A journey through New Zealand made bicycles
Take a ride through the history of 61 New Zealand made bicycles from 1869 to the present day. From the velocipede to the penny farthing, to the Raleigh Chopper and the BMX, discover how Kiwis have reinvented the wheel over the last 150 years.
Unearthing secrets from factories, garages, archives and museums, The Bikes We Built brings us the stories of New Zealand made bikes and the people behind them – their designers, builders, collectors and users – in a celebration of Kiwi ingenuity, passion and determination.
Jonathan travelled across the country to meet with bike collectors, manufacturers and historians, bringing to light long-lost secrets, rediscovering old favourites and finding untold stories about the unique bike-making history of Aotearoa. “When I explained to the collectors that I hoped to find at least fifty fine examples to showcase an industry that once thrived in every New Zealand city, their eyes lit up. We disappeared together into a world that no longer exists, of forges and lugs and pinstriping. A time when the humble bicycle was not so humble, and everyone knew the name of the craftsman that built the machine they rode.”
Bringing together these stories and discoveries, Jonathan takes you on a fascinating journey over the last 150 years in the first ever showcase of the history of New Zealand made bikes. Each bike is presented in richly illustrated page spreads, with introductory chapters detailing the social, political and economic contexts that spurred their creation. Discover the bikes we built; remember the bikes we rode.
This book was made with the support of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.