference in the lives of Healing Heroes by providing a rehabilitation experience that can impact their lives forever” is promoting cycling as an integral part of rehabilitation at select military facilities to enhance physical, psychological, spiritual and social recovery.
Ride 2 Recovery was founded in 2008 when a recreational therapist with the Veterans Administration thought cycling would be an alternative therapy to rehabilitation programs for PTSD, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and physical injuries. Springer states that the sport of cycling enhances the “psychological and physical recovery of our nation’s wounded”
On the Project Hero website, cycling is revered:
Cycling is an important part of the recovery and rehabilitation program for many reasons. Most importantly:
Specially adapted bikes are designed and built by Ride 2 Recovery staff to suit individuals’ needs, making it possible for almost everyone to participate in the program
Project Hero allows wounded vets that were taken away from their unit to reintegrate themselves into a “brotherhood of like-minded individuals, teamwork, aggressive, motivated folks able to connect and bond through sharing physical and mental challenge through cycling” to help both their physical and mental recovery along.
The right of passage we experience as kids, getting your freedom through your bike, is more than mere child’s play in every sense of the word.
For more information on Project Hero go to: www.ride2recoery.com