Stamp Collecting For The Cyclist, Ronald F Sudbury (1981)

An illustrated catalogue of stamps issued between 1887 and 1979 that feature bicycles

Harry Hayes Philatelic Study 0 905222 42 3 Octo 60pp

In the genus of hobbies, stamp collecting comes below even trainspotting for the Asbergersesque associations it carries. Offering to take a prospect upstairs to ‘show off your stamp collection’ is a dependable dampener of unwanted advances, regardless of their ardor.

So it was with heavy heart that I picked up this list compiled by Ronald F Sudbury. Marrying cyclists with stamp collectors, as he has, would surely give some the impression that cyclists were, well, boring obsessives, I figured?

I can’t pretend that leafing through this catalogue did much to assuage my prejudice – although the frequent use of the bicycle on stamp designs does reinforce my sense that there is something particularly satisfying about illustrations that utilise the shape of a safety bicycle.

Some nice designs are reproduced here, to be sure. And the Soviet era East European enthusiasm for cycling stamps resulted in many charming designs.

But do, please, resist the idea that it might be ‘interesting’ to start collecting these lick-to-sticks. The beneficial effects of bicycling on the butt, and the profile-enhancing qualities of lycra will be as nothing, if members of the opposite sex think for a moment that stamp collectors and cyclists appear anywhere on the same spectrum.

PS June 09

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