How to Draw a Bicycle.

A Why it’s Okay When You Ultimately Fail.

Chaz Hutton
Sep 21, 2018 · 5 min read

…because nobody can draw a bicycle.

For an object that is relatively ubiquitous, and whose design hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, the simple, humble bicycle somehow still manages to baffle even the most artistic, spatially-aware people.

Of course, this was just my opinion (and most likely a projection of my frustration at my inability to draw one) and so I put it out to Twitter…

Knowing how hard is seems to be, I thought I’d give people a few chances at perfecting their drawings.

What I wasn’t expecting, was that people would get worse the more they drew.

Meanwhile, like repeating a word until it loses meaning, people were beginning to forget what bikes even looked like any more.

Even those with a more artistically steady hand were still failing to draw anything close to the standard geometry of a bicycle.

So where does that bring us? Well, we’re here now, so I might as well teach you how to draw a bicycle.

Because it should be relatively easy.

First of all, you’re going to need an upside down triangle.

Then you’re going to need another triangle, and whack it onto the side here, because if there’s one thing better than one triangle, it’s a bisected diamond.

Then, draw another triangle on the other side, but you won’t need the bottom of it, so um… don’t draw that.

Actually… now that I mention it, that leftover line should be more of a curve.

I know, I know, I should have told you earlier, but it’s a minor change, you can just draw it in anyway.

Then you just need some wheels, which are super easy.

Okay, so they’re not that easy. The first one was good but I’ll admit that back wheel is just absolute rubbish. But, like all mistakes in life, just ignore it, draw a better one over the top and pretend none of it ever happened.

Excellent work.

Actually… The geometry of this frame is all wrong now that I look at it, but again that’s okay, you can fix that like so…

At this point, don’t forget to get your handlebars and saddle in, because if life has taught me anything, at a certain point everyone just wants somewhere to sit, and something to hold on to.

I would then highly recommend drawing heavily over parts of the bike you’ve drawn properly, this serves to distract the viewer from all the bits you screwed up.

This method is not dissimilar to wearing a cool thick-rimmed black glasses to make yourself look more sophisticated than you actually are.

Next up you need to put those pedals on and a drive chain in, while simultaneously thinking about your own lack of drive when it comes to this drawing.

But it’s okay!!! You’re about to put spokes into these wheels, and that always makes things look better.

See? How rewarding does that feel?

Don’t forget that bicycle wheel spokes have a complicated system where they cross over each other to increase stability. To draw this, I’d suggest vaguely guessing a rough approximation of it and hope nobody notices your incompetency. Kinda like sex, or dancing.

Right, onto the back wheel, and all you gotta know here is that it’s even more complicated that the first one. Like everything is. Everything always gets more complicated. Entropy is bullshit.

Christ. Look at this thing. What an abomination.

Don’t worry though, like that late career change you’ve been putting off for years, we can still save this.

With Shooty Speed Lines.

That’s right! LOOK AT THAT THING! It’s going fast now. This drawing is gonna be okay, it’s going to fine, EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

You know what, we can do more! Take that approach you’ve always taken when things aren’t going great and just add some fire!

See? I told you nobody can draw a bike. As such, I’d now suggest getting off the internet, walking outside, finding a bike, and giving it a good kicking.

Stupid bikes.

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