Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Weds 15th June: Shingai's Challenge
For the last few months I have been working with bespoke bike engineer "Super Ted" to design a unique frame for Shingai Shoniwa to complete a sponsored 72 mile ride from London to Brighton. Shingai set out on the challenge to raise money for her mother's own Breast Cancer charity and asked Nike to get on board to help her with a training program that could fit into her busy summer festival season schedule. With a personal trainer and use of a synched app, she has been fitting in work-out sessions inbetween rehearsals. All the while, Ted and I have been constructing her a tailor made bike to practice and be comfortable for the final journey! From her measurements, specifications and wishlist of design ideas, we collaborated to conjure up a dream machine.
Film maker Grace Ladoja has been documenting the whole process (of which you can see the first installment here) so I wanted to make the paint effect shimmer as Shingai would be filmed cycling in the sun. It turned out that she was already thinking about Gold, as if she had won the golden ticket like Charlie in The Chocolate Factory. I interpreted her vision for Leopard print in a vinyl cut-out effect and scanned her heart signature for Ted to weld into the frame. He then made holes throughout the body for me to weave yarn in a cat's cradle to replicate the string-art that Shingai and I loved from our childhoods to evoke that nostalgic "Cities Of Gold" vibe!!
Since completing the bike, I have sewn a special bike helmet to match, so check back to find out how the ride goes and how she looks on the wheels of steel.................