As Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain swept through Ilfracombe in Devon on Monday, it should have been Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas grabbing the headlines; however by the next morning it was a John Thomas that instead caught the attention of passers-by, as it became apparent that a giant celebratory road bike erected on Capstone Hill had been reconstructed into a chopper overnight.
‘Land art’ has become a popular fixture of cycling events in recent years, and this particular piece was commissioned to promote the reduction of plastic waste in Devon, made mostly out of cardboard and reclaimed plastic. While the giant bike had already garnered some attention during stage 2 on Monday, it wasn’t until the land art had become glans art that it went viral on social media. The pranksters responsible had impressively kept the two wheels in place to form the base of their new creation, and after some hard labour managed to fashion the bicycle frame into a colossal shaft.
We build a cardboard bike on the hillside to promote #plasticfreenorthdevon and it gets a bit of attention. Someone turns it into a cock and it goes viral #worldgonemad but hey the vandal has sort of done us a favour! pic.twitter.com/hvglg5Rr21
— Seth Conway (@sethconwaytv) September 4, 2018
Seth Conway, who was the project co-ordinator for the bike before it was crudely sabotaged, told Devon Live: “The bike was designed to highlight the great work of the Plastic Free North Devon organisation in helping to clean our beaches and encourage people to cut out single use plastic as much as possible. It was going to have to be taken down anyway but someone got there first.”
It’s not known who the perpetrators are or what their motive was behind the controversial recommissioning of the bike, but we’d imagine they’ll have to serve a stiff sentence if they’re ever caught by the authorities…
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.