rocket, my screen-printed bike

bike

“Seems to me,” the Lady said, “a boy’s bicycle needs to see where it’s goin’. Needs to see whether there’s a clear road or trouble ahead. Seems to me a boy’s bicycle needs some horse in it, and some deer, and maybe even a touch of reptile. For cleverness, don’t you know?”

In Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon, our hero Cory gets a brand new bike.

This isn’t just any bike. This bike is from The Lady. It’s brand new and made just for him. It’s red and had a headlight, and in the headlight it has an eye that looks out for Cory. It steers him away from danger and helps him get to adventure–fast.

“At this instant I felt at one with Rocket, as if we were of the same skin and grease, and when I grinned, a bug flew into my teeth. I didn’t care; I swallowed it because I was invincible.”

So in tribute to a book I loved, and in tribute to Rocket, a bike I wish I had, I made my own. Sort of. Mine’s a bit more two dimensional.

screen printing stencil

I started with a stencil. I traced and drew and doodled until I had a bike I liked. Then I traced it onto a transparency and used a craft knife/box cutter thing to cut out my stencil.

working screen printing

Then I attached my stencil to my screen and got started. I used red for Rocket, of course. Once I had a few bikes printed I spread them out to dry.

prints drying

Some came out better than others. And when they were dry, well, that’s when they came to life. Just like Rocket.

“…I saw the eye in the headlamp. It was a golden orb with a dark pupil, and it stared at me with what might have been a brooding tolerance.”

rocket bike

friendly bike

Is your bike angry and fierce? Is he friendly and bow-tie wearing? Does he only show his face when no one is looking? Just think for a moment, on how you felt when you rode your first bike. What was he (or she, of course) like?

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