53. “Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle” by Lars Müller Publishers

Portland, Oregon is more than a bike friendly city. As stated on their website, the Portland Bureau of Transportation “works to make bicycling an integral part of daily life.” And many efforts by the city to make it easier for people to chose bike commuting has made a significant impact on the commuting behavior and, as a result, the city has made significant achievements:

  • Portland has the highest share of bicycle commuters (6 to 8 percent) of any large U.S.city. (here)
  • Portland is the only large city to earn The League of American Bicyclists’ platinum status as a bicycle-friendly city. (here)
  • Portland has 318 miles of bikeways (here)

As a result, a growing culture of cycling is definitely taking shape across the city!

With Spring finally upon us, and, rainfall beginning to wane, the library has selected Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle by Lars Müller Publishers, to salute bicyclists everywhere and to introduce them to some amazing internationally renowned bike builders:  Sacha White,  Jeff Jones, Dario Pegoretti,  Peter Weigle,  Mike Flanigan, and Richard Sachs.

According to the publishers, “custom-built bicycles are more than just lavish objects. They represent the pinnacle of craft practiced by a handful of remarkable artisans—machines so meticulously constructed and fitted to their users that they seem like extensions of the body” (from the back cover).  This relationship between physical art objects (and these bikes are definitely works of art!) and the user’s body, is something that is constantly being discussed across our campus and continues to be a chief concern of makers working in all different mediums.

This relationship was beautifully addressed by an earlier post, a quote by Polly Ullrich that we highly recommend. She talks specifically about jewelry, but it isn’t difficult to see how her thoughts could be applied more broadly to include the work of these amazing bespoke bicycle makers!

Check it out!


6 thoughts on “53. “Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle” by Lars Müller Publishers

  1. Though biking is huge “sport” here in high desert, our roads aren’t quite conducive to biking around safely for the bikers. Just early this year, we had a few fatal accidentals that have caused lives. People controlling the City Planning and Development plan and execution needs to be more progressive thinkers, for a better environment. I love that about Portland, the diversity and the pro-“green” movement.

  2. I have always thought since I fell in love with cycling that the bike itself was a work of art. Everything flows and it is an extension of me now. Even if I couldn’t ride I would probably collect bikes just for looks.

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