Riding my bike often inspires me. Too often I ride with the simple purpose of getting from point A to point B, but sometimes I will take note of the of the world that surrounds me as I ride. Some of the sights I see and the feelings that envelop me will awaken my creative side.
If you have been following the blog you will know that the kind folks at FlashBak sent along a product for me to review and they agreed to give away a Flashbak light to the winner of a Bike Hacks contest. I thought for a while about a contest idea and one day when I came up with the idea of a poetry contest.
I’m no poetry expert and I think the last time I wrote poetry was in a college English class. I remember feeling somewhat limited by the rules of some forms of poetry, which is funny because I’m a pretty logical and rules based person for the most part. One nickname that I have had in my life was actually given to me by the co-founder of Bike Hacks, Brendon. We did a grad program together and after working with me for a while he started calling me Spock (nothing to do with looks by the way).
In an attempt to merge my logical and creative sides I thought that a Bike Hacks Haiku contest would be perfect. From my brief encounter with traditional Japanese Haiku, I believe it is based on writing poetry with attention to keeping count of the syllables used. The pattern of syllables in traditional Haiku appears to be 5-7-5. However, this site states that "In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems."
Well for my contest I thought I would take the liberty of hacking the format to my liking and ask readers to follow the same counting scheme, but with attention to simple word count rather than syllables.
So the contest is this – send me your best bike Haiku, following the format of three groups of words, divided into a 5-7-5 pattern (if you wish to go traditional, see #1 below). You can send me as many as you like, and I will post them to the site. After the deadline, I will ruminate on everything submitted (likely with the assistance of beer) and declare a winner. The winner will receive a Flashbak. Here’s what to do:
- Compose your bike Haiku – see examples of
the 5-7-5 pattern below. The Haiku
should be bicycle inspired but can follow any theme you
wish. You can use a title if you like, but it is not necessary. If you wish to use the traditional Haiku pattern of 5-7-5 with syllables that is fine too.
- Click on the Submit Your Hack link in the header of the main page and send us your Haiku, as many as you like.
- When you submit your entry, include at a minimum your first name and where you live.
- Your Haiku will be posted on the site for the public to view.
- The deadline to submit is Tuesday, June 1st.
- If you wish to include a
picture to go with your Haiku that is fine too. Just let us know this when you submit
and we will reply allowing you to send along a picture or pictures.
- The winner will be announced on the site sometime early in June and will win a Flashbak.
Here are some samples that I came up with. Explore your inner creative side . . . and
possibly win a Flashbak.
I Ride NYC
Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten, Manhattan
I have biked them all while smiling
Drivers don’t smile so much
Bike looks factory when new
Corporate stamp of no interest to me
Tape, zip ties, stickers . . . personalized
Commute by bike each day
No need to make stops for gas
Free ride feels just awesome
Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Bike first from of transportation
Wandered to combustion transportation over the years
Back where I started now
Riding poses challenges for commuters
So many needs for making riding easier
Hacks make good to go
Six Feet Under
Six Feet Under
Passed cemetery on my ride
Tombstones got me to thinking about life
Bury me with my bike
Joggers jog listening to iPod
Two earphones means they cannot hear anything
They are dangerous to cyclists
Road visibility is very important
Flashbak is bright, blinks, and very noticeable
Can’t wait to give away