At a time when bicycling was transitioning from a pastime to an athletic activity, Jarry used his Clément Luxe for commutes to and from the country and for intracity transportation. He exalted bicycles as a “new organ” for man and an extension of the skeleton. Kinetic man-machines, when ridden at top speed, had the potential, Jarry suggested, to transform the artist’s consciousness. Guns, fencing foils, and even fishing rods seemed to function the same way in Jarry’s pursuit of extreme recreation. All were inextricable from his artistic identity in his final years, blurring the lines between creative expression and life.
“Catalogue illustré des célèbres cycles Clément,” Société des vélocipèdes Clément, no. 4 (1895). Collection of Pryor Dodge.