A bicycle is much more than a simple mean of transportation. Going a step further than considering its benefits for human beings and environment, it has been used in a variety of ways throughout its history. Shrewdness has made people to develop a wide variety of bike-objects. Here are some of them.
Suppose you live in a developing country where electricity is too expensive, does not even arrive to mountainous area or you just want to save some money. People has thought a way up to use the legs force to clean garment. The bike-washer makes it reality. The pedals move transmits the energy through the chain, which in turn spins the drum. You need to put the dirty clothes, water and soap, and make some exercise. You will feel double satisfied. One the one hand, your garment will be cleaned. One the other hand, you will have produced endorphins which will make you feel happy.
Next, a bicycle can be modified to allow whipping and produce food with a different texture, like a delicious milkshake. The bike-beater takes advantage from the movement as before. This easy machine is another way to reduce electricity consumption.
Finally, bicycles has been used in wars to deliver important information from the war fronts. One use you probably does not known is bikes as stretchers. Yes, you have read stretchers. At least in Valencia, it was used the bike-stretcher during the Civil War. On the next photo you can see how ingenuity can give marvelous objects, especially needed in war times.
I had the honor to know him in person in a Critical Mass years ago. I can say without any fear of being wrong that Quico shares its laugh with the Biciclown (I wrote about him in the past). He is clever, open-minded and a truly adventurer.
His bike is called Vita (life in Italian) and this is precisely what it produces. People become amaze when seeing it. It is a dark blue, tall bike consisting of two bike welded one on the other, with special chain and all the measures adjusted to his size. In the process of constructing it, he had to look for specific parts since not all the bike stores had them. The fact of being a tall bike makes more difficult to overcome high uphills, but Quico has strong legs.
You can follow his adventures in his blog https://a100sonrisasporhora.com (in Spanish). “A 100 sonrisas por hora” means “at 100 smiles per hour” and that is just what he and his bike pass on. Indeed, he shows a flag with a smiley in which the eyes are in reality the wheels of a bicycle. As he relates in his blog, the impact of seeing a tall bike makes children to laugh and express surprise.
He started his trip in Spain and his purpose is to arrive to Malaysia on bike without any specific arrival date, crossing Europe and Asia. He wants to enjoy his trip the most and make people happy.
Ávaro Neil (Biciclown) is probably the person who is riding its bike for most time. He started riding in 2001 and has continued until now. A thing he can not ride with is its clown costume with whom he makes children laughing as he has been clown since 1989. You can find the trips he has done (and is still doing) and be stunned in https://biciclown.com (in Spanish). He receives help from people and counts with more than 30 sponsors which support him. Moreover, he has written six books, gives conferences, makes theater and adventure consultancy…
He launched the project Kilometers of smiles as he called it his first great travel on bike from 2001 to 2003. The bike attraction is so powerful that he felt the need to ride it again. Thus, he started a round-the-world trip in 2004 and he is expected to finish it this year. There is a nice video on his web on which you can see the pretended route he is riding.
There are a bunch of special bikers who ride the world just for the pleasure of traveling and enjoying the bicycle, meaning they ride for thousands of kilometers in only one trip. If you have ever seen a bike with lots of panniers, you have probably come across one of these travelers. They usually constitute a group of people looking for real freedom and exciting experiences.
Previously of starting their trips, they need to planner them carefully. And I not taking about the landscapes they will see, they should also consider all the issues related to the route from the climate, money, food, possibly some little jobs they will need to do to survive, to the red paper, wars o cultural differences between countries.
I recommend spending some weeks or even months with the preparations, including bike tools and a tent since you will probably sleep outdoors as a result of not finding proper allocation. The type of bike should fulfill your purpose. If you have previously determined the route and are sure it will pass only on pave roads, you will probably use a classic bike. On the other hand, if you pretend to ride on both roads and paths, it is better to use a mountain bike.
This is a way of making sustainable tourism and I am going to show you some of these bikers in the next posts.