4 Awesome Ventures that Feature Bicycles

The multi-purpose two-wheeled wonder

Apr 19, 2013

Image from Flickr user Brandon Doran

Most people know the benefits of bikes - they are environmentally friendly and a fantastic way to connect with others - but the two-wheeled wonders are not only a great form of transport, they can also be used for other creative uses. We scoured Kickstarter, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms, to find four awesome fully funded ventures that use bicycles to achieve their goals.

1.STREET BOOKS

WHAT A bicycle-powered mobile library in Portland, Oregon that lends books to people
who live outside.
WHY The project was started by Laura Moulton and Sue Zalokar who noticed that even
though peoplewere living outside or in shelters, it didn’t mean that they weren’t
educated, articulate and looking for intellectual stimulation. The majority of public
libraries require proof of address or ID which many people living on the streets lack,
and therefore cannot take out books.
HOW The bicycle-powered mobile library operates twice a week, and patrons do not
need to show proof of address or any other ID. They are issued an official Street
Books library card and more often than not, return all borrowed books. Street
librarians engage the patrons with conversations about literature and invite them to be
photographed with their books and share their personal stories.

2.BICYCLE PORTRAITS

WHAT Photography book about contemporary South African bicycle culture.
WHY The project was initiated by Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler, two bicycle
enthusiasts who set out to document the small but present bike culture in South Africa
- focusing on those who use their bike as a utility. Given the large size of the country,
and the fact that it does not have extensive public transport, the photographers see
their book as a way to encourage the use of bicycles as a more popular way of
transportation.
HOW Stan and Nic traveled throughout South Africa on their bikes, meeting  and
photographing fellow bicyclists. Their book reflects the diversity, beauty and inherent
social issues of South Africa.

Image from Bicycle Portraits 

3.BIKE A BEE

WHAT An urban farming initiative that beekeeps in Chicago area greenspaces and
urban farms by bike.
WHY Jana Kisman developed a passion for bees and beekeeping after learning apiary in
Oregon. Soon after, she turned that idea into a reality by placing her Bike A Bee
project on Kickstarter to raise funds to cultivate beehives in urban farms and
community spaces.
HOW A dedicated bicyclist, Kisman and her staff tend to the beehives solely by bike.
The expanding organization also teaches kids about the importance of bees and
pollinators. 

4.THE BIKE BRIDGE

WHAT A large public sculpture made of reclaimed bicycle parts, created by Oakland,
California teens and artist Michael Christian.
WHY The Bike Bridge was a collaborative artistic endeavor to beautify the city of
Oakland using only recycled bicycle parts. The piece serves a communal gathering space
and will be the venue for youth and bike-culture events.
HOW 12 young women from Oakland area high schools were the creators of the Bike
Bridge, learning welding and art-bicycle creation. The artist Michael Christian headed up
the project with the arts nonprofit The Crucible.  

Photo by George Post on the Bike Bridge Kickstarter page  

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