Gavin Strange - Death Before Derailleur

Gavin Strange - Death Before Derailleur main image

Gavin Strange is a designer, living in Bristol, England, who works for Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace and Gromit. Like many people of a creative persuasion he thinks that a fixed gear bike is the ultimate form of transport. When considering his transmission preferences it is worth remembering that creatives often also consider that it is cool to write with a Rotring Rapidograph and that it is well worth spending 30 minutes every morning sculpting your well-gelled hair. The world would be a poorer place without them.

In Gavin’s own words:

“my 'Death before Derailleur' graphic, ... is a parody of how elitist and 'fascistic' sub-cultures can be, especially the fixed gear bike scene. It's basically a modern piece of propaganda, as 'Death before Derailleur' is such a ridiculous and hypocritical phrase, I wanted to play on that.

It's all a bit of fun though, I ride fixed and don't care if a bike has 20 gears, no gears, 3 wheels or a basket...”

I like the way that the eagle manages to look both threateningly Nazi and vaguely cuddly in a Plasticine kind of way. The combination of bird and bicycle wheel reminds me of a swimming pool that I often pass when I visit Germany. This late 1930s architectural gem has a monumental stone carving over its entrance featuring a fierce, well-feathered, spread eagle holding a circular wreath of, I think, oak leaves. The wreath once clearly surrounded a swastika - but this has been carefully removed by a skilled artisan with a sharp chisel. The overall effect is both thought provoking and surprisingly disturbing.

  • Artist: Gavin Strange
  • Producers/Labels: JamFactory
  • Themes: Politics, Visual art
  • Trivia related by brand: none
  • Date: 2010
  • Derailleur brands: none
  • Derailleurs: none