Art peddlers as pedalers, at Marty’s Reliable Cycle in Morristown


There is painting your bicycle.

Like you do in your garage, to cover the rust spots.

And then there is painting your bicycle.

Like Laurie Harden does in her studio, making her old bike, “Blue,” the star of her street scenes and landscapes.

Through Sunday, Dec. 9, the two worlds intersect at Marty’s Reliable Cycle in Morristown. It’s the fifth annual Art of the Bicycle show, and it boasts some amusing exhibits.

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Take the massive ball of inner tubes. If you can. Larry Riley’s creation is roughly the size of a meteor, and about as heavy.

Larry has concocted several arresting sculptures, too, using bike tube nozzles and other spare parts. 

Mike Felber, whose paintbrush is a chain ring, is back this year with his Dripping Designs t-shirts and paintings. Circular chain ring colors symbolize harmony, Mike says. The jagged wood upon which the colors are emblazoned “adds a chaotic element.”

Nails and bikes usually are a bad combination. But Morristown High School sophomore Helen Burgess has turned nails and string into a striking depiction of a racing bike.

Coincidentally, New Jersey was the bike racing capital of the world a mere century ago. So claims Michael Gabriele in The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey, which you can buy at Marty’s.

Cheryl Allen-Munley of Bandbox LLC models one of her stylish bike helmets at the Art of the Bicycle show in Morristown.. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Cheryl Allen-Munley of Bandbox LLC models one of her stylish bike helmets at the Art of the Bicycle show in Morristown.. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The show includes landscapes by David John Rush, snazzy photos by Nicole Ely, chic togs by Jen Benepe and some lovingly restored bicycles of yesteryear.

But our vote for the coolest pieces goes to Bandbox LLC, a Tewksbury company that designs and sells stylish helmets. You almost don’t need a bike to wear these lids. Almost.

Cheryl Allen-Munley was inspired by her distaste for bike helmets, which posed a dilemma for the engineer. Her doctoral dissertation was about bike safety…yet she refused to don a helmet.

“I thought they were too ugly,” said Cheryl, an avid cyclist. “But I loved hats.”

By combining NASA foam for comfort and floppy hats or chapeaux for style, she and her engineer husband devised helmets that she is eager to wear. Some models cost north of $100. The hat portion atop the actual helmet is interchangeable.

The idea is so impressive that we think it should be extended to other sports and endeavors. Why should linebackers all be forced to wear the same boring head gear, when they can express their individuality with Bandbox helmets?  And wouldn’t utility crews look snazzier if their hard hats resembled top hats?

The Art of the Bicycle is a benefit for Bike and Walk Morristown.




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