An unexpectedly rich cycling year in Slovak philately
A thematic view on an unexpectedly rich cycling period of 2016 in Slovak philately
The period of year 2016* in the Slovak philately was unexpectedly rich for the collectors of bicycle and cycling topics. Not only thanks to the Slovak cycling phenomenon, Peter Sagan, but also thanks to other excellent Slovak sportsmen, a joint EUROPA 2016 issue and active cyclists in the most famous Slovak spa and perhaps most Slovak cycling town of Piestany which gave tribute to the cycling even in two ways. Everywhere there we can find clearly displayed or somewhat hidden connections with either a sporting or public bicycle.
* Not precisely the calendar year 2016, but a slightly longer period that began with the opening of the Christmas Post in 2015 (6th November 2015) and ended with the release of the last postage stamp in 2016 (2nd December 2016).
Peter Sagan opens the Christmas Post 2015
The first bicycle motif appears at the Christmas Post 2015 opening, which was officially opened by a famous Slovak cyclist Peter Sagan. Thanks to Adrian Ferda - the author of the commemorative postmark - this fact can be documented also by philately. In the postmark the author has embedded not only the snowflake as the symbol of winter or Christmas, respectively, but also a bicycle wheel in honour of Peter Sagan.
- Commemorative postmark: Peter Sagan opens the Christmas post 2015
2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
Next philatelic materials which are quite directly related to the sport cycling, responded to the excellent result that Peter Sagan achieved when becoming a professional world champion in road cycling in 2015 in Richmond (USA). The Slovak Post has issued a commemorative postage stamp supplemented by a first day cover (FDC) and a collection sheet. The author of all of them is the unmistakable Slovak artist, the creator of Slovak comics, Jozef Gertli Danglar. POFIS (sales subsidiary of The Slovak Post) has joined this activity as well and released a personalised adjusted printing sheet "Majstrovstvá sveta v cestnej cyklistike - Peter Sagan" with two different personalised tabs and addition margin imprint in the form of the FDC postmark, again according to the drawings by Jozef Gertli Danglar.
- Postage stamp: 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
- First Day Cover (FDC) to the postage stamp: 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
- Collection Sheet to the postage stamp: 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
- Commemorative postmark: Introduction of postage stamp 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
- Personalised adjusted printing sheet: Majstrovstvá sveta v cestnej cyklistike - Peter Sagan (2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan)
Since there was intentionally left space for a proper commemorative postmark, the complete personalised adjusted printing sheet with the postmark looks like:
- Personalised adjusted printing sheet: 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan with the commemorative postmark Introduction of postage stamp 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan
Peter Sagan - the most combative cyclist of the Tour de France 2016
Another collectable philatelic document was a response to the Peter Sagan's remarkable performance at the biggest and oldest stage races Tour de France. In addition to having won the green jersey for the most active racer for the fifth time, he also won "the most combative cyclist" award for the entire race. And just the trophy in the PRIX DE LA COMBATIVE 2016 competition is shown on a commemorative postmark, the author of which is again the graphic designer of POFIS Adrian Ferda.
POFIS has used this postmark also on a commemorative sheet with the same design as for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan postage stamp, but with the postmark Peter Sagan - the most combative cyclist of the Tour de France 2016. An interesting solution that not every collector might notice immediately.
- Commemorative postmark: Peter Sagan - the most combative cyclist of the Tour de France 2016
- Commemorative Sheet to the postage stamp: 2015 UCI Road World Championships - Peter Sagan with the commemorative postmark Peter Sagan - the most combative cyclist of the Tour de France 2016
XV. Summer Paralympic Games Rio de Janeiro in 2016
Other philatelic materials are a bit indirect, but the right thematic collector should go a little under the surface. There are two commemorative postmarks for the Rio de Janiero 2016 Paralympic Games in which competed also Slovak Paralympic Cyclists. The first postmark is really a bit general as it reminds of the XV. The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Paralympic Games (and the departure of the entire Slovak team), but the second one is already a direct proof of the successful Slovak Paralympic cyclists' performance. It reminds the welcome back of the successful Slovak Paralympians team with the number of gold, silver and bronze medals - four of which were awarded to the Slovak Paralympic cyclists: Jozef Metelka won 2 golds (individual time trial and individual pursuit) and one silver (1km time trial) and Patrik Kuril won one Bronze (individual time trial).
- Commemorative postmark: XV. Summer Paralympic Games Rio de Janeiro in 2016
- Commemorative postmark: Welcoming of the successful Slovak Paralympians - Rio 2016
EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green!
Joint issue EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green! devoted to ecology also pleased bicycle/cycling collectors, because the painting, which was selected for the common stamp theme (author Doxia Sergidou), is as a symbol of ecology depicted also a "green cyclist". Since the Slovak Post joined the common theme with joy, it issued not only a standard stamp with a glue in a special 10-piece printing sheet, but also a stamp booklet with a stamp with the same motif but in a self-adhesive (sticker) form - for specialists two variants of the stamp. The stamps were supplemented traditionally by a first day cover (FDC) and collection sheet.
- Postage stamp: EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green!
- Stamp booklet: EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green!
- First Days Cover (FDC) to the postage stamp: EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green!
- Collection Sheet to the postage stamp: EUROPA 2016: Ecology in Europe - Think Green!
Piešťany - Cycling Phenomenon
What will please the collector more than the beautiful material devoted to his theme, which is the result of the spontaneous interest of ordinary people, and in this case, the daily cycling fans? The beautiful postmark and the imprint on the postcard are the work of professional graphic artists, but their initiators are the bikers from Piestany, headed by Alex Urminský, who is used to cycle all the time and promotes this hobby. And thanks to this, we all know that Piestany is a Phenomenon of Cycling.
- Commemorative postmark: Piešťany - Cycling Phenomenon
- Postal Card with imprint: Piešťany - Cycling Phenomenon
Day of postage stamp: Post Office Building Piešťany 1
The last material that completes the bicycle collection is a postage stamp Day of postage stamp depicting the Piestany 1 Post Office, in front of which there is miniaturized, but still a bicycle. It is not surprising that even with this action, the promoter of Piestany Alex Urminský wrote to me on the stamp preparation: "... at the beginning of this event, I was also involved. Mr. Česla (stamp designer) came with his father, a professional photographer, one Saturday to make a proper photo documentation and get to know both the exterior and interior of the building. If it was not Saturday, the two bicycle racks would be full. However in that time there was only one belonging to the Nota Bene saleswoman, who is also a little visible on the stamp."
- Postage stamp: Day of postage stamp: Post Office Building Piešťany 1
- First Days Cover (FDC) to the postage stamp: Day of postage stamp: Post Office Building Piešťany 1
- Collection Sheet to the postage stamp: Day of postage stamp: Post Office Building Piešťany 1
The overview shows that, in deeper knowledge, our collections can also be enriched with - at first glance - thematically unrelated materials. I do not claim that everyone has to collect everything, I just want to indicate that the collection offers multi-layered thematic implementation options. Currently I do not file the stamp Postage Stamp Day: Post Office Piestany 1 or postmarks to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games in my collection. However, I register them and in the case of necessity to document a very specific theme I can include them into the story.
Contact on the author of the article: Vojtech Jankovic