When I see this I can’t help but think “isn’t that why I have a city bike—because it’s so much more efficient than walking?” But the inspiration for the walking bike isn’t efficiency, or stability, or even novelty. Instead I think its inventor, Blaine Elliott, was going for beauty. He acknowledges being inspired by Dutch physicist-turned-artist Theo Jansen’s ‘strandbeests’, or ‘beach beasts’. Since 1990, Jansen has been building these amazing wind-powered creatures and they really are poetry in motion.
There’s a certain poetry to using the same engineering that created such beautiful wind-powered machines and applying them to an already-beautiful human-powered machine. Something is lost in translation however. The walking bike is unique but beautiful it is not, elegant it is not. Where Theo Jansen breathed life into inanimate objects with the wind and engineering, it seems to me Elliott has sucked all the life out of something inanimate I was already inclined to see as sentient.