Turning bike waste into art treasure

It was because of Kerry Gale’s passion for cycling that she was drawn to her newfound love of art.

When Kerry Gale looks at a piece of old bicycle chain, she sees something more, something that can be turned into art.

Gale has taken his love of cycling off the road and onto the canvas, refurbishing old bike parts and bringing them back to new.

The bicycle components she uses have often traveled many miles and, through her art, can tell a cyclist’s story.

“I renew them and give them a place in your home,” Gale said.

“I’ve always liked to reuse things. So, I started making bookcases for my children, finding different objects and giving them a new life.

Before the pandemic, Gale and her husband owned their own mobile bike shop in Waterloo Region.

“During the first few months, we had buckets of old coins. I looked at it all and thought, well, what can I do with it? Gale said.

“I picked out pieces from the bins and started making tealights and then it grew from there.”

Gale offers his artwork through his new business, Easy Cadence Creations. His pieces include ceramic tile coasters, ornaments and small decorative Christmas trees made from bicycle tubing., bike chain images, and brightly colored paintings.

Much of Gale’s art is nature centered around trees and small woodland animals.

“What appeals to me as a medium are hard surfaces and rough edges, like steel and wood. I even use bicycle tubes. You don’t consider these things to be sweet,” Gale said.

“I like to take something with a hard, edgy surface and make it something soft, like using ceramic tiles and turning them into soft palettes, taking bicycle tubes and turning them into tree branches, or using a hard bike chain and twist it into an inspirational quote. It’s about creating something unexpected.

Art hasn’t always been a part of Gale’s life.

“I never considered myself a creative person and I would never have considered myself an artist,” Gale said.

Just before the pandemic, Gale had the opportunity to participate in the Frederick Street Art Walk in Kitchener.

“I had started working with bicycle chains, washing everything by hand. It took time. I was only doing small pieces, but I had such a great reception at the Art Walk and received lots of positive affirmations,” Gale said.

“People started buying my pieces. After that I thought ok there is interest and so I developed that and started making bigger pieces and selling online on Etsy. And now here I am.

It was because of Gale’s passion for cycling that she was drawn to her new found love for art.

“My husband has always had a passion for horse riding. When I first met him, he introduced me to mountain biking and cycling. When we had our first daughter, I really started to get down to losing weight and having time for myself. That’s when I really got into mountain biking,” Gale said.

“And I just fell in love with it. I love being outdoors and being in nature.

With June being National Bike Month, Gale says there’s no better time to celebrate cycling.

Bike month is a time for people to get on their bikes, have fun with the family, and even connect with new people.

Gale enjoys cycling in the Waterloo region.

“I love the Hydrocut Trails and mountain biking in the Puslinch area,” she said.

The Hydrocut Trail System, located on Snyder’s Road near Petersburg, is rated one of Ontario’s top mountain biking destinations, renowned across Canada for its 35 km of “flowing” trails.

Recently, Gail and her husband competed in the Mansfield Spring Epic 8 Hour Relay.

“It’s an eight-hour endurance race. Some people do it solo, others do it in teams of two and up to five people. My husband and I did it as a team of two. We finished third in our class, which was awesome. We love it and it’s something, with our kids, that we can do as a family,” Gale said.

When she’s not cycling or doing art, Gale is a mother to three children, ages six, eight and 10.

“My kids love to ride bikes and they love my art. They sit in the studio with me and help me pick paint colors,” Gale said.

Most of the bike parts Gale uses come from various local bike shops, including The Hub Bicycle Shop in Cambridge.

“Some of the hits are from Cliff Vanclief, the owner. He wondered why I needed it at first,” Gale said.

“My husband and I no longer own our bike shop, but we’re still well connected with the cycling community. I’m very lucky that there are bike shops that allow me to rummage through their parts bins and to take what I need.

Today, Gale visits various markets in the area, including the market in the village of Hespeler.

“I like to see people’s faces when they realize what my art is made of. People are so friendly and smiling,” Gale said.

For Gale, her art also provides an opportunity to learn new things.

“I’m more interested in painting now, learning how paints and colors work together. I recently taught myself how to make frames for all my paintings. When I have the opportunity to learn a new skill and meet new people, that’s what motivates me,” Gale said.

“I hope to continue to grow and hopefully inspire people to look around and see if there’s any trash they can turn into treasure.”

For more information on Kerry Gale and Easy Cadence Creations, go here.

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