Lowrider Bicycle

Lowrider Bicycle

Fall ’97

What if you went to your local Wal Mart and found a magazine dedicated towards the construction and modification of gallows? That’s right — those combinations of scaffolding, trapdoors and ropes that were used to put cattle rustlin’ varmint out of commission long ago. There would be not only photos of fancily decorated gallows, but also articles on how to select the timber, ads for custom nooses and a discussion of how gallows customization is at an all-time high, judging from Modern Gallows‘ ever-increasing readership…

Lowrider Bicycle‘s focus of attention is nowhere near as morbid — it’s not morbid at all, actually — but it certainly provokes that head-scratching “Why?” moment. Undeniably, the bicycles depicted here are (at worst) examples of fine craftsmanship, at best outright works of art. It doesn’t matter if your feelings of aesthetics are stirred by the sight of two-foot high bicycles that can’t execute the slightest turn without scraping the pedals, yet are bedecked with 144-spoke wheels, front and rear cowlings, linked-chain steering wheels and all manner of Gaudi-esque accouterments and ornamentations. It’s undeniable from a quick rifle of Lowrider Bicycle that a lot of people (mostly Hispanic) take this hobby very seriously, and devote significant time, patience, money and resources into constructing their dream two-wheeled sculptures.

Pragmatists will be repelled by the sheer uselessness of these “vehicles.” Those with an eye towards the exotic will instantly appreciate the artistry and dedication behind the construction of some of these beauties. Even more fascinating is the range of creativity displayed — from attached speaker enclosures to models with a rear-mounted spare (think about that for a spell), there’s no shortage of effort made at differentiating one lowrider bicycle from another. A fascinating peek into an entirely unknown subculture. Lowrider Bicycle Magazine, P.O. Box 648, Walnut, CA 91788-0648

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