MOVE over Geraint Thomas – a bike made of straw especially for the Birmingham 2022 cycling road races has been snatching TV air time around the world.
The straw bike, the brain child of two Warwickshire County Council (WCC) graduates, was constructed in a field behind Warwick Castle in time for the road races in Warwick last weekend.
Made from 252 bales of straw, it measured in at a mammoth 50 x 30 metres and was featured heavily in TV coverage for both the men’s and women’s cycling events on Sunday August 7.
The bike was dreamed up and built by Seb Burch and James Sewry, who are taking part in the National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government. It took them four hours to put together in blazing sunshine – with firefighters on hand in case of emergencies.
Seb said: “We’re really happy to have been involved with this project and that our straw bale bike was featured frequently in the coverage of the road races from Warwick.”
James added: “It was certainly a challenge to deliver this on such tight timescales but fantastic to see it all come together for the amazing events at the weekend. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the crew from Leamington Fire Station and everyone else who gave their time to help make our design become a reality.”
While WCC’s spokesperson for environment, climate and culture, Coun Heather Timms, said: “We are very proud of our involvement in the National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government and the Graduates that are placed with us.
“Seb and James are fantastic examples of the calibre of participants in the programme,.These two members of staff are just starting out on their careers in local government, and they got stuck into this particular challenge with plenty of enthusiasm and persistence, which resulted in the creation of a visual icon that was viewed around the world as part of coverage of the road races.
“Sunday truly was a fantastic day for Warwickshire. We were treated to a magnificent day of action and excitement thanks to all the competitors and spectators. Once again, Warwickshire has shown that it is the go-to county for hosting world class cycling events, after the success in recent years of the Women’s Tours and the Tour of Britain.
“We have again made the most of the opportunity to showcase everything the area has to offer to an international audience. With millions watching on television around the world, the event has also been a huge boost to our international recognition.”
The straw bale bike was left in place a few extra days before being taken apart. The straw will be taken to Warwick Castle with the fragments remaining on the ground biodegrading naturally. The material used for the wheels will be donated to local schools to be used in arts and crafts.