Taupo's 3m Giant Bike
The Great Lake Taupo region is already well-known for our many cycling events but a new sculpture has cemented Taupo’s place as one of the top cycling centres in the country.
A three-metre-high steel racing bike was unveiled on 20 September and is now permanently gracing the top of the Control Gates Hill informing locals and visitors alike that Taupo is a cycling town.
The $40,000 bike has been primarily funded by the local community and cyclists with support to the tune of $3000 from Taupo District Council. Around 660 hours of work went into constructing the bike including planning, designing and building.
But the artwork isn't being installed just to look pretty. The group of cyclists behind the project hope the sculpture will also help reduce the number of cycling fatalities in the district.
Giant Bike project manager Rose Blackley said the idea for the bikes evolved from similar sculptures along European cycling routes.
"In the Tour de France regions of France, there are many different artistic mediums used to demonstrate locals' support for the sport and their acknowledgement of the subsequent income to every village on the route," she said.
Ms Blackley said the bike will help identify the Lake Taupo region as a cycling destination and visitors to Taupo will quickly appreciate the non-conventional art as something fun and different.
"It will also hopefully make motorists aware of the need to look out for cyclists on our roads . . . and if it saves one life I'll be happy. I just started working on the idea and people really wanted to help," she said. "There is a lot of goodwill that has gone into this project as people can see the benefits of a permanent piece of art like this."
Waitahanui artist Marcel Zwezerijnen created the design for the three metre high bike.