Katja picked up the bike in Ajax last night so we push off to test-drive the skeleton on which we will build our art-bike creation. Holy mother of god—riding a tandem bicycle is not for the faint of heart! Katja has her own worries up front, it’s more like steering a Mack truck than a bicycle, and I basically yelp, scream, or grind my teeth the entire time because no matter what I do my handlebars are nothing but appendages to lean on. The bike sways left and right, echoing Katja’s cadence as she stands to get more power in her pedalling. I come to the grim and scary realization that I have no control back there. Whoa—cold shower time—this is going to be quite the experience and we don’t know the half of it yet.
All matter of reality aside, we are hungry for first impressions. We are eager for a think-tank with Maurizio Trezzi and Joy Dorsey, close friends of mine who were instrumental in the endgame of publishing my book, and keen on having a confab (my design lingo for “conference on fabrication”) with Aly Drummond, our lighting designer, and James Bloomfield, our welder. Maurizio and Joy are very enthusiastic about the idea as a whole. They agree that we are not totally crazy, just crazy enough to make a wacky, fun thing happen. Though Maurizio likes the plot, he’s not so sure about the phallic weapons idea. Everyone then chimes in and the weapons hit the skids. Regardless of the shape our contraption will take, we discuss building techniques, and the enchanting eyeball art bikes at Burning Man in 2006 are in the forefront of my mind. When the two eyeballs, each one mounted on a bicycle, criss-crossed each other on the Playa, they created all matter of implied facial expressions. I was totally enamoured with them, and I’m convinced that their lightweight and light-permeable structure is a fabulous template on which to base our approach.