Artist Matt Hope calls the concept bicycle he’s inventing “a weird provocative object” with a “Chinese fighter pilot breathing thingy.” We call it a bike that, as the rider pedals, powers a purifier that feeds the rider more breathable air. 

Hope lives in Beijing, a city where the air is far from clean, and he saw a lot of people wearing masks and biking, which struck him as kind of a bummer, because when you wear a mask you can’t breathe very well. So he set about making this rather crazy-looking but also useful bike. It is made out of a lot of tubes and a fan and a home air filter. In this video, Hope, who has a sort of soothing British accent, describes how he put it together.

One design problem: The thing uses 5,000 volts of electricity. “If you ride it in the rain, you could potentially kill yourself,” he says. He adds that “in theory” it works. Hm. I might try it. In the desert. In August.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!