30 August 2011

Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed

This fits perfectly into our Car Industry Strikes Back series. It is so car-centric that you'd place your money on the car industry if you had to guess who produced this Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed campaign. Thanks to our reader, Tony, for sending this along to us.

Amazingly, it is from a governmental organisation in South Australia - MAC, or The Motor Accident Commission.

"The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is South Australia’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer and provides $400 million each year in compensation to road crash victims.

MAC also manages the State Government’s road safety communications program and provides sponsorship funding for projects that aim to reduce the number and impact of road injuries and deaths."

Oh, wait. Car insurance. We've seen THAT before, haven't we?

What a brilliantly anti-bicycle campaign. A large sum of money was spent on hammering home the point to young people that bicycles are lame and that cars the only real, credible option for life in South Australia.

And check out their poster, too.

Marketing is needed badly if we are to promote urban cycling positively. Not marketing by avid cyclists. Not marketing by car-centric organisations. Real marketing aimed at Citizen Cyclists.

Double *

Subversive Bicycle Photos - New South Wales

Thanks to our reader, Tim, for sending us the above photo of Australian sheepshearers on their bicycles. The bicycle is credited rightly with improving the human gene pool in the way that it increased the mobility radius for people not only in cities but also in rural areas. After the invention of the bicycle and the subsequent bicycle boom in the late 1880's, family names that were previously rooted to specific towns or regions started showing up in the registries of (relatively) far-flung parishes in the UK. The same is true for rural America and Australia. The inexpensive independent mobility that the bicycle provided allowed men and women to travel farther further in the search for work and... well... TLC.

Anyway, this is a continuation of the Subversive Bicycle Photos series, showing the historical role that the bicycle played in cities and towns - in this case New South Wales, Australia. Important documentation on the journey to show that Bicycle Culture 2.0 is NOT dominated by sub-cultures but rather has the potential to be enjoyed by all citizens. As was the case in cities and towns around the world. In Cairns, Queensland, Canberra, Dublin, Vancouver, etc. etc.

These photographs are from the Flickr photostream of the State Library of New South Wales.

Malvern Star Bicycle Competition, Stanmore Theatre (taken for Acme Theatres), 4 May 1946, by Sam Hood
Stanmore, NSW, Australia. May, 1946.

Jim and Nancy Davenport, Albury, NSW, 11 December 1938, by by - J E N Davenport
Albury, NSW, Australia. December, 1938.

Tom Morris, skipping champion (taken for Greater Union Theatres), 28 June 1937, by Sam Hood
NSW, Australia. June 1937. An explanation is probably needed:
"Tom Morris, who will attempt to skip from Sydney to Brisbane, via the Pacific Highway, will set out from the General Post Office at noon to-day. He has already skipped from Melbourne to Adelaide and back (1000 miles) and from Melbourne to Sydney in 28 days."
His friend on the left must be an early member of the Slow Bicycle Movement.

Boys of Hoyts Clovelly Theatre "Spider's Web" Club ride their bikes while "Spiderman" looks on, by Sam Hood
Boys of Hoyts Clovelly Theatre Spider's Web Club ride their bikes while Spiderman looks on. Clovelly, NSW, Australia. n.d.

Jenolan Caves, April 1903, photographed by Edward J. Cooke
Jenolan Caves, NSW, Australia. April, 1903.

Man on bicycle pillioning boy - Bunaloo, NSW, n.d.
Man on bicycle pillioning boy. Bunaloo, NSW, Australia. "Pillioning". There's a word you don't hear every day. I'm assuming that means the boy is standing up. As opposed to that other Australianism, "dinking".

Brownie (Muriel Long) with bicycle decorated for street procession - Deniliquin, NSW, n.d.
Brownie (Muriel Long) with bicycle decorated for street procession. Deniliquin, NSW. n.d.

Annie Dawson Wallace with her bicycle. NB: Annie is wearing trousers - Sydney, NSW, 1899
Annie Dawson Wallace with her bicycle. NB: Annie is wearing trousers - Sydney, NSW, Australia. 1899

Man on a penny-farthing bicycle being chased by his sister (Maggie & Bob Spiers) - West Wyalong, NSW, C. 1900
Man on a penny-farthing bicycle being chased by his sister (Maggie & Bob Spiers) - West Wyalong, NSW, Australia. Ca. 1900

Waratah Rovers Bicycle Club (WRBC) on tour. Sydney - Campbelltown - Appin - Bulli - South Coast. Photo taken at Picton outside the Royal Hotel - Picton, NSW, October 1900
Waratah Rovers Bicycle Club on tour. Picton, NSW, Australia. October 1900.

[Pedestrians on George St], ca. 1900, from Frederick Danvers Power : photonegatives, 1898-1926 / Frederick Danvers Power First cars and trains across Sydney Harbour Bridge, March 1932 / Sam Hood
And a couple of street scenes from Sydney. Ca. 1900 and 1932, respectively.

29 August 2011

Bizarre Bicycle Posters

Vintage Bicycle Posters: Columbia Bicycle
There are hundreds of fantastic bicycle posters from a long history of bicycle adverts out there. So many of them are brilliant. There are, however, some that are just plain weird. Copenhagenize offers you two of the weirdest we have come across.

Above, a poster for Columbia Bicycles from the kinky hand of one C.M. Coolidge in 1895

Vintage Bicycle Posters: La Verité
And here we have more bicycle kinkyness. An artist signing his name as Decam whipped together this poster in 1897 for Caténol Bicycles. We have absolutely no idea what it's about but perhaps we have been given an insight into the sexual life of the artist.

One of our readers - "Kordite" - found this description of the last poster on an auction website:
"Utilizing the allegorical imagery frequently associated with the French proverb "La Verité sort du puits" (The Truth comes out of a well), in which a nude female representing Truth is seen leaping forth from a well, here we are presented with an advertisement for a bicycle chain. Rather than the usual rope-pulley system, a bike-chain like mechanism is depicted behind her as she makes a superstitious hand gesture against bad luck. Apparently, if you use this brand of bicycle chain, you will be protected from all harm -- no lie. "

If you're interested, the starting bid is $1300 at LiveAuctioneers.com

27 August 2011

Election Fever

Danish Elections
National elections were called in Denmark yesterday so for the next three weeks it's going to be dull news days every day. This independent politician was out early, on Thursday, already getting his face in your face.

Election posters have been slapped up in 0.5 milliseconds so Copenhagen, which is quite a nice city to look at, is now plastered with smiling, photoshopped photos of politicians and wannabes. And there is no semblance of decent graphic design so this entire capital is one big badly-designed graphic hell in shocking colours.

You can't see the election for the forest of posters. Do they really need to plastic strip them to TREES? Or surround the oldest structure in Copenhagen - the old tower on Jarmers Square - with pink posters?

Politicians Bikes
Motorists can happily drive past the posters on the streets but cyclists will be bombarded with the plastic smiles of politicans at every busy intersection, handing out brochures, chatting jovially with Joe Public - or maybe that's Lars Public in Denmark, never thought about that before - hoping to convince people to vote for them.

Whatever the case, armadas of bicycles are out there, carrying the posters and election material around, politicians standing on squares next to their cargo bikes, and so on. Which is nice.

25 August 2011

Subversive Bicycle Photos: Vancouver

1966 – Bikes at Blundell Elementary School.

Continuing the series of subversive bicycle photos that show cycling as a normal transport form in cities, we have moved on to Vancouver, Canada. Imagine if these photos made it onto the internet. Imagine if people could see how the bicycle used to be a part of life in Vancouver and not merely some modern, white, middle-class sport/recreation/commuter activity dominated by vocal, avid cyclists.

It would be scandalous. Thank goodness no one took photos of me riding a crappy bike, in regular clothes down from Lynn Valley and North Van, over the Lion's Gate to work downtown in the late 1980's. Or riding around downtown and Kitsalano in the early 1990's. Imagine what that would do to my reputation.

For more modern subversive photos of Vancouver, there's always this website. Just don't tell anyone.

Thanks to our reader Lloyd for the link to the Miss604.com website, who found them at the Vancouver City Archives.

1943 – Canadian Youth Hostel bicycle hike at the grizzly bear cage in the Stanley Park Zoo.

1943 – Bicycle hike at Douglas Park.

1940s – A boy examines his new bicycle license.

1943 – Lumberman’s Arch.

1932 – Acrobats at the Vancouver Exhibition (now, PNE)

1943 – July 1st celebration in Richmond.

1890s – Bicycle racers and friends at Brockton Point.

24 August 2011

Zoos and Bicycles

Barcelona Zoo Transport
It was lovely to see bicycles in action at Barcelona Zoo, used by the staff to get around the park. Like many zoos, each exhibition has it's own bicycles. Above, the sticker, refers to a marine exhibit.
Barcelona Zoo Bicycle Primates
This chap works with primates.
Barcelona Zoo Cargo Bike Acrobat
It was interesting to see a Danish Acrobat cargo bike from Esimex at the zoo selling ice cream and soft drinks. The solar panel sticking up was a bit wobbly and I wouldn't want to ride the trike in wind, but hey, it is perfect for riding or pushing the trike around the zoo.
Primates Bicycle
Here is a Copenhagen version of the Primate exhibit's bicycle. Sturdy front rack for carrying gear.
Zoobikes Zoological Cycle Chic
Every bike at the Copenhagen Zoo is equipped with practical front and/or back racks. At left it is lovely to see that cycling is sociable even at the zoo.
Ice Bikes
And here is a fleet of ice cream bikes, from Acrobat, at the Copenhagen Zoo. As far as I recall, the Sushi Bike that serves the beaches in Copenhagen is also the same brand.
Tapir Bicycles outside the Tapir House at Copenhagen Zoo
Even the humble Tapir exhibit at the Copenhagen Zoo is equipped with dedicated bicycles.
Zoo Berlin Holding On
And since we're on the theme, here's a zoo employee heading home by bicycle in Berlin.


Vintage Sitwell Saddle
Spotted this vintage saddle the other day. 'Sitwell' is the ironic brand name. But it looks cool.
BSA Vintage Headbadge
It was on this vintage BSA bicycle.

If anyone can date the saddle, pop it in the comments.

23 August 2011

Holding Hands

Felix et Lulu
The holiday with me and my kids to Barcelona involved a lot of 'bicycle commuting', or whatever it's called. Back and forth to the beach at Bogatell each day. Lulu in the box of the Bakfiets and Felix on his own bike, a one-speed. Both provided by our friends at Bike Gracia, Barcelona's coolest bike shop. Run by a Dutchman, of course.

There was shooting and filming along the way but my two kids provided a little Kodak moment for Daddy whilst waiting for the light near the Arc de Triomph.
Felix et Lulu _1

Barcelona Felix Gracia Barcelona Felix et Lulu Bikes
At left: Heading out for dinner one evening in the Gracia neighbourhood. At right: Heading home from a day at the beach one evening.

Barcelona Cycle Chic_5 BarcaKids 05-1
View from the bike lanes of Barcelona. At right: Felix in the box of the Bakfiets before we got hold of his own bike.

Barcelona Felix et Lulu Support Vehicle
Barcelona Support Vehicle. Lulu handing a rice cake to Felix on the way home from the beach one day.

Barcelona Felix i Lulu Gracia
Evening transport in our neighbourhood.

Barcelona Cycling Shoes
Bakfiets and flip flops. Together at last. Effective even up the hill on the way home to Gracia and up to Park Guell.

Here's a previous post about our trip to Barcelona: Liveable La Vida Liveable in Barcelona.

Desire Line Made Permanent

Subconscious Democracy and Desire
Readers may recall the post about the City of Copenhagen's respect for citizens' Desire Lines. The above photo shows a temporary bicycle lane on a stretch of sidewalk that bicycle users kept using. The City tested out a bike lane there. The original post is here: Subconscious Democracy and Desire, where you can read about the concept of Desire Lines, too.

The temporary Desire Line has now been made permanent and bicycle users on this stretch are no longer rolling over the traffic laws. Instead, their Desire Line has been made legal.

Friendly Ramp
Desire Lines can be big or small. Here's another little example near Dybbøls Bridge. Cyclists coming down from the bridge would invariably roll down the bank here, instead of carrying on to the intersection 100 m, or so, behind the camera.