RACK AND ROLL! BICYCLING THE BEACH, SO-BE STYLE!
I returned Wednesday night from a week’s stay in Bogotá, Colombia, where, every Sunday numerous streets throughout the city are blocked off to accommodate bicyclists as a green and healthy alternative to automotive commuter traffic.
Considering the altitude, hilly avenues, problems with smog, and aggressive driving practices in that city (bicyclists still share many avenues with automobiles) I could only applaud and admire the daring and tenacious spirit of the throngs of persons taking to the streets on their bicycles.
And so it was with great satisfaction that I discovered during my regular bicycle commute to work yesterday morning that the network of empty “solar-powered bike rental and sharing stations” that had been recently installed on a number of streets on the beach were no longer empty. This latest development, coupled with the earlier designation of bicycle routes, seems to be a clear sign that Miami Beach has finally gotten serious about making the beach a more bicycle friendly environment.
Immediately upon reaching the office, I racked my brain to see what items we might have in the library regarding the promotion of bicycles and bicycling to commemorate the occasion. I remembered that there were some beautiful bicycle advertisements designed by the “Dean of American designers” Bill Bradley (1868-1962), an important graphic artist and book designer whose work straddled the late Victorian and early Modern artistic movements. Bradley did much to popularize Art Nouveau in the United States, and the advertisement and catalog in our collection reflect that aesthetic style.
Pulling up the Decobike website, I was amused to see differences in the way bicycles were being advertised one hundred years later in the Art Deco district. In stark contrast to the modestly dressed young Victorian lady pictured on one of Bradley’s advertisements, the Decobike web ad is designed to titillate.
“Irresistibly tempting” reads an online banner that alternates with rotating images of bikini-clad smiling models showing off lots of tanned skin and phrases touting the pleasures of bicycling in our ocean-side paradise.