It’s been quite a while since I posted anything car related but this new taxi concept called the Milano by Volkswagen certainly grabbed my attention. While I was in New York it was so nice riding everywhere in cabs. They were clean (mostly), quick and it was sooo easy to pay, just swipe your card and you’re good to go. Here in Los Angeles cabs are antiquated, try paying with a credit card and you’ll get sass from the grizzled driver. That’s why this concept is so appealing to me, it’s a perfect people mover.
First off it’s electric, which means it can go 186 miles between charges and go a maximum of 74 MPH. It’s also got only two seats for passengers and the trunk has been moved to the front, passenger seat for easy access to your luggage. It’s also got a little touchscreen which not only allows you to pay for your ride but you can also “call up information (in various languages) about “points of interest” (POIs) along the route, navigation data (route overview, remaining route and arrival time), weather data and the current date and time.”
I thought it would be nice to transition from bikes to videos with this great piece from the folks over at California is a place. If you’re not familiar with CIAP they make videos all about my lovely home state California and all the amazing things that happen here. For this video they travelled to Oakland to document the Original Scraper Bike Team, which is a group of kids who trick out their bikes by painting them or adding colorful tape to the spokes and the riding them around Oakland.
The Team is run by Baby Champ who gets the kids to come together and give them some focus an get them away from the bad stuff that goes down in Oakland. I’m also impressed that Baybe Champ is only 20 years old yet he has a clear vision of wanting to help other people. In the video he talks about having a dream of his own bike shop where kids can come out and customize their bikes, use Apple computers and have a positive place to be, all in East Oakland. I think it would be amazing if the right person watched this and help make his dream come true. His cause seems so worthwhile and all he needs is someone or something to come by and help him achieve so much more.
The video itself is so well done like all CIAP’s videos are. It totally hit all my emotions, showing how much fun these kids are having but kind of how serious and important Scraper Bikes are to these kids. This one is a much watch.
While imagining the Saturn V rocket in unfamiliar settings, this delightful video explains crop circles, how to fuel billion-dollar rockets and solitary drive-in experiences of inanimate objects. Fun fact: before the Atlantis Space Shuttle was employed and recently retired, disposable rockets shot things into outer space. I say disposable because they were only used once, and most of the rocket’s stages either burned in the atmosphere or became space junk. The Saturn V rockets carried the first Americans into lunar orbit, the first men to the moon and was utilized in Apollo 17: the last of the Apollo missions.
The motivation for our bike day posts actually started back in New York and were inspired by two different things. The first was actually the bike handles you see above called Bi-King (HA! Get it?) by Korean designer SungKug Kim. Now I’m not any kind of professional bike kinda’ guy, and such I think these are amazing looking. It’s almost like incorporating pieces of art into your bike, giving them a whole new dimension. Would handlebars like these make your bike a theft magnet? Hell yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about sheer awesome looking.
I totally love the mixture of wood with the steel, it’s a beautiful combination that looks both industrial and natural all at once. I know that the antler ones are a bit more impractical, but c’mon, you’d definitely take a second (or third) look if someone passed you on the street with something like these.
Continuing our day of bike related posts we’ve got a charming little photoblog called The Bicycle Safari which is run by a fella’ named Lawrence. Based out of Lund, Sweden the goal of the blog is document the bikes that occupy the streets. as well as the small details that make them so special. So far his collection of images is really great, made up of bike plaques, interesting type and even a bell with a vibrant color wheel.
He hasn’t updated the blog in a little while but I certainly hope he keeps up with it since there isn’t anywhere in Los Angeles where you could appreciate stuff like this. Maybeeee Venice, but still, those are mostly boring beach cruisers.
Being a west coast native I’m not very familiar with Massimo Vignelli’s subway map, though I’ve definitely seen it before. Brooklyn based designers Triboro have taken this timeless design and reprinted in nothing but fluorescent red, and I have to say it looks pretty awesome. Triboro is made up of a husband and wife team David Heasty and Stefanie Weigler, who have a great portfolio of work including designing for William Rast (love that flag-esque logo), Knopf, GQ and more.
Going back to the poster, this new design clearly loses some of it’s context without the classic color coded system that Vignelli created, but there’s something quite charming about this new application. It’s almost like the intensity of the color demands your attention, like the maps don’t want you to get lost. Eye-catching at the very least.
The other day I got an email from a guy named Stebs Schinnerer, who was writing to tell me that he filmed himself doing some tricks on his bike in the middle of the snow in Massachusetts. On the video description it says that it took him about 3 hours to shoot and edit the entire video… which was done by just himself. That’s right, he shot it, he edited it, and he rode around the snow.
The video itself, while simple, is shot really beautifully. There’s kind of a quiet beauty to the video, with Mr. Schinnerer cruising around to the sound of Efterklang’s Mirador. He did an amazing job of editing the video together and creating a look and feel. The contrast was amped up and the color desaturated, giving the video look even chillier. It would be really great if more people could do small, beautiful projects like these in only three hours.
One of the reasons I want to move to Copenhagen (eventually) is their reliance upon bikes. The idea of having a city that really supports the use of bikes in day-to-day life is something that I can really get behind. Recently, the Copenhagen Bike-Share program had a design competition for what’s basically a rent a bike program. Simply swipe an RFID tagged card or NFC enabled mobile phone next to the bike and you can rent it by the hour.
The winning design was by Erik Nohlin of LOTS Design, a guy who seems to have quite a knack for designing bikes. To me this bike looks like a lot of fun. I love the built-in basket, that way you’d never have to worry about not having a place to store things when you ran errands. The bike dispensaries as well can be placed anywhere in the city, giving people more options to use the bikes wherever they may be.
I find these kind of grand ideas really inspiring. The idea of giving back to the community is such a powerful idea to me. I think that if we gave back to our communities more there could be a lot of really great change happening. Unfortunately people usually only do it for their own ego or vanity.
I know, I just posted about really expensive speakers and now I’m posting about $1600 bicycles. What can I say, I like fancy things? Anyhow, the bike you see above is from a company called Bertelli that makes one-of-a-kind bicycles, all hand made by an Italian guy named Francesco. The bikes are put together in New York but the pieces they’re made up of are from all over the world, bits and pieces of new and old merged into one. No matter what though, no one in the world is going to have a bike exactly like yours.
The one you see above is my absolute favorite thouhg. It’s called Domenica and features a Viking frame, a black Brooks saddle, vintage white MIchelin tires and my favorite part, a rare Titan stem (handlebars) frome the 60’s. The handlebars are definitely what make me want this bike.
I came across the work of Ivan Puig and was totally mesmerized by what I saw. The installation above is titled Hasta Las Narices and features a car which appears to be drowning in milk. In his list of materials he states pigment, water and glass, but where each of these start and end I have no idea. But the effect is absolutely brilliant and unreal. The rest of his work is interesting as well but they just don’t appeal to me as much as this installation does.