When you ride your bike, it's usually to get from Point A to Point B or to get some exercise. However, what if your bike ride could be a part of a masterpiece?
That's exactly what's happening in the Netherlands right now. Designer Daan Roosegaarde and Dutch company Heijmans teamed up to create a glow-in-the-dark bike path inspired by Vincent van Gogh's iconic 1889 painting "The Starry Night."
Thouands of swirling blue and green illuminated stones along the bike path immediately wisk you away in the same manner as van Gogh's classic painting, which is currently on display at the MoMA in New York. The stones charge during the day time and glow at night.
"I wanted to create a place that people will experience in a special way, the technical combined with experience, that's what techno-poetry means to me," Roosegaarde said in a statement.
The 0.37 mile-long van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path, as it is officially known, opened on Nov. 12 to kick off a year celebrating the life and work of van Gogh around the world. Next year, 2015, marks the 125th anniversary of van Gogh's death in 1890. Accordingly, the bike path will be a part of the van Gogh cycle route that connects locations in the Brabant province of the Netherlands where van Gogh lived and which inspired his work.
The bike path is also part of the "Smart Highway" series of collaborations between Roosegaarde and Heijmans. "Smart Highways" are "interactive and sustainable roads of tomorrow," according to a description on the project's official website. For a previous partnership, they created a project called "Glowing Lines," which were green, glow-in-the-dark parallel lines that ran along the sides of the N329 highway in Oss, Netherlands. Much like the van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path, the lines absorbed energy during the day and glowed at night for eight hours. The goal of the project was to increase visibility and safety along the road.
The Netherlands is becoming quite the hub for new, innovative bike paths. Also on Nov. 12, the world's first solar-powered bike lane, SolarRoad, opened in the Netherlands. It converts sunlight absorbed on the road into electricity. But of course, the Netherlands is famous for having a huge cycling culture, so we wouldn't expect anything less.
Image: Studio Roosegaarde & Heijmans