Actual Café showcases bicycle-based art

From August 12 to September 8, Actual Café, located at San Pablo Avenue and Alcatraz Avenue in North Oakland, is hosting a bicycle art show inside its shop, featuring works from a number of local artists.

“We’re a bike-friendly place and I want to support people who use bicycles in their daily lives or for interesting things,” said café owner Sal Bednarz, standing next to a bike-powered video jukebox parked outside the shop, which he created to demonstrate how much power one can generate by riding a bike.

Inside the coffee shop, crafts made from different bike parts and about a dozen bike photographs taken by well-known cyclist Jon Suzuki hang all over the walls. In the middle of the floor is the most eye-catching exhibition—four peculiar bikes made by Jeff Tiedeken, owner of a design company called Monkey Likes Shiny. The four bikes are placed in the order of their sizes, beginning with a penny-farthing bike with a front wheel that is taller than a man.

“This is a scary bike to ride,” Tiedeken said, pointing at the smallest bike of the four, which doesn’t have any cranks or pedals. “The idea is to bring it to the top of the biggest hill you know and go down as fast as you can. He recommends wearing motorcycle protection gear while riding the “gravity speed bike” because, he said, “If you are going to crash, it’s going to be really bad.”

Take a look at the photo slideshow to see the bike-related works on display at the cafe; hit the “captions” button if you’d like to read more about them.

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