Call me Phil…
I’ll be quite honest here. I haven’t admitted or talked about this for years, but I used to be a philatelist… That’s right, a stamp collector…
Yes, I know that makes me really old and outdated to the modern digital generation out there. However, back in the 1980’s collecting stamps that had moved around the world was my first tangible global experience. I had not yet travelled overseas, but I vividly remember pouring through my dad’s old stamp collection (much more impressive than my own of course) with a sense of awe and inspiration. These little rectangles and squares with animals, people and artistic adornments had started their lives in various distant corners of the globe, facilitated the movement of items from one part of the world to another and were then laid to rest in our respective collectors’ books.
We love our bikes
Fast forward many years, to yesterday in fact. I had a random and quite overwhelming throw-back to my philatelist days. A stamp book was opened to reveal our very own Gentle Cycling Company bicycles on a New Zealand stamp!
This image has been well used on our website, signage and branded paraphernalia, but it was incredible to see it in all its glory on a stamp destined for travel adventures of its own.
Get out there people
Quite fitting I think, that this image was featured in 2021, during the pandemic effort to inspire Kiwi’s to “Do Something New New Zealand”. I’m surprised that it took me this long to set eyes upon one.
We’re very proud of the exposure our bikes have enjoyed. From billboards at Wellington International Airport to YouTube videos, Tourism NZ video shoots and stamps flying around the country (and world). Indeed, our bikes enable people to explore and connect with this wonderful part of Aotearoa both physically and digitally. Stamps facilitate the movement of messages and I enjoyed the two realms colliding in this way.
During the pandemic, when allowed to, our bikes transported people into the Nelson / Tasman area. They enabled people to explore with freedom and wide smiles on their faces in a time of rules and restrictions.
I truly hope that there are people (young and mature) carefully sticking these stamps into their collector’s books with the same sense of excitement and wonder I used to experience almost 40 years ago.
Perhaps it’s time to dig out my old stamp book, grab the kids and get them to help me and add one of these to the collection.