Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mackinac Island and the new Bike Trailer

This past weekend we made a little road-trip to Mackinac Island. This is an island in the Upper Peninsula that, for historic and preservation reasons, has banned motorized vehicles since the 1900's. The inhabitants get around mostly by bicycles and horses. Although I think the horses are mostly for the tourists. It was very inspiring to me to see a town totally tied to the bicycle in a real functional way. I saw lawn maintenance crews using bikes to haul their equipment around, giant baskets on most of the bikes, and many tandem and three person bikes.

I had already been scheming to turn a baby bike trailer into a sculpture and package pickup trailer for the Visual Art Building here at Interlochen. So this was further motivation to do that.

This lovely Schwinn has a giant basket, but this amazing well-built aluminum trailer. It attaches to the frame of the bike with an air-hose detachment, if that makes sense. Really ingenious and many of the trailers attached this way.
A typical bike parked along the main downtown tourist-crowded  street. Yes, that's horse drawn taxi. 

Nice style!

Rowdy bike.

The bell reads "This bike is my car" or something.

A horse-drawn trailer that the suspender-wearing man used to haul a bunch of drywall.  They are serious about no cars.

One of my favorites. This bike, which is parked next to a tricycle, has a trailer held on  by a homemade  thick rubber bracket.  I wonder what is delivered in this exactly?

Same bike as above, but please note the front mudflap. This evidently get used in the  wintertime.

Now back to Interlochen Center of Art. Cars are allowed but they really aren't ideal for getting around all the campers and are frowned upon. It seems that all the other departments get these golf-carts to ride in, but for some reason the Visual Arts isn't on the A-list when it comes to golf-carts. That is ok. I'd rather ride a bike, but if we need to pick up some packages from the post office, get ice for a reception, or other random task, it'd be great to have a trailer for a bike. Much like at Mackinac Island.

Here is the bike I brought from NC. I will be donating it to Interlochen Visual Arts (value is $25).  I bought the child trailer from this local bike-fixer-upper for $10. 

Here Julie and Dan are using it for its first mission! Picking up rocks from the old art building C7. Without the bike it would've taken multiple trips sweating it with a wheelbarrow.

Here's Kiln Tech Chris taking the new rig out for a spin. Its very fun to ride. I even tried it out by riding in it and it held my weight.

There you have it, friends. I've been wanting to convert a baby bike trailer into a sculpture bike ever since seeing one in Chicago. Since I've always had a truck, van, or car it is pointless to have one. Yet, here at Interlochen Summer Camp there is a real use and need for one. Just like at Mackinac Island!

1 comment:

  1. Seeing your pictures takes me full circle to when I was young and all sorts of bicycles, pedicabs and non-motorized methods of transportation was the norm. My father, when he was a teenager, made a trailer for his bike to pull his younger brother around in. I don't think we have a picture of that.