At home with a cold. Bored... so I thought I would post all the Finnish bicycle stamps issued to date. I intentionally left out blocks, first day letters and such, don't want to bore you too much. I usually try to include some story in these bicycle stamp postings, also this time I managed to do it.
The Häme brige
This is the fist Finnish bicycle stamp issued in 1942, showing the Häme bridge in Tampere. Not much cars then, no wonder with the WWII raging...
There is a tiny bicycle on the bridge. The Häme bridge still exists and looks basically the same as back then, with bronze statues of the Maiden of Finland, a hunter, a backwoodsman and a tax collector! Very suitable considering our taxes.
Freedom of trade
The second Finnish bicycle stamp was issued in 1979, to celebrate 100 years of freedom of trade in Finland. In 1879 Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire. Since 1917 Finland has been an independent state, regardless of what the Soviets tried to do.
A transport tricycle can bee seen in the old street view.
Sports for masses
This one, from 1989, was issued in a block of four showing sports for masses. No helmets in the 80's.
This stamp was issued in 1998 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Finnish cycling union. This is probably my favourite among the Finnish bicycle stamps.
Note the equality aspect, a woman posing with the highwheeler. A real bike chick and quite bike chic also, wonder if you can ride a highwheeler in that dress?
This stamp was issued in 2005 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city of Oulu. Bike chic? Neon helmet and all... I quite like this stamp, they are advertising themselves as a progressive city, with cycling as a symbol for progress. Not bad at all, great actually!
This is an European integration stamp from 2006, showing a stone age style drawing of a tandem.
15 cyclists are heading right and only one is going left, does it mean anything (politics aside)? With the western style of reading left to right, I guess it is easier to "see" things in that direction. Haven't done any statistics on bicycle stamps in general.
Finnish cyclists are not that well known, but there are a few pros out there. On Friday it was in the cycling news that long time Liquigas rider Kjell Carlström has signed for Team Sky. Recently I happened to have a posting mentioning that Kjell "Kellu" Carlström became the Road Cycling Finnish Champion.
Photo Esther Keightley.
It is going to be very interesting to follow the progress of British Team Sky as several Nordic riders have signed for the team, among them some very interesting Norwegian (Kurt Asle Arvesen, Edvald Boasson Hagen) and Swedish (Thomas Lövkvist) cyclists. As Carlström said, Sky's the limit. Maybe Nokia could be smart enough to sponsor them now.
Probably need to by some team apparel...