Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

07 November 2016

Old Whitewalls Turn New Wheels (Antifreeze) Green With Envy!

I still remember when a bike with "antifreeze green" Velocity rims or neon orange or pink parts could get my attention.  These days, I see so many bikes, components and accessories in such a riot of colors that I don't notice the loud and shocking colors--or, in some cases, cartoonish graphics--on them.  

From the images I've seen, and from what I've read, I imagine that a century ago, the color palette for what people pedaled wasn't quite as extensive as it is today.  I'm guessing it didn't include the loud, sometimes garish, hues that scream out in the tumult of tones we see today.

That leads me to wonder how these bikes might have looked to people in Peoria, Illinois in 1920:

The Voss Brothers' bicycle shop in Peoria, Illinois, 1920.  From the Peoria Historical Society Image Collection at Bradley University.

In that photo, the tires look like fluorescent rings around the wheels.  I couldn't help but to wonder whether someone got really creative in the darkroom--or whether whitewall tires of that time were really as white as they look in that image.  

I also wonder whether they captured people's attention at first--and whether those same people got used, even jaded, to them.

Can you imagine those tires on antifreeze green rims?

From Superb Bicycle Boston blog.

1 comment:

  1. Like we used to say in the 80s,"Friends don't let friends wear neon". That could be extended to bikes I guess.