Cycling Meets Art to Create Cycling Masterpieces

Bike Culture & Tips

Cycling Meets Art to Create Cycling Masterpieces
August 2017

Some use their bicycle to move faster in town, some to enjoy life outdoors, some to help reduce pollution, and some because they think it's a great way to keep fit easily. But there are also some people who like to cycle to discover new ways of experiencing art and culture, fascinated by both the journey and their destination. The inhabitants of Amsterdam, for example, can even cycle across their most important museum!
Started in 2003 and completed ten years later, the renovation of the
 Rijksmuseum, has met the requests of Amsterdam citizens - who have always been fond riders - to fix and improve the path that allows them keep cycling surrounded by the halls of the museum. Architects decided to leave the cycle path intact and to enhance it with large windows that flood the space with light as cyclists ride among large arcades, a few meters away from the wonderful works of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

It is literally a journey “through” art, riding on a vehicle that is the result of human ingenuity combined with pure creativity. Throughout the centuries, this vehicle has been refined and improved while preserving its strong personality. An important event will be celebrated this year, precisely in a museum: the creation of the draisine, the first bicycle prototype by the German forestry officer and inventor Baron Karl Von Drais in 1817.
Until September 17th, the Dreiländermuseum in Lorrach, near Basel, will be hosting an exhibition that goes from the invention of the first primitive bike without pedals and continues with the evolution of this extraordinary means of transport through to contemporary e-bikes. A wooden vehicle, made up of two wheels with eight spokes each and a handlebar to drive it, the draisine moved by simply pushing the feet against the ground. In his first “long” demonstration, its inventor took a 28-kilometre ride, back and forth between the German cities of Mannheim and Schwetzingen.

So why not celebrate this important milestone by riding your bike and retracing that very first journey? From the large central square of Mannheim, with its famous Water Tower, you can reach the spectacular Renaissance and Baroque Schwetzingen Palace, with its stunning, huge garden.
Just as Baron Von Drais did, it is worthwhile to return to Mannheim and attend some of the many events planned in honour of the bicycle's bicentennial celebration; on September 16, there will be music festivals ad well as theatre and light shows taking place in the courtyard of 
Mannheimer Schloss, the 18th-century Palace used by the University of Mannheim.

Thinking of the enormous progress that the first bicycle has made since 1817, all those who have contributed to the improvement of every aspect of cycling – including comfort, speed and safety – with ingenuity and creativity, can be considered real artists.

The invention of pedals or the chain drive, tyres or saddles, gears or the pedal assist system; which improvement has made this vehicle so special to you?

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