For all of biking’s practical applications, there’s something about the transportation method’s culture that lends itself to creativity. When it comes to using bike parts as elements of sculpture and interior design or getting creative with bike accessories, Columbus creatives’ gears are turning. Here’s a roundup of a few of our favorite examples of bike-inspired art and design.
Animal’s Garden sculpture
This community garden tucked in to the northeast corner of Fourth and Hudson streets has myriad art elements, but the garden’s zig-zaggy sculpture made out of bicycle wheels has the best story. While on its national summer tour last year, the band Foster the People helped the Animal’s Garden members, led by Trish Clark, program manager at Local Matters, dig out space for and build the art piece. The sculpture currently is six bike wheels long but the plan, Clark said, is to make it about quadruple that size so it extends through the whole bed of soil it sits in. Volunteers can donate spare bikes for the sculpture by dropping them off near the garden’s white rain barrels.
A sturdy custom tote from this local company is a must-have for those who routinely make trips on two wheels. Customers frequently have their own art transferred to the company’s durable but practical bag designs. Seagull Bags has experienced such success that it moved from its Clintonville headquarters in 2011 to a 6,000-square-foot space Downtown (check out the shop at 240 N. Fifth St.).
Pinchflat is a popular annual bike poster art show of work designed by local illustrators. The $30-a-pop posters will be on view at Paradise Garage bike shop in the Short North through the end of the month and available for perusal online after that.
Third Hand Bicycle Cooperative decor
As a shop that helps customers maintain the mechanics of their bikes and build their own rides, inspiring creative thinking is essential. Chain rings are embedded in the cement of the co-op’s front stoop, a doormat made of bike pedals welcomes guests, lights are hung with shifter cables and a seat with handlebars attached to it mimics a taxidermied animal head hanging on the wall.
OSU electrical engineering student Adam Sauer designed his company’s LED wheel illuminators out of a desire to make his bike rides safer and to make safety more fun. The lights caught on — people often yelled “Tron!” from their porches as Sauer pedaled past — and he began selling the invention. A pair of Cycle Lights, which comes in a variety of colors, costs $40 plus shipping (cyclelights.us). Starting this month Cycle Lights will host bi-monthly night rides from Campus to Downtown.