Word of the day: “Re-purposing”

In case you don’t keep your finger on the pulse of society like I do, you should know that there is a hot trend that is mustering followers far and wide.

It is called: “re-purposing”

Do you know re-purposing? Re-purposing is a fancy word that means, roughly: You are cheap and you have gobs of time on your hands.

Re-purposing might involve the building of, say, a commuter train from old egg cartons. Things like that.

Or, dog sculptures from twisted strands of newspaper. Really. Look:

Photo showing dog sculptures that are made from twisted pieces of newspaper.Yeah, that’s all newspaper. To those of you who say newspapers are dead, I say: Try that with the Internet.

Here’s another example of re-purposing. Let’s say you need to carry some books home from the library on your bike.

If you are like many people, you might go buy some simple bike baskets. Like this:

But if you are cheap and have a lot of time on your hands, you may instead start searching the house to see what you have lying around — items that at first glance would appear to be of little help.

Things such as a faded old pair of bluejeans with holes in the knees …

… and maybe a set of vintage aerobars, like these:

Now, aerobars — which allow a cyclist to ride in a more aerodynamic position — may well have helped Greg Lemond win the 1989 Tour de France — where he introduced them in the time trial that year and won the Tour by eight seconds.

For the occasional-trip-to-the-library type of urban cyclist, you might think they would not be much use. But you would be wrong. Because a creative mind, given some old jeans and aerobars (and gobs of free time), could devise this:

Shows a bicycle handlebar bag made from repurposed jeans and aerobarsShows a bicycle handlebar bag made from repurposed jeans and aerobars

Yes, it’s a handlebar bag — made from old jeans and aerobars. We spotted this outside the Eugene Public Library. This person even removed the belt loops and then resewed them onto the inside of the waistband.

This is a first-rate bit of re-purposing, and I think we will bestow upon it a “Notable Bicycle Cargo Device of the Week” certificate (framed in gilded oak and suitable for hanging).

Now, perhaps you want to join the re-purposing movement yourself. But you are thinking, “I am not that ingenious.”

Do not despair. Re-purposing takes many forms. Here is a more humble example that shows the re-purposing of a small plastic tool box (with the help of a bungee cord):

A small plastic toolbox used as a bike cargo holdAnd here’s another similar tool box-turned-cargo device, spotted out on Highway 99:

He also seems to have re-purposed a furry little rodent into a moustache.

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