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Museum of London gears up for a summer of cycling with London Cycles
Folding Bike in Style by Ugo Gattoni 2013.

LONDON.- London Cycles, a new free display at the Museum of London, captures London’s enthusiasm for cycling, examining how bikes allow us to move through the capital in different ways.

The display reflects on the act of cycling through the city from the 19th Century to today and presents some of the strides in digital collecting that the Museum of London is making. Born-digital objects are placed alongside other historical items and a new artistic commission to paint a fuller picture of the history of cycling and capture the zeitgeist of the two-wheeled movement that’s revolutionising how we see London today.

Highlights include:

Newly commissioned artwork by Ugo Gattoni, famed for his iconic London 2012 work, Bicycle. Ten large-scale portraits reflecting the diversity of cyclists and cycle style at play in London today, from ‘Retro Tweed’ to ‘Classic Dutch Style’ will go on show.

A boneshaker hailing from the 1880s to a penny farthing, a 1930s Enfield bicycle and a recently acquired ‘Boris’ bike.

A series of visual ‘bike signatures’ showing journeys made across the city by the museum’s ‘Boris’ bike in collaboration with Professor Jo Wood from City University London. We now know it was ridden by over 2,280 people in its lifetime, making over 2,450 journeys – revealing that some people rode it more than once.

Headcam footage capturing people’s cycle rides through the city from the annual cult bike event, Tweed Run, to people’s daily commutes.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson says: “Cycling is one of the best ways to get around our city, as increasing numbers of Londoners and visitors are finding. From Lycra-wearers and finely togged City folk, to east London hipsters on fixies, cycling has almost trebled over the past decade. This latest Museum of London displays shows how it has wheeled into mainstream consciousness – I can't think of a better way to get to see it than by bike, surely one of the most enjoyable ways to visit this and other cultural gems across the capital.”

Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London says: “Cycling, it’s a tribal thing. There is no better way to get around London than by bike. Why would anyone want to take the bus, or go underground when they can travel from A to B in this fantastic city, outdoors and on two wheels? It’s quicker, good for the environment and good for you. 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.”

Artist, Ugo Gattoni says: “As an artist with a strong connection to London – and a cycling obsessive myself – I was instantly drawn to working with the Museum of London on London Cycles. My illustrations are all about picking out surprising and hidden details in the world around me and incorporating them into my personal, imaginary world. For me it was important to be inspired by real London cyclists on the road. From the eccentric tweed-clad gentlemen to the courier racing through the city and the Dutch bike enthusiast cycling through London Fields, there are so many diverse cycle styles running riot through the city. My portraits seek to capture a cross-section of these. I hope visitors coming along to see the display will identify with one of these portraits and see part of themselves reflected in these.”

A series of cycle-themed family events from bike-powered cinema to BMX performance showcases and cycle art will also take place on the weekend of 7 and 8 September 2013.

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