Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Beauty and the Bicycle

As I roamed down the aisles of the 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) I was greeted with beautiful bicycle after beautiful bicycle. As I took it all in I paused to think about what makes a bike beautiful? Is it the intricately carved lugs? What about the little extras which add visually to the bike, but offer no utilitarian value to the machine.

I would argue that all of the bikes pictured are beautiful machines. The Peacock Grove dropouts show how fun a bicycle can be. The leafed vine on the Naked frame adds a touch of elegance and complements the bikes paint job. Finally, the clean lines and simple utilitarian nature of the ANT commuter bike remind me how useful a masterfully crafted bicycle can be.

The beauty of a bike is of course in the eye of the beholder. In short I believe the bicycle is as diverse as the people who ride them. They can be fun, funky, playful, all-business, super eccentric or even downright ugly. Fortunately the latter was not present at this year’s show.

What makes a bicycle beautiful to you?

1 comment:

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