Two weeks ago a "call for artists" went out. Was anyone interested in creating an art bike to help raise awareness for multiple sclerosis and in particular, the MS 150? The artist would all be paired with a rider or organization in order to coordinate telling a story through an art bike.
The bikes would be provided for the artist as well as a small stipend for supplies. At the warehouse, the bikes all looked so ordinary. Then, light from heaven above shone as the angels started their chorus of hallelujahs. I saw it; a classic vintage Huffy 3 speed from the 1970's. This_is_the_bike.
The poor bike was in such bad shape that the tires were reduced to powder as it was being rolled to the suburban. Driving straight to the bike shop to get new tires, believe it or not, even the hard core bike dudes fell in love with it.
After riding it home, I started cleaning it up a bit, but not too much. It really is such a classic that I don't want to alter it's appearance permanently. It had, at some point, lived outside, because it had some vine type growth in the spokes and frame. There was also a dirt dauber nest that fell from somewhere while cleaning. Whew, I'm just glad it was an old dirt dauber nest.
One of the sweet deals of participating in the art bike project is that there is the option of keeping the bike after the exhibit. Nice! So therefore, anything "artistic" on the bike for this project is fully removable...so it can actually be ridden later. "Bike Lamp" was created using vines and an actual working lamp. At one point, I put out an apb in search of lamp shades. Three friends graciously donated shades. After trial and error, the brown shade won.
In my case, the MS 150 rider's mother's story inspired the creation of "Bike Lamp." In spite of having multiple sclerosis, the mother continues to work full time in order to maintain health insurance benefits and full coverage upon retirement.
It is the artist's hope that Bike Lamp will "shed light" on the "growing" health care issues in our country.