Today sees the launch of an exhibition of dream bikes designed by celebrities including Victoria Pendleton and Lord Sugar at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, with all seven being auctioned in a week’s time to raise money for the three social cycling enterprises that built them.
The exhibition and auction celebrate Team Green Britain Bike Week, backed by EDF Energy, and besides the Team GB track star Pendleton and Apprentice supremo Lord Sugar, the celebrities who have designed their dream bikes are TV personality Gail Porter and, from the world of fashion, designers Giles Deacon, Orla Kiely, Wayne Hemingway and Amy Fleuriot – you may recognise the latter as being the name behind the women’s cycling clothing brand, Cyclodelic.
The bicycles will be auctioned off in two stages, with anyone able to make an online bid for them through the Bike Week website from today until 16 June, which coincides with the time they are on display at the London Transport Museum, where a live auction will take place, to which those making the highest bids will be invited, on 17 June.
Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said: “These dream bikes have been brought to life with a mixture of old and new bicycle parts and they all look fantastic. We want everyone to be inspired by them, dig out their own old bikes from the shed or garage and bring them along to one of the thousands of Team Green Britain Bike Week events all over the UK for a new lease of life.”
Team Green Britain, which is sponsoring Bike Week, which this year takes place from 19-27 June, was founded by EDF Energy and is described as “a movement that enables people to live in a more sustainable way."
Eva Eisenschimmel, Chief Operating Officer, EDF Energy, said “As Britain’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, we’re proud to be able to support Team Green Britain Bike Week. Cycling can be a practical lifestyle choice which can help to lower our own carbon footprints, while exercising and saving both time and money.”
The celebrities explained the inspiration for their dream bicycles:
“My dream bike is based on the bike I own from 14bikeco - this one has my Autumn/Winter 2010 felt tip cloud sketch printed all over the frame. The best thing about cycling is exercise, seeing things I wouldn't see from a car and my carbon footprint – it helps me offset all the flying I have to do."
“I was bought up to ‘make do and mend’, and I also like to be as sustainable as possible. Nothing need be thrown away, so having a second hand bike is very important to me. I still ride the secondhand bike I cycled into uni on over 30 years ago, it’s a trusty friend that has rarely let me down and is well into its 60's! My dream bike is Vintage like my original sit up and beg uni bike, doesn’t have any fancy accessories, it’s uncomplicated, easy to hop on and off, easy to service and less likely to get stolen."
“Our urban environments are often devoid of colour, this bright Harlequin design has been inspired by English summertime, lush green, vibrant pink and crisp whites shimmering in golden sunshine. Designed to make you want to light up the city streets even on gloomy days and be seen for the right reason. Strong, upright and nippy with 3 speed hub gears, a step through frame and luxury leather details, this is my ultimate city bicycle.”
“Many people’s biggest fear is looking untrendy on a bike, but you can look glamorous and cool whilst cycling. My dream bike is inspired by the film Grease - girly but a bit rocky, panniers for my heels, wing mirror to touch up my makeup when I arrive and a basket for my lovely dog Potato.”
“The bright retro yellow reminds me of sunshine. This cheerful colour combined with the print makes it a unique bike. The classic style of the bike and the bags add practicality! There is nothing better than going for a ride on your bike, either after a hard day at work or on a sunny day. I always feel really good after a bike ride. I love that it’s an environmentally-friendly way to travel too and am glad that cycling is becoming so popular.”
"My dream bicycle is inspired by my role as a Team Green Britain Ambassador for EDF Energy. It’s sleek, green and made to cycle every day. If everyone were to swap one car journey a day for a bike trip, think of the collective benefit – to our planet, our pockets and our health! I hope people come along to see all the bicycles and dig deep to raise money for the social enterprises who created them. I really enjoyed being an ambassador for the first ever Green Britain Day last year, especially wearing the dress made for me by Wayne Hemingway Designs, so I designed my bike like the Team Green Britain dress and flag!”
“Being on a bike is a good time to chew over problems and sort your thoughts out. I find gyms boring and that cycling not only keeps me fit and gives me energy - I love every minute of it too. I’d recommend going along to a Bike Week event so you can find out why cycling is a fantastic thing for anyone to be involved with.”
The exhibition and auction are just part of a series of events being held at the London Transport Museum to celebrate cycling in the capital, and we’ll be bringing you news of further events here on road.cc as soon as we can.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.