Prescript: I was so excited about the cruelty-free Melbourne Artbike Grand Prix when I posted this, but have just found out (6.40pm on 1st Nov) that this event got postponed because of rain!! What a bummer! It has been (tentatively TBC ) moved to 10th Dec – but the awesomeness still rates, so here it is!! NG.
Today is the Melbourne Cup.
I was impressed to see that the Coburg Velodrome is holding a animal-free alternative to Melbourne Cup, by offering the inaugural Melbourne Artbike Grand Prix. If only I was still living in Melbourne!!!
This event is most certainly a community activity. First conceived by Bradley Ogden (Tower of Babel Burning Seed 2015 and Synesthesia), this is a wonderfully designed event encouraging active participation. It is a very well thought out and promoted event. From the gorgeous graphic design by Lauren Massy of @masseydesign (as seen above in social and media and online promotions) to the clear and informative website content, this is an exemplar bicycle inspired community event.
I hope they have a massive turn out, have far too much fun and the event is an outrageous success and is held for many years to come!!
For me it ticks all the boxes; supporting respectful and ethical lifestyle choices that do not harm animals, supports a charity in a productive and meaningful way, advocates for increased positive bike use, uses local cycling facilities in an innovative way that draws people to the location, has teamwork and creativity as a participatory prerequisite, is a celebration of ideas and expressions that are unusual, personal and innovative, supports a bicycle charity, creates a space for the community to come together to interact, share, have fun and be creative with unique bicycles as the central focus, and a whole host of other benefits – what more could you want?
Melbourne Artbike Grand Prix
All are welcome to come on the day to spectate and be part of the event. To enter, you need a team of 4 people to register ($25 per person, $100 per team), you fill out a survey and then create your art bike. As long as you follow the race rules and your bike passes the race check – you are good to compete in a relay style knock-out competition! Riders need to interchange after each lap and the first team over the line advances to the next round. There is also a solo category. Any profits made on the day go directly to Bicycles for Humanity.
By definition, an artbike can be cosmetically altered or purpose built – it is only limited by the owner/creators imagination. As a lover and producer of artbikes, I am particularly excited about this event. For this event, the focus is on producing creative, fun and inspirational bikes that met the criteria to enter and complete the event.
More info on the event:
The event blog page gives details about:
- Some inspirational artbike pictures
- What an art bike actually is
- What to expect from the Grand Prix
- Support for Bicycles for Humanity
- Event location and timing
Bicycles for Humanity
Aside from being a brilliant day out, promoting bicycles and providing an ethical alternative to ‘riding’ to the pervasive horse racing Spring Carnival Festival, this event is a collaboration also to support Bicycles for Humanity. Aside from the event supporting this charity, there are also options to the community to support Bicycles for Humanity either financially or by bringing bikes on the day to donate.
From their website, Bicycles For Humanity explain their volunteer-run, grassroots charity organisation as being focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bike.
They do this essentially by collecting bicycles in develop countries and shipping them developing nations so that “each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop – providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it’s placed. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC) becomes a self-sustaining entity – fitting very cleanly into the model of micro-financed small business that is lately seen as one of the central ways for the developing world to move away from aid dependence”.
I wish them the best of luck, would be attending with bells on if I was in Melbourne. I cannot wait to see some pictures!
For any follow-ups email: melbourne@artbikegrandprix.