Vat, are you cwazy man!

We’re all guilty sometimes of not valuing what we have worked so hard to achieve. The old black dog (depression) bit me 5 years ago, when I looked around at my life and all I had worked for, and thought it looked plastic and hollow. Thankfully a dose of pills and a new bike were enough to make me see sense.

But in one sense, I never recovered. The beach house I designed and built in order that I might start and end every day with a quick surf, never regained its lustre after my brush with depression. I just got bored with the ocean. The photos in this post are from the current real-estate listing.

That’s right, I’m selling the beach house I built in Surf City Newcastle, because I want to build a bike house in Bike City Launceston. The view of the surf from every level, and the sound and smell of breaking waves in every room, mean nothing to me these days.

I know there are a few struggling surfers in the Netherlands who would say: What, are you cwazy man! I vould kill to have a house overlooking such a boodiful beach!

Take this guy, who would tell me: “Our beaches are kak! Man, if I moved to Australia, I would do zee campaign to give every man a house by zee beach.  Don’t you know in Europe we laarve ze Rip Curl and Quicksilver brandz. We all dreeeam of having zee surf house, and zee bikini babes outside our window.” (My apologies at this point for not knowing the difference between Dutch and German accents).

Cycle Tree, Japan

Well, my Knickerbocker friend, I could say the same back to you! As hard as I worked to win a life of surfing each day, you have worked to build a country where every man, woman and child can use a bike for their transport. And where at least surfing nations developed the beach shack, you have done nothing to define an architectural style related to cycling. More has been done in Japan, Denmark and the US to celebrate cycling through architecture. You’re the world’s leading bike nation, at a time when every other country dreams of bike infrastructure like yours. But you are complacent. Vat, are you cwazy man!

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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