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Austin Bike Zoo’s Non-Utility Cycling

by Ted Johnson

The mission of Austin Bike Zoo is “to have fun and make people happy with our unique human powered vehicles, bicycle-based theatrical performances and educational programs for youth.”

You could call what they do, “non-utility cycling” if you’re the type of person who finds no utility in art, community building, and imagination. But you’re not, right?

Austin Bike Zoo Rattlesnake

Photo: Austin Bike Zoo

They are brilliant at making fantastic bike-powered sculptures, such as an 80-foot rattlesnake, and a giant monarch butterflies. They’re not so great at making videos. To be fair, the one video I found on their Web site had a lot of music and information about the organization. But I felt like a kid at a monster movie. Enough with the plot, context, and character development. Show me the damn monster!

Here’s a 13-second drive-by of the rattlesnake from Vimeo user thegreatsunra; a video that doesn’t mess around:

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