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by Anne-Marije Rook
May 13, 2017
Photography by Sam Wiebe
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
A race the size of the Amgen Tour of California is always good for a few custom paint jobs, and this year, Diamondback and Rally Cycling have partnered with the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation for a fleet of one-of-a-kind Podium bicycles inspired by the imagination of eight young children.
Hand-painted in Minneapolis, Minnesota, each of the bikes will later be auctioned off to raise funds for the foundation, whose mission is to “provide medical grants to help children gain access to health-related services not covered, or not fully covered, by their family’s commercial health insurance plan.”
At the Women’s Tour of California, we spotted team pursuit Olympic, World Championship and Pan Am medalist Kirsti Lay riding on an exotic purple bike instead of her usual black-and-orange steed. The paintjob, Lay explained, was inspired by seven-year-old Anuhea, whose favorite subject in school is science because “we learn about plants growing.”
“Plants”, inspired by seven-year-old Anuhea.
Two layers of colorful leaves, hand drawn and inspired by exotic vegetation, are applied to a deep purple base-coat and finished with pearl white logo accents.
Equal parts Miami pastel and organic goodness, “Plants” simply pops.
“I feel so proud to be chosen to ride one of these bikes. It’s a great cause that makes bike racing more than just about the riders,” commented Lay.
“My paint job is so beautiful and fun and every time I’m suffering out there and look down, I feel motivated to ride well for Anuhea. Kids are fighting for their lives and it really puts things into perspective in a bike race. It’s a great way to give back and makes you want to dig a little deeper out there. I love the bike, and wish I didn’t have to give it up at the end of the race.”
Two-time junior worlds silver medalist Emma White meanwhile is riding a bike called “Sky”, inspired by four-year-old Romie.
To Romie, the sky means both beauty and superpower. “I want to fly, because I want to see everything from above and see everything in the sky like airplanes and birds real close,” Romie said.
This atmospheric look features a base coat faded from sky to midnight blue, but it’s the embellishments that truly realize Romie’s vision – a starry sky, whispy white clouds, and a flock of birds take this bike intro the stratosphere.
“Sky” is ridden by two-time Junior World Championships silver medalist Emma White.
“The ‘Sky’ paint job is absolutely beautiful,” said White. “My favorite part is the birds on the rear fork. I feel like I know Romie personally and I am so motivated to ride this bike for her this week.”
When the men’s Amgen Tour of California starts later this week, six additional hand-painted UHCCF frames will be showcased on the California roads.
“Firefighter”, inspired by eight-year-old Bryce who wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. “Because they help save people.”
The design sports a fire truck-red base-coat and is accented with real gold leaf inside the chainstays.
“Artist” is inspired by nine-year-old Preston who wants to be an artist when he grows up.
Rally’s Sepp Kuss will be riding this paint spattered frame.
“Snake” is inspired by nine-year-old Nathan, whose favorite animal is the green anaconda.
Scales were applied by hand in sheets of hand-weeded, laser-cut stickers, and blended into a pure green hue near the bike’s joints.
Danny Pate will be riding the “Science” frame inspired by 10-year-old Noah, whose favorite school subjects are science and math.
The frame sports a five-color fade with a coat of pearl white.
Clusters of molecules allow the colorful gradient to peek through.
The “Camo” frame was inspired by eight-year-old Camden, who loves hunting with his dad.
The classic camouflage look has an olive green base layered with green and tan hued shapes, and neon orange elements.
“Speed” is inspired by 11-year-old Jacob, whose super power would be “to be really fast.”
The frame sports a base-coat of real crushed aluminum.
All of the frames, outfitted with team components, are up for auction between now and May 20, here.