Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bicycles at the Soleri Bridge Dedication: The Possibilities of the Parasol

Even if you were not spoken of during all the talks on sustainability, I noticed you there showing rather than telling.

You two-wheeled people-powered fitness engines lurking by the rack in the shade.

You carriers of friends to places of conviviality

I saw you lurking behind the DJ's table, you go-anywhere, take-anyone transports

You filled up the racks, then trees and fences worked just as well (internal hub noted).

Commuters, computers, basket-shoppers, and cruisers, from Point A to Point SBP

The ideal, energy-efficient people-movers for a high-density node. Fenders for when your node gets messy.

This final post of my series following the Soleri Bridge and Plaza through to its dedication had to conclude with bicycles in order to give a sense of closure and completeness. Paolo Soleri and others spoke of livable cities, sustainable practices, and the importance of health, fitness, and face-to-face connections, all ideas which in my mind pointed obviously in the direction of my favorite two wheeled, people powered form of transport, exercise, exploration and fun. But no. The speakers so far as I could tell were not thinking about bicycles, and were not taking hints from all these exemplars parked around them. It was puzzling.

Even more puzzling, Soleri decided to speak about walking, OK, I get that, walking is an excellent and underutilized way to get around, also sustainable, also supportive of fitness and a clear mind, but he seemed stuck on the notion of walking around with a parasol. A parasol?? I couldn't figure it out. They were handing them out to special parasol designees who milled around in the bright warm sunshine as if the parasol is a frequent sight in Scottsdale. I tried to see the point, I really did, but I kept thinking that bicycles were better, although possibly not, if they cause you to walk around in a big crowd wearing your helmet.

But then, I'm not sure what it was, something occurred which opened my mind to the possibilities of the parasol. Suddenly, I knew exactly what Paolo was talking about! It all became suddenly clear! Thank you Paolo, for the bridge, and for the possibilities of the parasol. Get up. Go ride.

Please consider the advantages of the parasol before judging it too harshly.
Some much better videos from the event than my paltry efforts:
krzystekproductions very slick short that really showcases "Vessel"
Scottsdale Public Art December 11, 2010 


  1. Perfect day, wasn't it?

    After the bridge dedication, I rode Hardiboi around the Fashion Square mall area for a while, then headed home.

    I stopped for lunch at a Panda Express which had some outdoor tables. I was breaking out the lock for the bike before I went in to order, and an elderly couple at the table right next to mine said they'd watch my bike for me.

    When I got home, reluctantly, and popped the computer off the bike I was pretty surprised: 30 miles for the day and I felt like I could have ridden 30 more with NO problem!

    Can it get any better?

  2. A lot of people from Asia who now live here in Vancouver, have brought the habit of walking on sunny days with an umbrella, to provide shade. I put up a huge golf umbrella over my drivers seat window and roof when I wait for a ferry also on sunny days - it cools the car off a lot, though looks really weird. 'Course, up here in the Wet West Coast, we always carry an umbrella for rain anyway!

  3. BluesCat, riding my bicycle to work in a t-shirt in the sunshine in December. Love it.

    limom: your wish=my command! It shall be so!

    PaddyAnne: the sunbrella in its various forms is a practical and graceful way to moderate the sunshowers. I remember when they put one up on the Skylab space station. Good enough for Skylab: good enough for me strolling along the avenue.


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