Thursday, July 30, 2009


Don Appleman's 2009 Dawes SST-AlTwo tires held in place by ribbons in the middle, thimbles on the edge.
Rubber with no tread, little weight.
Folded in a pocket with room left over.
A half inch touching earth when not.

One frame of angles connected by braze or fiber.
Smooth and shimmering paint attract the eye.
Like a beautiful woman,
or perfect sunset.

Bar with swooping curls at the ends.
Curls that drop from a straight top
and resting place for levers.
All wrapped in tape to caress the hand.

Cranks and cogs transmit force to a whirring chain.
A chain that runs to a tangle of springs and levers.
telling the machine how fast to go,
how good the beast astride.

A thin piece of leather atop a fragile post.
Material slides over the smooth surface a hundred
beats per minute driving the machine on.
Creating a vision of elegance.

All topped by an amalgam of muscle and bone.
Covered with colors of slick and stretchy fabric,
grasping the bars, sitting on the saddle,
cranking the rings that drive the chain and turn the wheels.

The whole is elegant as it slips through the wind,
along tracks, up hills and down.
Elegant, too, when still.
Waiting to be let loose upon the world.

This piece of elegant artistry that is a bicycle.

-- David Kannas, "Elegance", West Seattle Herald, 30 March 2009

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