For a city as keen on cycling as Brighton, it takes some doing to get noticed on two wheels – but not if you’re a few feet higher than everyone else on the road.
After spending six months in America learning how to weld frames together to create 'freak bikes', Dan Pritchard is now showing off his 5ft tall bikes around Brighton’s streets – and is fast turning into a local celebrity.
The 26-year-old has certain difficulties getting on and off his bike and stopping at traffic lights, but it hasn’t put him off and he’s now considering selling his freak bikes commercially.
He told road.cc that the bike’s pedals are just low enough to step on and haul himself up the frame to the saddle.
He said: "It's easier than it looks. I've fallen off a few times but always landed on my feet, and once you're up there it rides just like a normal bike. You've got to kind of plan ahead for junctions and traffic lights though by slowing down in advance. If you stop suddenly you're likely to come off.
“I love the reaction when people see me and people have been really supportive. I have got cheers and waves as I am riding.”
Dan has borrowed a MIG welder and is collecting bike frames and components to fashion into other creations. He’s planning a bike that incorporates a sound system and another with a gas barbecue on the front (!). He’s interested in hearing from anyone who might like a custom bike building, particularly businesses who want an eye-catching way to promote themselves.
Dan studied graphic design and photography at Exeter University and hopes to sell his bikes for between £300 and £1,000.
He said: “People pay a lot more than that for bikes and this one would be completely original and a one-off.
“I consider my bikes to be pieces of art and consider the whole vision of a bike from the colour of wheels to the design to the paint job."
Dan is planning to make his own frames from scratch soon, and is looking for a workshop he can use plus someone to show him the correct welding technique.
“The sky's the limit, anything the imagination can think of can be built," he said. "I was really impressed by the whole freak bike thing in America and I'd really like to get it going over here. I just need enough talented and stupid people to help me!"
For more information on his designs go to www.pritchardbikes.net