I was just reading this article, Preserving The Criminal Code, that describes a collection of 60 preserved tattoo specimens from former prisoners of a state penitentiary in Krakow, Poland. The collection now resides in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University, where their meanings, and the traits of their owners, are being studied.

The article describes the tattoos as being a sort of code to fellow prisoners–short of tattooing your personality across your forehead, you’d have certain pictures tattooed visibly on your body. Something that is still relative to today’s prison inmates. All interesting, but not bike related, until I saw this picture…


…and I wonder what kind of “criminal trait” is advertised by a tattoo of a cyclist? Maybe a hardcore fixie rider with no brakes terrorizing the streets of Poland in the 1960’s? Something interesting to ponder.

For a modern-day cycling tattoo collection, check out Squirrels Cycling Tattoo Collection–on live bodies, not in jars of formaldehyde–and on non-prison inmates (allegedly).

Preserving The Criminal Code article found via BoingBoing.


What do you think?