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Bike Week 09: Artistic ride brings colour to town centre

Cycling artists to paint town red, green, blue, white, orange, purple....

The small Scottish town of Huntly is the subject of an artistic cycling experiment this weekend as riders paint its streets in multi-colours.

Using water bottles filled with coloured chalk, the cyclists will ride three miles around the Aberdeenshire town, leaving a trail that will be deemed a work of art - the concept is very similar Pepin Gelardi's Contrail featured on a few months back.

The project is part of a three-day ‘Slow Down’ festival which aims to get people thinking about car-free living.

Jackie Donachie, the artist behind the ride, claims it will raise awareness of cycling in the town and start a debate. "There are some horrible corners here, some real rat-runs for cars,” she said. “Huntly does need some safe cycle lanes. It could be improved, it wouldn't be that hard. The problem for cyclists isn't traffic, it's parked cars. People support the idea of safe cycle lanes in practice, but not if it means being told they can't park outside their house.

"I'm not in any way trying to enforce that in the town. I'm starting a discussion and doing something that's very much an artwork."

To launch the Cycle Drawing, the town’s square has been closed to cars using it as a parking space, and instead has been returned to a civic area, with hotels and cafés encouraged to set out tables and chairs.

Jackie Donachie hopes that several dozen local cyclists will join the parade on Saturday. The parade will be led by a piper, sitting on a platform supported by two bicycles, and will be accompanied by cycling policemen.

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