John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
What better way for cyclists to show their contempt for the car-driving masses than riding around on the carcass of a dismembered vehicle?
What better way for cyclists to show their contempt for the car-driving masses than riding around on the carcass of a dismembered vehicle? That's actually possible now in Madrid, where a team of crafty types have built a bicycle prototype from bits of cars salvaged from the junkyard.
They constructed the frame by welding together pieces of auto steel and used an old transmission belt for the "chain." The rear reflector is a former turn signal that still lights up via unseen electronics, and the seat is lovingly molded from the foam of car cushions. If the weight of the end product causes your vertebrates to crackle like castanets when lifting it up the staircase, hey, that's just the cost of pedaling on the cutting edge of hipster-cycle fandom.
The website for these "Bicycled Bikes" seemingly employs a false plural as I only see evidence of one bike in the above video. (And it's not even shown in a complete view.) Call me a doubter, but considering that this project was devised by Lola Madrid – a marketing agency that has done spots for Nomad skateboards and Degree antiperspirant – it's likely not to travel far beyond this single prototype. Lola is pitching the car-bike like it's almost ready to roll off the factory floor, though, asking people to send in their email addresses to "join the queue to get the first ones."
The creative agency goes so far as to deem Bicycled Bikes the "most efficient, ecological and healthy means of transportation" that will "become a reality for a better future." One YouTube commenter takes issue with that claim, asking "Why didn't you just make it out of an old bike instead of wasting precious resources and time on doing everything from scratch. This is the opposite of eco-friendly." Why, exactly? Maybe because hacked auto-bikes are totally cool to ride around in, as evidenced with this Canadian maker's Atomic Zombie Extreme Gladiator Chopper Trike:
(H/t to Scott at Urban Velo.)