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The Crows Vehicle for Change  

October 13, 2015

A unique partnership between Trek Bicycle Corporation, the AFL Adelaide Crows Football Club and Torres Strait Island local artist Laurie Nona has created a piece of art that will raise thousands of dollars for The Adelaide Crows Children's Foundation.

Founder of the Babu Art Centre Laurie Nona works tirelessly to preserve the island's culture through his art. Laurie was this year responsible for designing the Adelaide Crows Indigenous Round guernsey, which in turn inspired Trek to create a custom Project One bike. The incredible-looking machine will be used to raise money and assist the Adelaide Crows Children's Foundation, which does crucial work empowering young Indigenous Australians from the Torres Strait Islands.

Adelaide Crow legend Andrew McLeod will ride the bike during a three-day cycling challenge in and around Adelaide, and then it's up for grabs - anyone who makes a donation to the cause automatically goes in the running to win the one-of-a-kind bike. Through their efforts, Andrew, Trek and the Adelaide Football Club are hoping to raise $20,000.

Donations can be made here. Those who donate go into the draw to win the bike!

AFC kids

We spoke with Ian Callaghan the Asia Pacific Marketing Manager for Trek about the unique collaboration and how the project came together.

Hi Ian, thanks for your time. How did this all come about?

The Trek Factory Racing Team was over here at the start of this year for the Tour Down Under. Through a mutual contact, the team ended up taking a tour of the Adelaide Football Club's (AFC) facilities and training area. The two teams shared some resources with each other and formed some great connections.

Then AFC and Trek started chatting about their charitable activities and thought together we could do some really good things. From there we started chatting about the AFC's Indigenous jersey and that became the inspiration for the Project One Custom bike. We felt through our Project One program we could replicate the important artistic element of the Indigenous jersey design and also contribute to the AFC's great charitable work.

How did the dream become a reality?

The first step was to see if we could actually replicate the inspiration for the design. Trek Australia worked closely with Trek US, the Adelaide Football Club and Laurie to slowly develop the design and get it onto the bike. Obviously the distance was a challenge but we all worked very well together and after a relatively short period of time we were able to produce the custom bike that Andrew will ride during the Redline Classic.

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What are the plans for the bike?

As well as providing Andrew with a dream bike to ride for the challenge Trek has donated the bike to try and help reach the $20,000 target. Anyone who donates to this cause will go into the draw to win this genuinely one-of-a-kind creation.

How can people get involved and either ride or donate?

Entries are still available to do the Redline Classic. The Redline Cycling club organises the event - they're a group of enthusiastic cyclists with close ties to the Adelaide Football Club. The club's motto is 'Unity. Mateship. Team', which is what the ride is all about.

The 2015 Redline Classic is a 3 day, 365-kilometre cycling adventure through the Barossa Valley, Tanunda and around Adelaide.

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The design process

We spoke to Trek Product Graphic Designer David Cestelli about how the dream became a reality.

Can you talk about the challenges of taking something which is so important and has such a powerful meaning, and trying to convey that through your designs?

Knowing that the work created by Laurie had a lot of cultural and symbolic meaning I certainly wanted to remain true to the story captured in his work without altering the significance in the details. So ultimately, I was trying to extend his work on a challenging 3-D form. The original concept and intricate design work made my job much easier because the source of the artwork was designed with so much care and carried a really amazing symbolic story. Knowing that the bike would be used to tell this story and help raise funds and awareness for a worthy cause kept me completely engaged in the process.

What were the challenges you had to overcome with this design and the distance between yourself and Laurie?

Obviously the distance and lack of direct communication was a hurdle, but also a unique challenge. I had to take the input given to me and trust that my ideas would line up well with the original intent that Laurie had in his work. This was the first time I collaborated without talking with the other artist and I found that such a process can work with trust, as seen in the end result.

How did you adapt the artwork to the bike?

It's obviously a lot more complex with such an intricate image. I knew having the original artwork highlighted on the bike would be my starting point. I wanted that to be the focal point, so having that in a prominent location on the bicycle frame was important. Unfortunately (given the geometry and minimal surface areas) the bicycle frame is one of the more challenging product forms to which to apply graphics. I found that at a certain size Laurie’s artwork lived perfectly on the top tube, facing forward on the frame. With the intricate detail in his work, I was able to pull elements from there and repeat them to create a more interesting and dynamic design. I also elaborated on the concept by utilising a custom paint and finish. There was the concept of the bird and ocean, so I used a custom paint that would symbolise the visual effects of water and motion.

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What goes into making a completely custom bike from start to finish?

The process is much more hands-on than most people might expect. If there is a concept, story, and artwork already provided, then I start the process of what graphics should be highlighted where (if not, there is much more concept and developing involved), and the hierarchy of the graphic design. I then get the raw carbon fibre frame and begin the physical plan. It really is as simple as printing paper graphics out and placing them on the frame to see what work best in the overall graphic scheme. As the layout develops, paint and finishes are then considered in the design. Once I’ve settled on the final concept I then work with the painters to be sure that my graphic design is fully executed.

Is this a one-off creation?

This was certainly a one-off creation. About half of the bicycles I design are for consumers to purchase through Project One, and the other half are one-off custom designs.

Has this design or concept inspired other creations?

Anything I work on helps refine and contribute to my creative process, and collaborating without communication has inspired the idea of working with other artists in the same way.

Who gets the first ride on it?

Andrew, and I'm sure he will love rolling it out for the first spin!

That's great David, thanks for your time. I'm sure the first spin will be a memorable one.

Adelaide Crow Detai Final Black

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