When art and technology combine, beauty is measured in turns of the pedal

Bike Culture & Tips

When art and technology combine, beauty is measured in turns of the pedal
July 2018

Let’s be honest: anyone heading out on a bike ride knows that they will have to face the fatigue of pedalling, the inconvenience of a longer time getting to their destination and the need to keep their eyes and ears open to avoid the dangers of the road.
So, despite all this, what is it that convinces more and more people to switch to two wheels every year?

Maybe it’s the reduced stress that cyclists enjoy with respect to motorists. Maybe it’s the beneficial effects of physical activity on the body and mind. Or perhaps it’s the knowledge that our planet benefits so much from a choice that actually costs us very little.
Urban planners and architects are helping to make this decision even easier as they develop increasingly attractive and innovative structures and routes dedicated to cycling.

This is how masterpieces such as the Nelson Street Cycleway in Auckland, New Zealand, are born.
The idea, that won first prize in the Transport category at the World Architecture Festival 2016 in Berlin, was to convert an unused motorway off-ramp into one of the world’s most incredible cycle paths.
This 600-metre route takes cyclists to the city’s financial centre and the beach without them ever encountering car traffic. But what makes it spectacular are two specific elements: the fluorescent pink resin with which it was paved and the glass walls flanking it and lighting up with coloured LEDs when cyclists pass at night.
Riding to the seaside via this cycle path is a unique experience that combines lights, transparency and colours in what is, to all intents and purposes, a true artistic installation of surreal beauty.

Speaking of charm, we have to pay tribute to a country where delicacy and elegance are an imperative: Japan.
This is where we find the
Shimanami Kaido, a 70-km long cycling and pedestrian path connecting seven of the country’s largest islands.
Walking or cycling this route means hovering above the sea, admiring wonderful landscapes and discovering a millennial culture via a network of roads and suspension bridges, previously used for traffic and now used as a bike path.
A country’s greatness can also be measured in the services it offers its visitors: the Shimanami Kaido features a full 14 bike rental shops, and people unable to cycle the entire route can catch a ride on the small ferries connecting the islands.

And finally, we want to talk about the imminent opening of what is already considered the “most beautiful cycle track in Europe": Garda by Bike, a gorgeous path overlooking the waters of Lake Garda. Its first section will be inaugurated and opened to the public on 14 July.
The first two kilometres of a loop that will extend about 140 kilometres by 2021, will depart from Limone sul Garda (Brescia) and run the full length of the lake’s shores, offering cycling fanatics breath-taking views of one of the world’s most beautiful panoramas.

The world certainly offers plenty of other wonderful paths that are just waiting to be discovered. So, please tell us about your personal favourite cycling routes created by human talent.
Share your experiences so that others can enjoy them, too. Because beauty lies not only in the eye of the beholder, but also in the feet of the cyclist!

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