The Seven Ages of Bike


The Seven Ages of Bike
Small green painted child's bike with stabilisers

Like Jesus, first bikes are born at Christmas, sometimes white
But always bright and shiny bold
A dream come true in a bow of ribboned gold
Tall tales of Santa Claus are told
As tiny trike holds
Our furiously pedalling little soul


small green painted child's bike

Now iddy biddy baby bikes come of age and stabilisers leave the stage
Replaced by the hunched back running daddy phase
With independence the goal
Wobbling like a new born foal
Daddy lets go and gravity takes its toll
But fearless hearts try try again
And now look out little soul is on a roll

And before you know it, it’s flips and kicks and tricks
And yeah you fall and take some licks
But you don’t care cos your new BMX is SICK!Green painted racing bike overlooks Gravesend

Then after years of knees that bleed
You discover a teenage need for speed
You’re a racer
A slim slick slippery trailblazer
See you later, Alligator

Green painted shopper against the sky


But as earth orbits the Sun
Now you’ve given birth to one
And you sprout a bike rack behind your bum
and a basket for the daily shopping run


Green painted mountain bike against the skyInto the sunset you rode like the wind
As you leave behind youth’s fountain
You arrive atop a mountain
And wheels get fat and rugged with stubble
And now you start to look for trouble
For hills n dales n rocks n rubble


green painted adult's trike against an aerial view of GravesendAnd as you pedal through middle age sedately
And gratefully reach the stately age of 80
You ride on three wheels once again
but this time, somewhat more gracefully

Chris Paradox


The Installation
The Seven Ages of Bike was sited on the rooftop of Gravesham Civic Centre.
The seven green painted bikes reference the way that bikes grow alongside their owners and, with the virtual installation, parodies Shakespeare’s famous ‘Seven Ages of Man‘ speech.

Seven green painted bikes fan out on the Civic Centre rooftop.  At one end a child's bike with stabilisers and at the other, an adult trike