In Berlin and beyond, fixed-gear bikes are seen as “fashion bikes”, often to the extent that riding one attracts a dose of hipster hatred (and admittedly, one does see some newbie cyclists trying rather to hard to be cool on them.) However, a new exhibition at the Urban Spree Gallery makes the point that fixed gear bikes were the original racer’s choice – in fact a necessity, since gears and the dérailleur technology were only invented many years after the inaugural Tour De France, and even then were seen by some as a decadant, bourgeois and perhaps even unsporting luxury.
Christoph Reichert, the organiser of the “Grand Boucle” exhibition (whose name is the vernacular term for the Tour De France), has put together a rather lovely collection of anachronistic-to-modern machines, which hang from the ceiling of the space, along with some superb screen prints of the badges of notable (and defunct) bicycles manufacturers: there’s Raleigh of Nottingham in England, Paris’s Peugeot, Flying Goose and other less well-known marques. There’s also a beautiful magazine on display with photographs tracking the evolution of the road bike, and some powerful photos by Leopold Fiala of the kind of snaking, vertiginous mountain switchbacks that really sort the men from the boys in the sport of professional bike racing. The exhibition is only on until July 27 2012, so it’s worth getting on your bike and spinning down there as soon as possible.
Text by Kevin Braddock
Mother Drucker & Chipsnchampagne present The Grand Boucle Project @Urban Spree Gallery, RAW Tempel.
Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin
Until 27th July, 11am – 19pm