29 March 2017

A Parachute Jump From Wheels?

I love it when old bicycles get new life.  Whether it's a "period" or "showroom" restoration, or retrofitted with modern parts that suit the rider's purposes, I'm glad to see a nicely-crafted (or, at least, well-made) machine giving service and pleasure to someone.  At least it's not in a landfill!

I can't always say the same about old parts.  Some, I like and even prefer to new stuff.  But, really, unless you have almost any non-indexed SunTour derailleur, or one or two other "vintage" models I can think of, almost any modern derailleur will shift better--with or without indexing.  Used vintage cogs, chains, rims and spokes are often too worn or stressed for continued use.  And old tires, unless they've been stored properly, might be too brittle to ride.  

So what do you do with old parts?  Well, more than a few artists and crafts people make jewelry, sculptures and other objets from them.  Because there are so many such creations nowadays--many of which I like--I don't spend a lot of time writing about them.  But, every once in a while one of them will catch my eye.  

Jake Beckman made this 35-foot (11 meter) tall sculpture for the entrance to the Morgana Run Trail, which itself is "recycled":  It's built on a former Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway corridor in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.  

Now, of course, you might be thinking Beckman's sculpture caught my attention because its color scheme is after my own heart.  That is one reason why, but I also couldn't help thinking about a structure I see in a place where I ride rather frequently:

I wonder whether Beckman knew about the Parachute Jump on the Coney Island boardwalk when he conceived of his totem.  

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