I like rusty things. Partly because of the color and texture changes, but mostly because this evidence of the passage of time stirs me, takes me on journeys of memory and imagining. With the details of color and shape and the stories implied, this collection of bicycles mounted on a wrought iron fence was attractive, satisfying, like a good meal.
I wondered who made this display, and how long it took them to find the bikes. I wondered about those finds, the stories and encounters that each bike represented, the laughs, the wheeling and dealing to obtain, the carting home, stuffed around kids or a dog or the groceries. I began to see a novel emerge. Why bicycles? How long has the project been in the making? What happened during this process? Who laughed, or said, "how silly!" or complained "enough, already!" Did the artist tire of this and move on, leaving the bikes rusting quietly in the summer humidity and rainy winters? Is she still keeping an eye out for old bikes?
I saw one like my big sister rode, that kind with a flat seat on the back fender, which was later passed down to me. When I first learned to ride a bike I could do everything but stop myself and dismount. So I would ride around all over the neighborhood with my friend Gary and when I was ready to come in, I would ride by my house or his, shouting "somebody come out and stop me!". This worked for some time, but then one day, it was raining and as Gary and I drove through his circular drive towards the carport I knew I had one chance or I would get soaked. Full of fear of a big crash, I flung myself off the bike at the last moment. I stopped myself! I didn't need help, now I could control the end of my journey. It was a grand moment.
What did you learn from riding a bike? Have you told anyone the story yet?