bicycles

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Design

Discarded Wind Turbine Blades Are Upcycled into Sleek Bike Shelters in Denmark

November 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

Image courtesy of Chris Yelland

It’s estimated that before 2050, we’ll generate 43 million tons of waste worldwide from one of the most promising clean energy producers alone. Wind turbines, while a cheap and carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels, are only 85 percent recyclable or reusable, and their massive fiberglass blades, which are so large that they span the length of a football field, are notoriously difficult to break down and often end up deteriorating in a landfill for 20 to 25 years. Until a high-volume solution for recycling the structures becomes viable, there’s a growing trend in repurposing the pieces for maze-style playgrounds, construction materials like pellets and panels, or pedestrian bridges as proposed by Re-Wind Network, a group devoted to finding new uses for the unused parts.

A long-time proponent of wind energy, the Danish government is receiving attention for its own initiative that tasked turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa with upcycling the blade. The company transformed the long, curved component into an open-air shelter at the Port of Aalborg, where it protects bikes from the elements. Although Siemens Gamesa doesn’t have plans to launch a large-scale initiative for installing similar designs, it recently released new fully recyclable blades that can be turned into boats, recreational vehicle bodies, and other projects in the future. (via designboom)

 

Image courtesy of Chris Yelland

Image courtesy of Siemens Gamesa

Image courtesy of Siemens Gamesa

Image courtesy of Siemens Gamesa

 

 



Design

Upcycled Railbikes Travel through California's Ancient Redwood Groves as Pedal-Powered Designs

August 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images by Brendan McGuigan, © Mendocino Railway

Following the same route of the long-running Skunk Train that thrums through California’s Mendocino County, a new contraption from the historic rail brings cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts through the pristine redwood groves with a smaller carbon footprint. Railbikes are two-seated, four-wheeled designs that run along the centuries-old tracks through the ancient forests just outside of Fort Braggs. Made with lightweight materials, the upcycled rigs are largely pedal-powered, although they have an electric component for hills and more difficult stretches of the miles-long route.

The new offering marks a growing trend in eco-tourism and a shift toward outdoor activities that leave little impact on the environment, with similar offerings cropping up along rails in Carson City, Sacramento, and Las Vegas that have been entirely or mostly abandoned. Skunk Train has plans in the works to expand its routes in the coming months, and you can follow its developments on its site and Instagram. Until then, watch the video below to tag along on a trek through the towering redwoods. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art Design

Using Long Continuous Strokes, Thomas Yang's New Print is a Zen Meditation on Cycling

June 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Thomas Yang, shared with permission

In his new print “Journey to Zen,” artist Thomas Yang (previously) focuses on the mental benefits of his favorite pastime. The Singapore-based artist is behind 100 Copies, an ongoing print project in which he releases limited-edition works centered around his love of cycling—previous iterations include architectural renderings inked with bike tires and a competitive peloton of riders.

“Journey to Zen” renders a lone cyclist in a manner similar to a Japanese sand garden, using long, uninterrupted strokes of black ink. “To simulate that particular style with continuous lines or samon (砂紋) in the gravel, I had decided to use a rake paintbrush as part of the tool. To familiarise (myself) with the brush, it took me quite a while to practice on the strokes and shades, especially for those curvy ones,” the artist shares. Once complete, Yang digitally enhanced the brushtrokes and printed the piece on textured paper to deepen the stone-like effect.

Born out of a period of uncertainty, the fluid and composed lines represent the meditative qualities of the sport and its ability to serve as an outlet for stress and anxiety. “Sometimes, taking our bike out for a ride brings us on an inward journey,” Yang says. “Almost like a form of Zen meditation, the noise fades, our mind clears, and all we are focused on is the path before us. The longer and farther we go, the more we learn about ourselves and the nature of our mind.”

There are still a few “Journey to Zen” prints available on 100 Copies, where you can find more of Yang’s available works.

 

 

 



Design

Breeze Through the Forest Canopy on a Spiraled Bike Path in Belgium

September 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

This summer, a new elevated circular bike path was built that winds through the Belgian forest about an hour outside of Brussels. ‘Cycling Through the Trees’ is part of the Limburg bike route, and works its way up to a height of 32 feet, placing riders inside the forest canopy. Unlike another recent circular tourist attraction, the bike path is not ticketed, and also offers riders places to sit and rest in nearby alcoves with benches. You can vicariously enjoy the ride through the video below. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Design

The World's Largest Bicycle Garage Opens in Utrecht

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Petra Appelhof

Colossal recently covered Utrecht’s efforts to green up their public transit with bee-friendly bus stops, and the Dutch city is at it again with the world’s largest bike garage. The multi-level structure, recently completed, is totally underground, allowing the public square above to be a pedestrian-first space. Designed by Ector Hoogstad Architects in collaboration with the Sant & Co firm and Royal Haskoning DHV, the garage accommodate 13,500 bicycles. This quantity unseats Tokyo as home to the world’s largest bike garage. To learn more about the specifics and logistical considerations of the design, visit the architect’s website. (via designboom)

 

 



Design

A Retired Bike-Share Bicycle Upcycled to a Beetle-Shaped Mobile Library

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Seeking to provide a new use for China’s enormous surplus of bike-share bicycles, LUO Studio recently designed a mobile library in the shape of a winged beetle. The studio’s founder Luo Yujie was inspired to create “Shared Lady Beetle” by a friend who teaches young children and often needs to educational supplies around. In a statement on the studio’s website the Shared Lady Beetle is envisioned as a “beneficial insect walking on the urban leaf.”

To create the mobile library, LUO Studio equipped a standard bicycle with two back wheels and an additional load-bearing wheel to accommodate the extra length of the design. Discarded iron sheets from automobiles form the library’s exterior, and the “wings” open to reveal three partitioned shelves that can accommodate books or other creative materials for kids.

The studio describes their mission as being “committed to creating more durable, friendly and quality space through creative thinking, craftsmanship spirit of devotion and caring for nature.” Luo is also the director at the Sustainable Village Studio of China New Rural Planning and Design Institute. Discover more of LUO Studio’s innovative and sustainable designs on their website, which features project descriptions in both Chinese and English. If you enjoy this project, also check out Weapons of Mass Instruction by Raul Lemesoff and Juan Martinez’s bicycle animals. (via designboom)