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The 200 Yellow Bikes of Joensuu

Joensuu is a small city located in North Eastern Finland near the Russian border. In the early 1980's the city had a progressive idea, an idea that has since been replicated in many cities throughout the United States. The city fixed up and 200 bicycles and painted them yellow. Next they distributed them throughout the city for public use. The idea was for the people of the town to use the bicycles and when they were done to leave the bicycles where others could use them.

In a short time most of the bicycles had disappeared. That would have been the end of the story until a search for the lost bicycles began in in the late 1990's. Now almost 15 years after the bikes first hit the street the bicycles have been sighted throughout the world. From Japan to the United States these bicycles have been spotted and photographed.


This bike was photographed in Barga Italy. Local police force are baffled by their appearance. The mayor promises an investigation. Another yellow bicycle spotted in Zwolle, Holland. This one might need just a little TLC to get it back in working order.

These bikes were pulled from the river that runs through town by divers. Several are believed to be lost yellow bikes. Now they are art. This oil painting was done by the artist Paolo Casci in tribute to the 200 yellow bikes of Joensuu.

Artist, Seppo Vaananen, installed of 50 yellow bikes at the gallery AHJO.

50 of the bikes have been renovated and have been put back on the streets of Joensuu for public use once again.

Official site for the 200 yellow bicycles of Joensuu


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