2012 Ride to Cure Diabetes

As you’re kitting up before your next long bicycle ride, maybe filling your water bottles with your favourite powdered ‘power’ product or stuffing your pockets with gels, bars and all manner of fuels, please give a thought to this – In your pre-ride ritual you also just gave yourself your first of up to six injections of insulin for the day.

Cycling Kitting Up Mt Baw Baw
Sometimes on a ride, you may lose a bar or gel on the road and return home sugar-flat or ‘bonked’ from using up your energy stores, but for someone with type 1 diabetes they would be facing a tougher consequence that may threaten their life.
Fueled up at Baw Baw Cycling Classic

Did you know around 122,300 Australians have type 1 diabetes (diabetes mellitus), this is amongst the highest rates in the world. Hard to fathom when you picture Australia as the cycling obsessed nation that it is becoming, well at least Melbourne is!

This may be where a distinction needs to be drawn. Many people are no doubt aware of type 2 diabetes which may be regulated by going on a diet or changing sugar intake habits. This reason for this is type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body produces some insulin but isn’t able to use it properly. It can be managed with diet and lifestyle changes though insulin is sometimes required.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and takes lifelong insulin therapy to survive. Insulin is not a cure but it does allow a person with type 1 to stay alive.

Perhaps you’ll be impressed when you hear that there may be a rider in your bunch who has type 1 diabetes. Consider though that for them it is about more than what bar or gel is in their pocket, it’s being responsible for their health with that same level of thought and attention you pay before a ride, but every day, not just before a ride.

If they get it wrong, the consequences are far worse than an afternoon on the couch. It might be kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack and even stroke.

This weekend I’m heading to the Barossa Valley which will include a reconnaissance of the area in anticipation of the fundraising challenge 2012 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. This event is to be held in the Barossa Valley before the Tour Down Under in January 2012. This weekend will be my feeble research effort.

JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) however will do a far better job than I as it supports funded research on two main areas for type 1 diabetes: Cure Therapies and Treatment Therapies.

I’m raising awareness of this effort because when I think of my childhood it was one full of unbridled physical activity for days on end. It hasn’t changed much even now, I’ve only got better at fueling and resting. As a child you want to just get out and play, run and be active without consideration to the levels of blood sugar in your body.

This is why I’ve donated to JDRF and am also raising awareness through this format and by cycling 160kms in January to support this important cause.

If you think it’s a worthwhile cause and would like to contribute to the investment effort JDRF makes in funding research for type 1 diabetes, then please make a donation here. I’m targeting to raise over $3,500 and appreciate your attention and contribution to help meet the mark.

If you’d like to know more, please contact me or check the JDRF website, otherwise I hope to see you on the road.

Team Support Mt Baw Baw Cycling Classic

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Bicycle Project: Part 3 – Custom Steel, Italy

There’s nothing like results to keep you pressing forward with your plan. Each time recognisable progress is made during a project or an endeavour, the rewards begin to pay off for making the initial start and applying more effort to get closer to the target.

In Part 1 we covered the inspiration for the bicycle project and in Part 2 we isolated action, now, in Part 3 the visible progress and rewards accelerate us once more toward the final result.

This phase of the project is full of excitement and tension. Would the 2D on paper design translate to the 3D finish? How would the elements tie together and would the design language speak consistently across the frame and from different viewing angles? Would the ambition of the Design Brief be realised? Patience becomes tested at this juncture. The desire to see the frame and imagery come together is at its peak, but the installation phase is by no means an easy task. It is a detailed set of processes that takes a keen technician to execute diligently.

Here in Part 3, the Roadbike progress is presented, the Fixie frame to be next.

Below the layout of the print material can be seen. Appears simple enough, but there’s a way to go before 2D becomes three.

Maarq Custom Graffiti Bicycle Design Lay-up

Attention to detail is at a premium.
Maarq Custom Graffiti Bicycle Detailed Application

One of the original Alistair Wilson photos settles firmly into place (see original photo in Part 2).
Maarq Custom Graffiti Bicycle Giraffe

The frame reaches completion.
Maarq Custom Graffiti Bicycle Frame

This has to be one of the most thrilling parts of watching an idea travel from inception to reality. To arrive at this point took approximately seven months. It has been exciting to engage with the partners that have assisted to bring the vision to reality.

Ulitmately, there is a temptation to finalise the roadbike project here. Knowing that it could be treated as art, to be hung on a wall and admired for all the intricacy, the details, and hail the many artisans that have contributed to its production. But for all its artistic flair, the real flair is in riding a bike, roaming on it and finding another path.

In the next phases of the project we’ll see the Fixie frame come to life, wearing its new Koloman Moser raven clothing. In parallel the roadbike will receive all the components to get it rolling on the road and be built ready for more action.

*Thanks to Grafico for supply of the images.

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Bicycle Project: Part 2 – Custom Steel, Italy

Following on from Part 1 of the project story, Part 2 is the real guts of the project.

Inspiration now qualified, like any change or project development there’s a critical point where ideas must turn into action, Part 2 is all about action.

Three questions arose to prompt clear action: Who will prepare the frame? What images to use? Which organisation has the know-how to print and install?

The first answer came easily, after many years of association with The Freedom Machine Brighton no hesitation was required, they were engaged to prepare the frames. The essential work required was to tap all the threads and finish off the facings for flush fitting of components like cranksets. This had to be performed before the frames were wrapped.

Whilst the frame preparation was activated, thoughts turned to the imagery for the frame. Melbourne is recognised world-wide as a hot-bed for urban art with strong roots and high quality artists. A walk through the CBD any day of the week you might come across new art being created right in front of you.
Street Art Melbourne CBD

Previously, maarq launched the premiere exhibition for two new emerging photographers, Alistair Wilson and Leigh Schilling, specialists in dramatic landscapes and portraiture respectively. For this project, Alistair Wilson was engaged to capture the urban art images.
Stimulate Your Senses Photography Exhibition by Maarq at Cafe Racer
Whilst we arranged a shooting schedule with Alistair Wilson, maarq drafted a Design Brief to collate the high-level concepts and guide the project toward the desired outcome. With up to four parties involved in the project, the Design Brief provided a means to align thinking and create a path and plan to achieve results.

Knowing that the technology existed to print designs on to adhesive materials, maarq sought an experienced organisation in this particular area. An internet search revealed that the only companies providing a bicycle wrap service were based in the USA and did not offer customised solutions. Having come across a capable local outfit earlier this year at the Alfa Romeo Giulietta launch, we put in a call to discuss the potential for custom wrapping a bicycle. This supplier, having wrapped many odd objects such as coffee mugs and coffee machines, agreed that they were set for the challenge.

Next up we toured with Alistair Wilson through Melbourne’s CBD and captured a folio of graffiti images to choose from for the lay up of the frame.
Street Art Melboure Giraffe captured by Alistair Wilson

With the sequence of phases and activities progressing positively and all partner organisations engaged, the potential for the project closed in on the peak.

The frames were delivered to the supplier along with the final Design Brief including all images, and the impetus to Go! After a short time, the bike frame designs circuited two loops of design and review and verged almost ready to proceed to final production.

Here’s a slice.
Maarq Custom Bicycle Design Graffiti Bicycle

In Part 3 we’ll see the final design, representing the culmination of vast amounts of inspiration, action, performance and the realisation of a new design potential.

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Bicycle Project: Part 1 – Custom Steel, Italy

Italian bicycles. They’re the desire of many a cycling enthusiast. Coppi, Colnago, Tommasini, Bianchi, Guerciotti, ALAN, Basso, Pinarello, Cinelli, De Rosa, Pegoretti, Wilier, they’re all marques swooned over, especially over a macchiato after the ride.

Bonetti is not one you will hear of very often, but it’s out there.Bonetti Italian Bicycles

In January this year, we commissioned Bonetti to develop two new bicycle frames constructed of steel. Perhaps considered unusual these days compared to the quantities selling and near general affordability of carbon fibre bicycles. However, with the desire for uniquity one seeks alternatives. The frames, a TIG welded Dedacciai road bike and a lugged fixie both of EOM 16.5 high performance steel tubing, were ordered with the expectation that the old method and material could still deliver in a modern lighter, faster, stiffer carbon bicycle arena. That potential is still to be challenged.

Consideration was given to the aesthetics of the frames. How could they be best presented to stand out against slick graphics and fast looks?

Inspiration attacked. DrewFunk South Yarra Street Art

Local artist DFunk provided the impetus to catapult steel into modernity. It was decided the TIG roadbike would be adorned with urban art, the Fixie remained matte white for now.

That’s all great in concept, but how does a bicycle frame represent an urban artist’s canvas? In another bolt of lightning, at the launch of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta earlier this year, we saw the results of another Italian marque’s transformation. The solution to applying aerosol art to a round set of tubes was discovered. This opened the way for a multitude of art to adorn the frame more easily. The thoughts of air-brushing, aerosols, hand-painting had been dismissed in favour of wrapping the frame.

The finish for the Fixie remained unclear, though with the solution for applying images and graphics to the frame sorted, it was just a matter of imagination. It was settled, the roadbike would scream modern urban art. Seeking more influence for the Fixie, a trip to the National Gallery to view the Vienna Art and Design exhibition was undertaken.
Vienna Art and Design Melbourne 2011

An enlightening visit, one particular pattern design from the repertoire of Koloman Moser stood out. Appropriately, the ‘Thousand Ravens’ would be flying across the Fixie’s tubes, only if the pattern could be located in print. After an extensive search a copyright free image was successfully secured.

At this same time, the frames arrived from Italy. A taste of TIG appears… Maarq Custom Italian Steel Frame Bare

More to come in Part 2 of the Bicycle Project…

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Tour of Friendship Cycle Race 2011, Thailand

The Tour of Friendship cycling race is an annual event held in May in the region of Bangkok Thailand. Asia’s biggest amateur race attracts around 300 competitors from Junior to Senior categories competing over five days and over 500 kilometres.
Tour of Friendship R1 Thailand 2011
MarlonĀ competed in the 2011 edition, lucky to be invited to join the ANZA Mavericks cycling team hailing from Singapore. As a new member of the team the role was one of supporting the team leader for general classification (GC) performance in the 30s age group.

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