In September, a hoard of beautifully decorated bicycles could be seen dotted around Bodmin in honour of the Tour of Britain race whizzing through town and finishing there.
The Bodmin Bike Art Trail, as it is known, was the vision and brought to life by local lady Julie Griffin who, after feeling incredibly lonely due to previous lockdowns, wanted to do something worth remembering for her community.
Julie told Bodmin Life: “Sitting in the midst of the second lockdown, feeling very isolated and missing my grandchildren terribly, I heard a conversation about the Tour of Britain and it sparked something in me.
“Remembering that I had an old bike rotting away in the garden, I started throwing ideas around in my head about what I could do with it that could link in with the Tour of Britain. I mentioned my ideas at a Zoom Knit & Natter session run by Victoria Ellacott from Knit Happens. Vicky was very enthusiastic and up for doing something straight away, and so the process started!”
After meeting with Fin Irwin from intoBodmin, the Bike Art Trail idea emerged. Julie got in touch with Sarah Horne from the Bodmin Tidy Team who were thinking of doing something similar the previous year and they met, along with Angie Jenkins and Lynne Drew, identifying several areas in Bodmin where the bikes could be positioned.
After a slow couple of weeks getting people involved, the team started putting out their own bikes around town, which suddenly sparked a huge interest across the community. Sure enough, a whole host of weird and wonderful bikes were springing up around the town and by the week leading up to the Tour of Britain weekend the team were adding up to half a dozen bikes a day!
Julie added: “It was absolutely incredible how the people of Bodmin got behind this community event, and by the time the Tour of Britain weekend came around we had a whopping 94 bikes on the trail map with 101 bike displays in total.
“In fact, the event was such a success, it inspired the new spooky trail for Halloween!” There are plans to create art installations with the bikes as a lasting legacy with a chance for the community to give their suggestions.