[CR]RE: NAHBS and art

(Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2002)

From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Emily=20O'Brien?= <emilyonwheels@emilysdomain.org>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 22:42:49 +0000
Subject: [CR]RE: NAHBS and art

I agree with the point about show bicycles being just that, and that artistic expression is worthwhile in its own right. And I'm not at all against gratuitous decoration completely for its own sake. I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a crazy paint job, even if it's not my cup of tea. How the whole boring, stealth matte black look got fashionable is beyond me. Bikes should come in happy colors!

However, if the point is for a builder to show off what they're capable of, it seems to me to defeat the purpose if the end result is -less- functional than whatever is commercially available for the same task. And I'm speaking fromt the point of view of someone who could see spending $5000 (if I had it) on a cargo bike if I really needed one. But if you're going to the trouble of building a completely customized version of something that's available on the mass market, and integrating parts that are available by themselves, it had better function at least as well (and preferably much better!) than whatever you can buy off the shelf. If you want to show off what you can do in bike with its own matching integrated rack system, make it as flashy as you want, but those racks had better be at least as strong and functional for whatever its intended purpose is what you'd get by buying some mid-range Trek and putting a Blackburn rack on it. Put custom light mounts on it, make your own pannier, make a coffee cup holder, put on whatever little touches will make it slicker, sleeker, or easier to use than the Blackburn alternative, but when the design aspect gets in the way of actual function, I think you've defeated the purpose of showing off what you can do.

That said, there were some cool ideas and some neat modern takes on old technology. There's certainly no reason why things have to be done the same way they've always been done just because it's traditional; and I have no problem with people taking a "classic" or "retro" design and modernizing it in some way to make it suit their needs better. Even if it's not exactly keeping the flame, it's still a good thing.

But seriously, if there weren't so many crazy bike concepts out there (and photos on the internet), what would I do with myself all day?

Emily O'Brien
Medford, MA