Celebrating South Australia's cycling history

Media release: Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Images of Adelaide's cycling history will adorn the city streets in January to coincide with the Tour Down Under.

Riding Past, a street exhibition jointly created by the National Archives of Australia and State Records of South Australia, draws on historic cycling images from both collections.

The organisations have pooled images as a reminder of the important role bicycles played in South Australia over the past 120 years. They are working in partnership with Splash Adelaide which aims to bring the city's streets and spaces to life through various community-run urban experiments.

'While the exhibition coincides with the Tour Down Under, the images on display focus less on the world of professional cycling and more on the everyday use of bicycles in South Australia,' said Jeremy Sibbald from the National Archives in Adelaide, himself a keen cyclist.

Staff from both organisations have discovered a wealth of cycling stories and images that reveal the important role played by bicycles in our early years.

'Many of our cycling images originate from South Australia's centenary celebrations in 1936,' said Terry Ryan, Director of State Records and long-time supporter of cycling initiatives across government.

Some of the images will also be displayed at the South Australian Archives Centre on Leigh Street, Adelaide where the two archival organisations share premises. Staff are also hoping the public will contribute their own cycling images through social media and enjoy further images on Flickr.

'Both our collections tell the story of the introduction and rise in popularity of cycling as a recreational pursuit and its impact on everyday life from the 1890s to the present day,' said Jeremy Sibbald. 'We hope people will enjoy these images and that they will be inspired to explore our collections further.'

Riding Past images will be on display around Adelaide from 9 January to 31 January. Further information is available at naa.gov.au.

Contact information

  • Nick Gleghorn (Manager, State Office South Australia)
    t (08) 8204 8814 m 0408 620 872
  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0427 853 664 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014