This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Keep it wheel for World Bicycle Day.

A perilous ride, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
10"x8" ($35) | 14"x11" ($75) | 20"x16" ($260)

Collect this edition

Just a few years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3rd International World Bicycle Day, and we gotta say: good call. Everyone’s favorite environmentally-friendly two-wheeled means of transport has been killing the game since 1817. Versatile, timeless, sustainable, democratic, and even a fun way to get in some exercise—what other contraption serves up so much? Bikes deserved a day. And to show our appreciation we’re debuting a gorgeous vintage photo from the late 19th Century that doubles as totally intriguing bike trivia. Snap up our new edition! Then scroll on for more cyclist-centric art.

Plucked from the Library of Congress’s archives and painstakingly remastered by our talented retoucher, A perilous ride pictures 18-year-old Will Robertson steering a bike down the steps of the US Capitol while a man named Rex Smith stands at the top. Robertson rides an American Star—a sort of reverse penny-farthing with the small wheel in the front instead of the back, invented by G.W. Pressey only a few years before this photo was taken. The design made the bike a bit safer, preventing the forward-tipping other high wheelers ran into. It was also used in bicycle polo, a game both Roberston and Smith played competitively. In fact, we may be witnessing a pedal-driven duel: Riding down the capitol steps was a popular challenge at the time. It took photographer Harry Platt’s technical prowess to properly capture a challenger without the image blurring. Platt, a popular photographer and photographic innovator, secured a patent for an improved camera shutter in 1892. A perilous ride is credited to Harry Platt and his brothers Jacob and Robert, but it was likely Harry’s improved shutter (ie. faster shutter speed) that produced a clearer photo than previous attempts. 

A perilous ride was photographed in 1884, right at the start of an uptick in bike interest. Production advancements, new technology, and the significance of cycling as symbolic of liberation and independence are among factors that contributed to a bicycle boom in the late 1880s and 90s. Millions of Americans hopped on the two-wheeled bandwagon. Cycling clubs opened, bike gear became big business, new rules of social conduct on the street evolved, female fashion was overhauled, and more, all in response to the bike craze.

Maybe you feel like reaching for your fixie? We’re with you—on World Bicycle Day and otherwise! If you’re a super cyclist or a casual cruiser or you just want a little visual motivation to cut down on your carbon footprint, collect A perilous ride or take your pick of any of these other prints for some wall-ready inspiration. No matter how you roll (hehe) we’ve got the pro-bike art to inspire you.

With art for everyone,
Team 20x200

Velodrome by James Deavin

Le Tour (framed + quick-ship) by Yuji Yamada

Washington, D.C. Sunday cyclists watching sailboats by Marjory Collins

25 Scooter Drawings by Christine Berrie

Corner Cafe by Jorge Colombo
Tags: new art