The Ghoda Cycle Project

 
 

'The Ghoda Cycle Project' is a visual document of the myriad
avatars of bicycles in the rural and urban landscape of India.
The linchpin of 'The Ghoda Cycle Project' is to lay emphasis on
the framework, structure, decoration and design of the cycles of
India.

 

Ergonomically these cycles may not be the best examples of
bicycle design, but they have the strength to carry the hopes and
aspirations of a big section of the Indian population. No wonder
they are called ghoda* cycles. Basic necessities like cooking gas,
milk, bread, newspapers and tiffin are delivered to our homes on
a cycle. And then there are the mobile cycle shops that sell, among
other things, tea, vegetables, waist-belts, ice-creams and SIM-
-cards! Its a display not only of sustainable living but also how a
section of the society in India make a livelihood out of it. With
customization, adornments, embellishments and a bit of jugaad**
these  cycles  start  developing  their  own  unique  personality,
reflecting the occupation and background of the rider. And also
collectively adds life and charm to the streets of India, where more
than 20,000*** cycles are manufactured everyday. The following
pages are a collection of my observations and drawings of these
omnipresent cycles of India.


-Sameer Kulavoor


*Sturdy, durable and heavy, iron double-bar and four-bar roadster
bicycles affectionately compared to horses and nicknamed: Stallion-
-cycle (Ghoda-Cycle)


**Jugaad colloquially means a creative idea / a quick workaround
to get through commercial, logistic or law issues. As such, the
Jugaad movement has gathered a community of enthusiasts,
believing it to be the proof of Indian bubbling creativity, or a
cost-effective way to solve the issues of everyday life.
(source-wikipedia)


***The Indian company - Hero cycles - were declared as the largest
manufacturer of bicycles in the world by the 'Guiness book of world
records' producing 18,500 bicycles per day.

 
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The Ghoda Cycle Project was exhibited at the Bicycle Film
Festival, July 2012, Helsinki as part of World Design Capital
Helsinki
(WDC-H). This collaboration wouldn't have been possible
without the support of Chalo India!, Keskula Network and
Pelago Bicycles.