Friday 24 June 2011

Steampunk bikes

If you don't know what steampunk is, it's a subculture based on alternate history. Imagine, if you will, mobile phones and laptops and other modern day gadgets but in a world where steam still provides power and rosewood and brass are used in place of plastic. It can best be summed up, perhaps, as The Path Not Taken. Naturally, it's extremely popular among some elements of the sci-fi community who have taken the alternate history tales of Stephen Baxter as inspiration and combined them with the visions of H.G. Wells. And, well, we all know what Wells thought of bikes, don't we?
"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race." (H.G. Wells)
He knew what he was on about, did old H.G.

'S funny, really, that there aren't more steampunk bikes about. Cyclists have always spent a lot of time in sheds with spanners and stuff. You even find a few eccentric genius types who build strange things - people like Didi Senft, for example. That's exactly what steampunks do too - and few things characterised the late 19th Century like the bicycle did, so it seems odd that the two have not yet been combined to any great extent.

There are a few examples, of course, and the best ones - in common with the best of all steampunk (and cycling, for that matter) are beautiful works of art. Here's some from Captain Hieronymous Darpanet's Astounding Steamweb...

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