The United States Postal Service has announced Bicycling Forever Stamps will be issued in 2012.
In a press release, stamp services manager Stephen Kearne says, “We are excited to promote one of the nation’s most popular outdoor activities with the issuance of these four Bicycling stamps. These days, increasing numbers of Americans ride bikes to work or use them to run neighborhood errands. Many travel organizations offer cycling tours, from leisurely half-day jaunts to weeks-long excursions. No matter how long the ride, choosing to bike rather than to drive cuts down on traffic congestion, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, which benefits the environment and helps improve air quality.”
USPS art director Phil Jordan designed the stamps using illustrations by John Mattos of San Francisco, CA. Each of the stamps features a different kind of bike and rider: a young child just learning to ride with training wheels, a commuter pedaling to work, a road racer focused on the finish line, and an airborne BMX rider.
That road racer focused on the finish line looks more like a tri-geek to me — short shorts, sleeveless jersey, no socks, and time trial bars — but I quibble.
Ted at Commute By Bike laments the choice of a lycra clad enthusiast with a full set of loaded panniers for the bike commuter illustration, and I admit that’s a little over the top for even avid cyclists who commute. We usually have a single pannier on the rear, and it mostly flops around half empty.
He also wonders about the USPS statement in their press release that mail is delivered by bicycle in Arizona and Florida. In urban and many suburban areas, delivery on foot is still common, and I occasionally run into mailmen outside of Arizona and Florida who deliver mail by bike, like this guy (whose name escapes me) in downtown Longmont, Colorado.
Ted’s got a lot more about the philatelic history of bikes at Commute By Bike.