Tio Pepe

Tío Pepe (Oncle Pepe in English) was probably the first bike activist in Valencia, Spain. His personality allowed him to develop one of his passions: To modify bicycles so that they seemed objects and animals completely different to what people have in mind when listening to the word bike. He showed oddness, fun and open-mindedness in every artwork and ride from the last century. But above all, his persistence in making a better world on the base of bicycles is what we appreciate the most. He worked in the workshop called Villa Quita Penas (Villa Shame Removing, notice the good mood) in which he developed his most famous machines like the bike-horse or the bike-boat. Moreover, he used to ride his bikes dressed in extravagant costumes with banners on which everybody could read forceful sentences such as I pollute friendliness, happiness and peace, or Whether it is hot or cold, with a bike you travel better (in Spanish it sounds great).

One of his modified bikes is the bike-horse:

One can see the external structure to represent a horse, including the mane. If you keep your eyes on what is above the front wheel, you will discover an intelligent mechanism to transfer movement to a metallic hammer which hits a plate as the bike rides. Here you have a detail:

Next, the bike-boat:

This colorful boat made children smiling the moment they saw it. Again, you can see the metallic plate to make noise, yellow in this case. Furthermore, this bike has a special movement since the rider goes up and down similarly to waves as she pedals.

Just to illustrate his mood, he built a bike-car and one can read As all my neighbors have cars, I also have one (including the license plate) in the back.

Finally, if you wonder what face had Tío Pepe just check it out:

Now, you understand why Tío Pepe was so cherished by the people in the Cabañal neighborhood and by Valencia itself.

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