Alebrije Bikes 2019: Like a Pheonix

The Awesome Foundation’s Marin Chapter awarded a mini-grant so I could offer materials, mentoring and prize money to build Alebrije Bicycles. Starting a competition is typically a year-long effort (compressible to a few months, often) but I had about two months until Día de los Muertos, a natural date for this event.


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A field of five teams and single contestants narrowed to three entries as the date approached. As they rushed to finish their entries, tragedy struck our community: another round of devastating fires swept through Sonoma.

Our little community of artists and engineers despaired. Would we get to finish and show our creations? Día de los Muertos came and went. We held short strategy meetings and I worked to find a new venue.


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We brought two Alebrije Bikes to SofA’s Lit Sofa Parade, and discovered the arts district wants more diversity and greater weirdness in their Winterblast event. Perfect!

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But the real celebration came a couple of weeks later at Windsor’s Fall Festival. Windsor High School’s advanced art students revealed their amazing creature, “Juicy,” to the world. This stunning, student-led cross-cultural collaboration is clearly a champion.

I’ve heard they used their prize money to go to the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

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