Local artist designs Cycle Tour awards

Holly Birkby of Simons Town designed the medals for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Cape Town artist and designer Holly Birkby, who works at Carrol Boyes, designed more than 15 different trophies for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which swept through Hout Bay and surrounds, on Sunday March 8.

Although the polished steel of the trophies echoes the industrial look of bicycle construction, Ms Birkby, from Simon’s Town, created floral and organic motifs from sprockets, chains, and tyre treads to create a visual synthesis of machine and environment.

“It was important for me to honour the natural world in which the race takes place, so there are sprocket-proteas, chain-link flowers and spoke-leaves, and I made sure there were some African penguins on the main trophies. Shout-out for Simon’s Town,” Ms Birkby said.

Each trophy is different – one of the mountain-bike trophies features flowers from the endangered Aristae lugens – which grows in the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy where that race was held.

The trophy for the visually impaired is interactive in that it features spinning discs, Braille and a fragrant cedar-wood base.

The trophies were all laser-cut in Cape Town and polished at the Carrol Boyes factory in Tzaneen.

Local craftsmen supplied custom wooden bases and Ms Birkby assembled each trophy herself.

“I live right on the cycle route in Simon’s Town, and I like to rush out to see the first riders. Since the Main Road is closed, it’s also fun to walk to the beach or stroll to a cafe. I’m rubbish at riding a bicycle, but I’m proud of my role in the race,” Ms Birkby said.