Cycling Exhibition Features Shanaze Reade & Dame Vivienne Westwood

London Museum creates Cycle Revolution Exhibition featuring the stories, passions and machines of cycling tribes

Images: Emily Maye, Dr Alex Moultan and Muji

The London Design Museum is championing cycling in an exhibition which will explore the passions of various members of the bike riding community and the innovative machines that power them.

Among the riders to be showcased as part of Cycle Revolution will be Olympic BMXer turned track rider Shanaze Reade, London commuter Lucy Granville and designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

The six month long exhibition, which starts on November 18, will tell the stories of cycling, splitting the varied and individualistic members of the community into four distinct tribes: high performers, thrill seekers, urban riders and cargo bikers.

Shanaze Reade in action

Reade has been chosen to front the thrill seekers – those who take on the mountains and pump tracks with the kind of high energy that sometimes requires body amour and a special appreciation of fear.

Representing urban bikers, Lucy Granville was selected by the Design Museum in their recent competition. Entries came from all over the world, but it was London based rider Granville who has the honour of taking centre stage and acting as spokesperson for the thousands who battle on city roads daily. She expressed her love for two wheels, saying: “My bike is my freedom pass. Riding is liberation, and sanity.”

In the high performance category, eleven time World Champion and six time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy leads the way for those built for speed on the road and the track. His medals tell the story of perseverance and dedication and his London 2012 Olympic Track Bike will sit next to Wiggins’ 2015 Hour Record Bike – as well as the Hour Record machines of Francesco Moser and Eddy Merckx.

Long distance chuggers are far from excluded, and Lawrence Brand will stand proud to lead the cargo bikers. Brand completed a 5,000km unsupported trip on his own design, ‘the Bringley’ by way of prototype testing – the journey taking him through varied terrain in Bulgaria, Turkey, Azebaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and on to the Chinese border.

The exhibition will tell the story of the evolving bicycle, and will also include a 1969 Raleigh Chopper and the earliest prototype Brompton in existence.

In a workshop themed area, a select group of six independent British Bike Builders – Donhou Bicycles, Toad Custom Cycles, Hartley Cycles, Robin Mather Cycles, Mercian Cycles and Shand Cycles – are all featured in short films commissioned for the show.

As visitors reach the final rooms of the exhibition, they’ll be treated to a forward facing view of the future for cycling. The finale will investigate how urban planners and architects have responded to the demands of cyclists, and some of the innovations to come.

Dame Vivienne Westwood goes by bike

The exhibition closes with a film of newly recorded interviews with high profile cyclists including Lord Norman Foster, Sir Paul Smith and Dame Vivienne Westwood, discussing their passion for cycling and hopes for its future.

The exhibition will open on November 18, but in celebration, the Veteran-Cycle Club will host a ride from Herne Hill Velodrome to the museum on Saturday October 24 – featuring fifty cyclists riding in historical order – starting with a nineteenth century Dandy Charger and finishing with modern lightweight machines.

Cycle Revolution is the final show at the Design Museum in Bermondsey. After the exhibition closes on 30 June the museum will move across London to Kensington, where it is set to open in its new home, the former Commonwealth Institute building, in late 2016.

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