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Cyklomatofon: The Crazy Cycling Machine Designed for the Burning Man

By Frantiska Blazkova

We already know that cycling-related projects don’t have to involve Lycra attire and Peter Sagan. The cycling world is so vast and diverse that bikes even become parts of art installations, performances, and sometimes, their aesthetic function is simply valued over the transportation one.

This brings us to a field of interest where the Cyklomatofon was born, although we cannot entirely pinpoint where that field is located. Creative artistic group called Bamboo Element, based in the Czech Republic, primarily specializes in creating large-scale bamboo installations that can be seen at small non-commercial Czech and international festivals and other community events. In their own words: “We endeavour to take our dreams and imaginings and make them into temporarily tangible objects. Our creations often exist only for a few hours or days and then are broken down to their basic components in a never ending cycle of creation and destruction.”

Approximately a year ago, they attempted to create something more mobile and interactive and, by now, you can probably guess the result. From the initial test ride at the Freeze festival in the Czech Republic where the device was only partially functional, the Cyklomatofon evolved into this kind of gargantuan behemoth that makes a lot of noise and flames, and even has its own accompanying fabulous cohort. Yes, you read that correctly, this devil’s leisure weekend bicycle has a built-in flamethrower, apart from all the musical appendages and heaps of steel pipes, because why the hell not. The authors describe it as a “huge mutant tricycle for 4 guys where 3 pedal to ride and the 4th pedal to power the music. It’s combination of mechanically and electronically powered drums and many lights.”

The project’s final form was made possible with the support of Burning Man Arts Foundation and we can only hope that we can look forward seeing it at free-spirited festivals all over the world.