31 January 2011

Subversive Bicycle Photos from Queensland

Bicycles piled up outside a picture theatre in Cairns, ca. 1915
Bicycles outside a cinema in Cairns, 1915.

We all know that it's too hot to ride a bicycle in your regular clothes in Queensland. You need all manner of special clothing and a lightweight bicycle to be able to tackle the heat and topography. And an electric assist motor if you can get your hands on one. Everybody knows that. That's why nobody ever rode bicycles in the state until 1975.

This is what we know.

So please do not distribute these photographs. We risk word getting out that bicycles existed prior to 1975 and that they weren't carbon fibre wonderbikes used by packs of men in tight, stretchy clothing on the weekends but rather bicycles for transport. People might get the idea that cycling for regular citizens was 'normal' or some godawful propaganda-like notion.

And don't let the rest of the country see these shots either. They'll call Queensland un-Australian. We're convinced that it was that bastard Julian Assange who leaked these photos. We're issuing a warrant for his arrest. We'll hang him up in a bike bib and make him look like Borat.
Bicycles parked outside Maryborough City Baths
Bicycles parked outside the City Baths in Maryborough.
Bicycles parked on the pavement at Mackay, Queensland, 1948
Bicycles parked in Mackay, 1948.
Bicycles parked outside the Lands and Works Office, 1904
Bicycles parked outside the Lands and Works Office, 1904.

Boys on bikes at Barramornie Station, August 1924
Boys on bikes at Barramornie Station, August 1924

Unidentified father and son posing with a bicycle for a travelling photographer
Unidentified father and son posing with a bicycle for a travelling photographer

Shearer on the move with his bicycle
Shearer on the move with his bicycle, ca. 1906

A modern Australian shearer
A modern Australian shearer, ca. 1900

Photos from The State Library of Queensland, on Flickr.