2015 Interbike, Best of Show: Möestyle Customs

Determining my Best of Show each year is kind of a toss up, a crap shoot. I have no clearly defined criteria or guidelines by which to judge between bikes, let alone between a complete bike and an individual component, tool, or article of clothing. Like Donny and Marie's "little bit country, little bit rock and roll", past winners have necessarily combined some artistry and some function. My reasoning for this has been that if you were going to ride something a lot, you would want if to look good, while at the same time a beautiful bike that made you dread riding it was pointless. There was always a balance, in other words, between the two - artistry and function.

This year's Best of Show winner destroys any semblance of balance. If not for the fact that both these creations were ridden from the artists' home in Essen, Germany to Friedrichshaft on Bodensee (Lake Constance), site of the 2015 Eurobike Trade Show (a distance of some 610 km), they would be so far to the left side of the spectrum that most people would fail to recognize any function in them at all. Unless you live where everyday is parade day, these bikes, for most people, would probably not see a lot of use. ninety-five percent artistry, five percent function? Maybe, but for this year, I am alright with tilting the criteria.

Sustainability, reuse, repurpose. Those are key terms, important terms for all life on this planet. Both these bicycles, by artist Matthias Scheidig, reuse bits and scraps and throw-away objects, repurpose them, give them new life and meaning. There is so much detail built into both these bikes that I probably could have spent a good hour photographing the intricacies of each, and then another hour each, listening to the design/build process. Given the circumstances that would have been too much time, and the hastily drawn photos here will have to do. I do regret not snapping a shot of the artist and his compadre / translator who were super-enthused to talk about the bikes, pointing out the smallest details to passersby, like myself, who stopped for a closer look.

So yes, these bikes are art, rideable art.

Matthias Scheidig is Möestyle, check out his website here. And in case you don't have a son in his fourth year of high school German, fear not there are plenty of photos.

first bike is all iron and steel

candle lamp front headlight

note the old piston at the riders right hand below the saddle - it is the shifter

another little lantern at the rear

old cans to hold bottles. the storage can with latch is an old gas mask container

give new meaning to the word skewer

dual chain drive, and a piston to shift gears

disc brakes and internally geared hub

second build is, obviously, wood-based

saddle bag, or box, as the case may be

shifters for this one are repurposed hex wrenches

you probably won't notice unless I point it out, but Melon (helmets) hosted the artist, his translator and their rides (as they also did at Eurobike). oh, and you will notice the spoon at the top of the light well - pressing down activates and turns off the headlight

appropriate: holzbock, wooden support

of course it pedals