Working Bikes Cooperative displays eye-catching bicycle contraptions when they present at events (such as last month's Global Activism Expo and NFO XPO). Those contraptions are great icebreakers for passersby who want to find out about WB. Working Bikes Founder Lee Ravenscroft created a bike that allows you to travel around the world in less than 80 seconds.
Working Bikes' Matt Weber has created sculptures out of recycled bike parts, including one that he calls Ferris Cycle. I spoke with Weber about bike art he has created --
DG: How did you first get the idea to make bike art?
MW: I first got the idea to make bike art when I started doing custom paint jobs on my bikes which required taking the whole bike apart, stripping it down, painting, then building it up. I began to realize that a bike itself is a canvas for creation. When I was at Valparaiso University I signed on to be props master for the play Home Free, which required a Ferris Wheel that looked like it was made out of junk and stuff you would find around the house. This is where my knowledge of bikes became really handy. I used an old BMX frame cut it up to make a stand, then used a 20" wheel and pencils to build the what I later called Ferris Cycle. It worked extremely well and looks quite odd at that, being a wheel that can spin on an X, Y and Z axis.
DG: Can every part of a bicycle be recycled -- as part of another bicycle, or as something that can turn into bike art?
MW: Absolutely, my love of bikes as a form of transportation and man-powered mechanical genius has inspired me to use all parts of the bike, as Native Indians used all parts of a buffalo.
DG: What are some other things that you've made out of bicycle parts?
MW: I've made jewelery, toys, and props and ever since I have joined forces with Working Bikes Cooperative. I'll keep on using bikes to make power generators, water pumps, and maybe even a house on wheels that you can ride from town to town spreading the joy and freedom of cycling.