We spoke to the Design Museum curator ahead of an exhibition, opening today, that looks at the lifestyles, motives and attitudes of cyclists in Britain
To celebrate the renewed public interest in cycling, the Design Museum is investigating the current state of bicycle use in Britain.
The focus of the exhibition, starting today [18 November 2015], will be on cyclists’ diverse lifestyles, motives and attitudes, with displays exploring different types of bicycles, manufacturing processes, accessories, photographs and personal stories.
The show will also examine the steps architects, planners and the public could take towards a future where cycling might be as ubiquitous in Britain as it is in Denmark or the Netherlands. We spoke to Design Museum curator Donna Loveday above the exhibition
ICON: Where do you think the current popularity of cycling comes from?
DONNA LOVEDAY: Certainly in the UK, one of the reasons is the various sporting successes, from Chris Boardman’s win at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics to more recent phenomenal results in Beijing and London.
Terrorist threats might have made some people more reluctant to use public transport, but cycling is also a health and lifestyle choice – for many people, bikes are now replacing cars as their primary source of transportation.
ICON: How do you differentiate between the different ways that people approach cycling?
DL: I noticed that people were really passionate about their bikes: it’s all very tribal. So we’ve loosely divided our cyclists into tribes: the high performers, who are the most competitive ones; the thrill seekers, who cycle on challenging terrain and do BMX; the urban riders, who are generally city commuters; and finally the cargo bikers, where the bicycle is used to carry freight – these cyclists seem to be a growing group, but often get overlooked.
ICON: What do you think the future holds for cycling?
DL I really want this exhibition to be optimistic: it’s about where we are now and creating the right conditions for cycling, so that maybe one day there will be as many cyclists as there are car users.