Perhaps it is to be expected of a gritty collective like the Boise Bicycle Project, but the art bike auction held last night at the Modern Hotel was more bike than art.
I guess I expected more outlandish, Burning Man-style flair with the celebrity art bikes that BBP auctioned off as a fund raiser. But the custom rides were very practical and more subtly beautiful than your average art bike. The artists themselves internalized this practicality. Anna Webb, a mosaicist and Idaho Statesman writer, presented a sweet two-speed that she calls four seasons, for the rain, sleet, snow and other stuff she put up with riding up the hill to work all year. It had a smattering of tiles highlighting a geo
"If you mosaic the whole bike frame it would be heavy enough to kill a man," Webb said.
Other bikes like Colleen Morgan's Día de los Muertos themed cruiser, Beetles Lament by Amy Lunstrum and Painted Pony, by S.E. Sly pulled off their themes with detailed painting on frame and fender and little attached objects like antennae, attached to handlebar and seatpost.
I had to leave before the auction began in earnest, but bikes went for $100 to $200 each with the high bid on Mike Landa's kid's bike, complete with training wheels and leather grips. Landa's creation went for $215, twice. Two people thought they won, both paid and they donated it back to BBP for future revenue generation, said event co-organizer Amanda Anderson.
Anderson said they raised approximately $2,500 for the shop.
But here's the best part. When I rolled up to the event, I parked at the Boise Community Radio bike valet tent across the street from the Modern and was handed a raffle ticket. I thought the guy who gave it to me said I must be present to win, but at about 9 p.m. I got a call from Anderson informing me that I'd won a night at the Modern.
If only I'd bid on that kid's bike so the kids could do donuts in the parking lot while I cash in on my booty.