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20 September 2012 No comments

Brooks at Bike v Design

Events Bicycles Art & Design
Brooks at Bike v Design

Bike V Design from Design Museum on Vimeo.

It was very much a case of Aesthetics cordially sitting down at the table with Aerodynamics, when Brooks Works Manager Steven Green was coaxed south to the capital from Birmingham recently for a speaking engagement. Earlier this month, the Design Museum London put on its inaugural installment of Bike v Design, a show exploring Bicycles and... their Design. With British Track and Road heroes still fresh in British Minds from the summer, Tweed Runs still all the rage, and the sport of Bike Polo still not quite sure what the best possible bike might look like for the court, it's an interesting time to be questioning notions of Utility and Attractiveness on two human-powered wheels. And while most facets of the show were heavily weighted in the Here And Now, event curator Alice Marsh thoughtfully invited us to send one of our experts along to talk about the ongoing century-and-a-half-old Brooks story, with, naturally, some emphasis on the status of our saddles as "Design Classics". The beauty and excellence of our products needs little in the way of explanation, of course, but Steven was on hand to talk curious visitors through the construction process of a Brooks, as well as a leather saddle's proper maintenance and upkeep. To this end he conducted a Proofide Slathering Clinic, and an introduction to the finer points of Nose Tensioning. Thus occupied, Steven was not afforded the ample opportunity he might have liked to take in the rest of a very successful show (whose sequel is rumoured to be already pencilled in for next year), but he was able to give us a flavour of the event when we talked. Brooks Collaborator Ben Wilson was also at Bike v Design, Karta Healy, with whom we spoke for the 2012 Brooks Bugle, was on hand with his Bicycle Library, a double decker bus serving as mobile café-cum-gallery-cum-library. Healy's long term vision is a fleet of Buses worldwide providing assistance, coffee and somewhere to hang a picture for biking enthusiasts everywhere. Rupert, Todd and Mat from Cosmic Bike Polo were there, plugging nothing except Bike Polo... as well their fine range of Cosmic merchandise... And with Dame Cyclocross continuing to turn Urban Heads, it fell to Comrade Andy Ellis from Fixed Magazine to convincingly dissuade yet further potential defections from the frugal comfort of the Locked Cog. When he postulated that "Fixed Gear Bike is the perfect... Ahmm... balance between Form and Function", it truly didn't sound like he was saying something he had said many times before. In fact, it's possible that those who continue to view Freewheel-free as the One True Faith are now entering a new Era of Consciousness. With their ranks now thinned of the mere Trend Followers, we suspect that the yogic mantra "Ahmm" may be an ideal new tool for Biking Minimalists to use in attempting One-ness with their bikes. At any rate, Bike v Design was a sell-out event which drew, as hoped, all strands of the Cycling Community together in one delightful patchwork, both among its exhibitors and guests. Back in 2013 we hope! Karta Healy's famous Bicycle Library was also parked at the event.