ALL ABOUT ALICE
Alice Springs is on the map for mountain bikers thanks to the fun and flowy natural trails. But as we find out – there’s way more to come to the Red Centre.
relationship with dealers around Australia, but also looking after carbon repairs and paint for bike brands. Sasha assures me that while they get deliveries and work from around the country – customers also lie beyond our shores. “We had a gentleman fly over from Perth this week after emailing us. Most of our communication is via email, after contact via social media or word of mouth. We do have international clients as well. We had a bike sent from Qatar last year. Someone had tried to do a paint scheme and they just couldn’t achieve it. They sent it over and we managed to get the outcome he was after.” It’s clear that the team likes a challenge. And so that’s what I set them.
My 2013 Bianchi Methanol 29 FS was my pride and joy for many years, accompanying me to South Africa, Europe and just about every state or territory of Australia. I cracked it 2 years ago and knew I wanted to get it repaired one day. There were too many memories attached. But would it be a case of repair and repaint to original? No thanks. Lauren is one of two designers who work at Paint My Bike, but she came from a different design background. “I was mainly working in corporate identity, branding, websites and publication before this. It’s completely different. Everything I’ve known and learnt I’ve almost had to throw out the window. Laying out decals on bikes we usually scale everything proportionately, but on bikes they are stretched and warped. The tubing and the shapes and the contours mean that there is usually no simple job, each bike is different.” Already I can sense she is a perfectionist, and that’s an air that is apparent in the whole facility. From repair, to the paint job design to the paint itself – nothing is going out half done. Lauren is often tasked with designing paint schemes and decals to restore a frame to original, or colour matching for repaired swing arms, or even matching a colour scheme of a pro’s bike for a fan – I gave her an almost clean slate. In this case, I asked for something in the new
celeste (that aqua green that Bianchi is known for) and with a modern design. Lauren produced some design mock ups, and we went over them in the office. But they’re set up to do custom design work no matter where you are. “It’s always nice working with clients, alongside them. If a customer walks in and wants a custom design that’s great! But often it is done via email and sending revisions of designs. Communication is the biggest thing for us. If we have that down pat we can do the rest. The painters can do just about anything.” Lauren is also hand cutting decals for the frame so the design can be painted on, working on her own design that will cover the top tube and be on the inside of the swing arms. It’s a design that won’t be seen anywhere else, something made by hand just for my bike that carries 3 years of trail riding and racing memories. That creativity is something that drives everyone’s work at Paint My Bike. “Coming to work every day and doing something different is so cool. It’s a new challenge every day, doing the creative side of things and the more technical aspects too. It is awesome to see the finished product and see people really happy with their bikes.”
RESTORED TO GLORY
The end result is greater than I could have imagined. Marks and scratches on a frame all tell a story. But not only is the new paint job unique, it’s a Bianchi in celeste and that means something. No longer do I look at some scratches and gouges from riding, racing and travel and have a little regret – instead this bike has been lovingly restored, via the hands of at least three different people who excel at their craft.