Cycling Revolutions

  • Tony Clarkson

A project with cycling at its centre and the changes that cycling can bring. It’s not about fitness, fashion or fads but people, their lifestyles, and the causes they believe in. To get the full effect of the difference cycling can really make, you need to feel it; you need to connect; you need stories. The outcome is an exhibition with a focus on change. The show is a series of rooms, each with its own story and a means for visitors to connect to those stories and take them home.

Cycling brings many different things to society; how can design tell the story of its diversity and cultural value beyond its stereotypes?

What are the stories being told here?

I’ve found many stories where the bicycle is introduced as a means to change something, reduce traffic and increase road safety, change people’s viewpoints, or encourage self-belief. Getting people to change direction, change their path into the future and possibly get back on track and change their outlook on life.

The Bike Bloc

Activists The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination put together an experiment to engineer a new tool and practise of civil disobedience at the COP15 Climate summit on 16th December 2009.

The fight against the Morality Police

The ongoing story of how women’s cycling in Iraq is a problem to the authorities. The simple act of a woman riding a bicycle - even while wearing the hijab, a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women - has been a controversial issue in Iran. Women are prepared to risk their own safety to cycle freely.

Stop de Kindermoord

In The Netherlands, by 1971, deaths by motor vehicles were 3,300, of which 500 were children. A campaign in favour of pedestrians and bicycles started in different locations. It was called “stop children’s murders”.

Bikes Not Bombs

An organisation that uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalised people in Boston, USA, and the Global South.

These stories were chosen because, as a set, they cover a diverse range of situations where cycling, or the bicycle by itself, plays a key role.

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