Mobile messaging

For 2 years now it’s been all about the bike to get me from A-B. Speedily, enjoyably and stylishly. And I’m part of a growing movement of girls and guys “who wouldn’t be seen dead in lycra shorts“. But it’s not just about what you wear to ride in, it’s just as important how you ‘dress’ your wheels.

Bike decoration is big, and seems to be only getting hotter. If you’ve got a message why not say it on your spokes, bare it on your basket, or front it from your frame. When you ain’t got a bumper or rear window to sticker, you’ve gotta get creative.

Damien Hirst has done it for Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wheels. Whether you like it or not, it’s definitely a statement piece of art.


Image from Marketwire.

The courier crew on their single speed and fixies ride with all sorts woven through their spokes. In recent days I’ve spent a lot of time staring at people’s wheels trying not to topple off my bike in the process.

I’ve seen a kind of knitted effect. Wool wound round between two spokes to form a wedge of colour. When the same is done on the opposing spokes and the wheel is spinning it creates a lovely kaleidoscope¬†effect.

All over sticker jobs seems to be in too. I guess personalised plastering of paint work isn’t so desirable to the old tea leafs.

Snapshot 2009-08-03 17-58-04

I’ve seen nice messages around. Ride on Ride free. No oil. Or one I found on Flickr attached to a bike basket: Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.

Snapshot 2009-08-03 17-58-34

And I’ve met all sorts. The friendly white van man on Critical Mass last Friday who wanted to experience life on the road from the other side of the windscreen. He was loving it.

And the bike polo boys battling in the first European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships in Borough last weekend. With team names like Malice, FFF (Fabulous French F*ckers), BAD and Malletforce, they make themselves out to be pretty hard. And they are. Balancing, skidding, tearing up the tarmac as they race for the ball with collisions aplenty. But when they’re done they throw their trusty steads to the ground and give each other and their opponents ecstatically congratulatory bear hugs. So even though the covers over their spokes are part statement, part protection, part team identification, their message seems to be a friendly one. Get on a bike. Ride free and fair. Give it some mallet. Enjoy.


So if you’ve got yourself a set of self-powered wheels maybe consider what’s your mobile message and how you’ll be showing it off.


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3 Responses to “Mobile messaging”

  1. Andre Says:

    Now then. I’m whiling away a few hours here on the internet (I can’t sleep, due to a Penguin colony nesting, but yards from the window), when I followed your FB link to here.

    You have no idea how sick I am for my bike. The wide open spaces here, low traffic and hills in abundance are crying out to be ridden!

    Thankyou for reminding me of what the ‘first – thing – I – do – when – I – get – home’ is going to be!


  2. rachaelwest Says:

    Hi George

    emily w directed me to your blog and it’s fabulous – love the links between seemingly-random-but-really-very-connected thoughts and ideas. Including branding and bikes!


  3. georginacombes Says:

    Thanks for your comment Rachel! I saw that Emily had tweeted about an inspiring breakfast with you this morning. Will have to follow your Twitter feed to share the creative ideas action!


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