Cycling has a lot in common with art. Matt Rudd from the Let’s Ride team takes a look at this relationship between riding and creating, and shares some of his favourite work by artists who cycle.
At its best, cycling is about freedom. Colour. Connection. It always has been, from the very first time a test rider trusted gravity enough to push off and trust the machine they sat on. And what a machine! The humble bicycle is arguably the finest and most economically designed invention ever, so unsurprising that it quickly moved from a functional mode of transport to a desirable, even beautiful object.
Art, of course, draws on similar themes – there are a few guidelines but artists are free to break them. There’s endless colour to choose from. The artist gets to connect with their activity at any level – and this is perhaps the greatest thing art and cycling have in common – they are both truly democratic. You’re free to choose your level, decide how much you spend on equipment and make of it want you want to make of it!
And making things – cycling-related things, is what many artists have chosen to do over the years. Cycling seems to naturally inspire expression (remember all those Yorkshire streets bathed in flags, banners and sculptures to joyfully usher the Tour de France/Yorkshire riders through?). Read on for just a few examples of some of my favourite artists, paying homage to the venerable bike.