Fanciful and bizarre, the idealised future of cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Solar power bike at the Bike to the Future exhibit in Ghent

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Incorporating solar energy into the daily ride..

Despite the repetitive design of commercial bikes over the years, there is still the chance to see esoteric and bizarre in bicycle design. Sometimes, they even trickle down and we see new attitudes in design. Consider the Bullitt bike… It all seems so basic now, but was a major step forward, incorporating speed with bulk. Or folding bikes. They have been a constant changing format.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB - A four wheeled two wheeler. Double wheels, side by side, front and back

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A bike that would seem comfortable on a sci-fi set

But the weird and wonderful are the bikes that have less and less immediate market. They design for impact, influence or a way to incorporate modern technology into the stable we see every day.

I have a thing for there solar energy bike. Two platforms on the wheels are the receptors. Or the spokeless wheels. And then, keeping the design the same, a change in materials. Wooden frames, bamboo bikes.
Bike to the Future is the latest presentation of what we might see in the coming years, either directly, or as an influence.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bicycle w wheels that have no spokes. Just open air.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Incorporating solar energy into the daily ride..

The Belgian bikes were represented, with Ahooga!, a new folding bike designed and created in Belgium. And the Velofabrik project, a bike specifically designed for the pave of Brussels roads.

What made me smile was the collection of the elite racing bikes, what are the creme of cycling today. Carbon fibre Merckx and Ridley frames. While part of the exhibit, they are suspended in a section of the exhibit, almost lighter than air.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Suspended above the visitors, the latest racing elite frames from Belgian suppliers

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Suspended above the visitors, the latest racing elite frames from Belgian suppliers

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