Would you be able to draw a picture of a bicycle, from your memory, without having a little peek on your iPhone? It’s a seemingly simple design, but can you remember how the frame connects to the wheel, where the saddle sits, the handlebars? As artist Gianluca Gimini knows, it’s not as easy as you might think…

There’s something a little off about this bicycle, right? Here’s the design it was based from, drawn on the spot by a 19-year-old student…

For the past few years, Giancula has gone up to friends or random strangers with a pen and a sheet of paper asking them to immediately draw a bicycle, by heart, no peeking. The Italian artist then took the drawings and began turning them into 3D creations.

The result is a collection of bikes, most of which are missing very important parts and would immediately break if anyone actually tried to ride them. But they’re quite beautiful too…

I found out that when confronted with this odd request most people have a very hard time remembering exactly how a bike is made. Some did get close, some actually nailed it perfectly, but most ended up drawing something that was pretty far off from a regular men’s bicycle.”

In total, Giancula collected 376 bicycle drawings for his Velocipedia project, his youngest participant being three years of age and his oldest, 88. He also found that 75 of the bicycles were drawn facing left and 25 facing right.

Another thing Gimini noticed in this experiment was that many participants had a hard time knowing exactly how to describe their jobs in just one or two words when signing their drawings. “The most unintelligible drawing also had the most unintelligible handwriting. It was made by a doctor.”

This is actually a test that psychologists use to demonstrate how our brain sometimes tricks us into thinking we know something relatively simple even though we don’t.

Visit the Velocipede Project here.


  1. Hi Ellie, hope you are well? I am back! Taken a difficult journey, which I may share when I get back to blogging??!!
    Anyway, really cool post, Im going to do this with friends on holiday, I am curious as we are all cyclists 🙂 XX

  2. I'd wondered where you'd gone! I hope you're ok?!
    You must try drawing a bike – it's HILARIOUS! Mine was so off the mark even after writing the post!!! Defo a fun holiday game! X

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