© 2011 Lynsey

Two wheels good


I had this breakthrough today when I decided that the bicycle is the greatest machine humanity has ever come up with. Sure, the wheel, the screw, and the lever are essential, but they really come into their own when mashed up into the bicycle. I can’t think of a single other machine that is still popular and globally available, that was designed over 100 years ago.

I can’t think of a more efficient machine for transporting a person, or a load, or – if you’ve ever visited some of the Asian countries – a family, a load of ducks, and a load as well. The bicycle can be mass produced from a variety of materials, and apart from the high-tech models, can be maintained by a relatively untrained and unskilled individual. Me, for example. Even I’ve managed to maintain my trusty steed before today.

It is this ubiquity and accessibility that makes the bicycle a machine that is available for all ages and sexes. I can recall my Mother talking about how important her bicycle was in terms of liberating her from being stuck at home – and from being a beast of burden lugging groceries home. How many machines can be so far reaching in their impact? Somehow I think that in 100 years time the bicycle will still be around. I expect it’ll be technically superior, but probably essentially unchanged – the epitome of an elegant design.

Manifesto
17. Every day look through a new lens.
22. Every day refine, clarify and simplify.
41. Every day use your mind. It is the greatest technology ever created.

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