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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Bicycle Is Art - Streetlamp Special

Well, we don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Scotland we've had a horrible week of snow and ice, with more forecast. Rather annoyingly, the state of the icy roads plus the onset of early darkness has made the roads even more dangerous than usual for those of us whose principle mode of transport is the bicycle ( we know of at least one cyclist who has broken their wrist this week). As a result, The Streetlamp team haven't been able to cycle as much as we would normally, which has made us rather sad. To cheer ourselves up, and you too hopefully, we've decided to bring you a Streetlamp bicycle special. Principally, this will consist of links to interesting bike related sites on the internet plus a gallery of selected images from Ray's extensive collection of vintage bicycle-related art. OK, bicycle clips on? Then let's go.

First up is an advertising image from Peerless cycles, which we cherish because it reminds us of our beloved Les Enfants Du Paradis :

Next up are some images with the sort of striking clear and simple lines which distinguishes all the best poster art:

If you're interested, the title of our blog tonight is inspired by The Bicycle Is Art website, home to art of, and inspired by, the bicycle. Give them a visit.

The next image I (Griff) love because it reminds me of a still from a Hayao Miyazaki film:

Our next website recommendation is The Invisible Visible Man's blog. This thought-provoking site is written by an ex-pat Glaswegian cyclist now resident in New York. Check it out.

The following images are a selection of the once-popular scantily-clad Goddess/bicycle juxtapositions that  advertisers used to love:

In case anyone thinks The Streetlamp has violated its feminist principles by publishing the above, allow us to redress the balance by directing you to Spokeswomen, which bills itself as 'a blog for women who ride bicycles'. Check it out.
And to prove that women aren't just idealised Goddesses in vintage bicycle advertising, here are some more positive images:

We particularly like this last one as it's just such outrageous behaviour on a bike. Can you imagine the reaction of the British Transport Police if the next critical mass ride in Glasgow does this? Now there's an idea - it does look a bit like the tunnel out of Queen Street station!
And speaking of outlandish advertising images. What about these ones?:

We found ourselves wondering what the cyclist in the last image is shouting over his shoulder. Perhaps, "Naw, you get off the fxxxing road, ya bawbag!" Your own suggestions of what he might be saying will be gratefully recieved at Streetlamp HQ.
And speaking of the exchange of views which passes between motorists and cyclists, our last website rcommendation tonight is the excellent CycleHatred on Twitter. This Twitter feed has a simple but effective premise - it's the work of a cyclist re-tweeting the constant stream of Tweets that illustrate peoples crazy, ill informed, and frankly terrifying, view of cyclists.Here are some examples from tonight's feed:

"On Putney bridge in the mornings, I just wanna bump into one cyclist so they hit the rest of the wanky Lycra wearing creatures!"

"I'm sure all these cyclists in York have got a death wish can see myself running one over!"

"Cyclists shouldnt be allowed in rush hour"


" The cyclists I hate are the ones that don't stay close to the's like they want to be run over."

Those are just from the last few hours. There are pages and pages of this kind of shit. But remember, if you're on Twitter yourself, you can bait these morons right back if you're in the mood. Also, these are good to read just before you go on your next Critical Mass ride - gets you in the right frame of mind.

Now, all Together.

"Whose Roads?"

"Our Roads!"

Be careful out there.

Ray and Griff

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