Feels Like It

“I actually own a bicycle, have done for years. I can’t ride it safely anywhere around here… and I worked out that not being able to tell where sound is coming from just makes it even more unlikely I could bear taking it on the roads in this crazy place (again). It’s highly annoying. If I want to go on a safe bike ride, I’d need to take trains/buses and hire a bike. But then I come against the ‘lol that bloke is doing stuff all by himself’ thing. I might actually LIKE doing stuff by myself, but apparently it’s a deviant crime in this society – or feels like it.”

– cpn_jacksparrow @Livejournal

I love to go to the cinema and theatre on my own, but once I had dinner alone and the couple on the table next to mine kept looking over their shoulders at me with distinct expressions of sympathy. Spoilt my dinner!

I heart my… Beamish Museum

beamish

“Where are you going to my pretty maid?”
“I’m going a’cycling, sir” she said
“May I come with you my pretty maid?”
“Yes if you can keep up with me sir”, she said.

Thank you to Ingrid, author of Postmodern Pain for sending me this picture of a poster from the Beamish Museum in County Durham. The museum tracks the industrial developments of the nineteenth century, this poster is for Beamish Motor and Cycle Works (pictured above, by Rob Langham @flickr)

The future of the human race

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”
–H.G. Wells

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The Bicycle Zine by Janell.
janelloshea@etsy.
This illustrated zine is a delight: delicate line drawings on glossy paper that make me want to reach for my stash of felt tip pens. Originally printed in three sizes, all of which have at this time sold out, The Bicycle Zine also comes with a bicyle printed coaster and sticker…. all the way from Singapore!

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What World and Whose Dream? by Sadie Winter.
bikeart@etsy.
This zine explores the development of bicycle culture and its influence on
women’s history from the birth of bikes to their role in the suffrege movement and beyond, providing women with greater independance and making men’s moustaches ruffle with distaste as they pedalled by flashing their ankles. A very interesting read even if I did question some of the political weight that the zine attributes to bikes. There’s a great section about bicycles around the world as well as contributions from (and about) female cyclists of note.

In other news, you’d be forgiven for never having heard of bike polo. I had no idea what it was until not too long ago… Just imagine polo but instead of horses there’s bicycles, and ta-da, there you have it, bike polo. It turns out that bike polo has been going since the late 19th century and still very much a thriving sport. If you fancy having a go, or would prefer to be a rather less bruised spectator, the opportunity presents itself in the form of London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association’s (mostly)-female-only tournament hosted at Newington Gardens in Camberwell, and appropriately entitle Hell’s Belles. October 14th is the official registration date for teams taking part in the first annual contest, and the website offers registration for individuals to then be put forward to existing teams.