Cycling culture in the English capital has never been healthier – according to mayor Boris Johnson, almost three times as many people get around London by bike now than they did ten years ago.
In an attempt to capture the city’s collective enthusiasm for two-wheeled transport, the Museum of London is hosting a free temporary exhibition throughout the summer. Entitled London Cycles, it runs until September 22nd and is totally free to attend – so anyone who fancies themselves a bike lover should consider dropping by.
Highlights of the show include a handful of historical cycles dating from the late 19th century to the present – a velocipede – or ‘boneshaker’ – from the 1880s, a penny farthing, a 1930s Enfield bicycle and even a recently acquired ‘Boris’ bike.
There’s also a display showing visual ‘bike signatures’ – that is, the journeys made across the capital by one particular Boris bike, which made some 2,450 trips over the course of its lifetime.
The Museum of London will also be screening headcam footage from the Tweed Run – an annual cult bike event where participants are expected to dress in traditional British cycling attire. Some even mount vintage vehicles into the bargain.
Finally, visitors will be able to see a newly commissioned series of portraits by Ugo Gattoni, an artist famed for his surrealist drawings and large-scale illustrations. These aim to depict the diversity of modern British cyclists – from commuters to couriers, hipsters and Lycra-clad fitness enthusiasts.
Sharon Ament, director of the museum, says: “I’m not the only one who believes cycling is part of this city’s DNA.
“With over half a million Londoners taking to their bikes every day, we at the Museum of London are proud to celebrate this enthusiasm for cycling with London Cycles.”
The Museum of London is located near to the Barbican and St Paul’s – a short trip by tube, or indeed by bike, from many luxury London hotels.