Labors of love come in all shapes and sizes. For mechanic Yali Zhang, his “love mission” for the last three months has been the creation of a larger-than-life bicycle for his son, who is an animation artist.
“My son is thousands of kilometers from home. My wife and I miss him a lot, so I created this bike to inspire him. Animation is the art of exaggeration. So I thought that this giant bike would be the perfect gift for him.”
Inspiration and three months of sweat come at a high price. The 10-foot-high, 18-foot-long bike weighs about a ton, and cost Zhang about $3,888 to make.
The mechanic, who left his job just so that he could create this bike, had to put on his thinking cap in order to get the parts he needed for the monster bike he envisioned. He knew there was no bike supply store on earth that could provide him with the parts.
Zhang used old sofas to create the seat. As many as eight people, seated in two rows, can ride it. The wheels came from an old excavator.
Although many friends and neighbors were impressed with Zhang’s efforts as they watched him create the bike from scratch, his wife, Jianhua Mei, was much harder to convince.
“We are not a rich family. He not only quit his job, but spent the family savings on a pile of trash. We quarreled many times over this, but gradually I came around to the idea, as it’s a gift for our son, and his persistence touched me.”
Now that the bike is ready to make its long journey to his son’s home in Shenzhen, Zhang is seeking volunteers to help him ride the bike so that he can personally deliver it this summer.
There’s an old saying about the journey being more important than the destination, but in this case, it is both concepts that convey the love of a father for his son.
China is not the only land where giant bikes live, however. Check out this video of an eccentric German inventor who creates enormous bikes, and for reasons known only to him, rides these vehicles through town while dressed as a devil.