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Bicycle Beauty Pageant

Brian Fanelli, Stacy Sauvageau, and Adam Ianni (photo by Erin Quinn)

You might think that the phrase “Bicycle Beauty Pageant” would be enough to entice the interest of the Buffalo art and cycling communities. GOBike did. So they asked some of the city’s top local businesses to donate prizes for an event that would feature decorated and manipulated bikes to fit the theme: “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.” Five hundred dollars in donations later, they booked the Buffalo Bike Pageant for June 2 at Campus WheelWorks. And with proceeds going directly to Green Options Buffalo (along with the allure of food and beverages), the members of GOBike are confident they have the fixings for a successful pageant, with the exception of one final element.

“At this point we still have more sponsors than submissions,” says Brian Fanelli, a GOBike volunteer and event co-organizer. This does not come as a complete surprise. When the idea for the pageant was formulated, Fanelli, along with Stacy Sauvageau and Adam Ianni, both GOBike employees, all agreed that finding artists to participate would be the most difficult obstacle to overcome.

“We knew it would be tough to get the artistic community involved,” Fanelli says. “So one of our first steps was to contact local businesses for donations to give artists in the area a little more incentive to submit.” These local businesses include Rick Cycle Shop, Campus WheelWorks, Buffalo Car Share, Merge, Positive Approach, Urban Roots, the Lexington Co-op, Caffe Aroma, Amy’s Place, and Evolation Yoga.

As for the event itself, the Buffalo Bike Pageant will be a showcase of the bicycles, but also of the artists responsible for the renovations. In true pageant fashion, the participants will walk their bikes up and down the store, displaying their work to a panel of judges and attendees. Fanelli, Sauvageau, and Ianni will host the event and there will be food, music, and Rusty Chain beer. And that’s just the evening activities.

All day Saturday, Sauvageau will be in front of Campus WheelWorks displaying each of the pageant entries. She will also be collecting votes for the people’s choice nomination. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners, as well as the people’s choice. The bikes will be judged on their artistry and creativity. And even if participants don’t place in the event, they still receive free t-shirts made up by Positive Approach.

GOBike is also offering to give artists the bikes to work with completely free of charge. They are currently accepting proposals and are prepared to give bikes to artists with unique visions dealing with the Grimm’s Fairy Tales theme. If you are an artist interested in submitting or a business considering sponsoring, contact them at However, artists are being encouraged to get proposals in quickly, not only because of the approaching event date, but also due to the limited number of bikes that they have to give away.

Given that May is National Bike Month, GOBike initially thought there would be no better time to attempt to throw a bike pageant. And as the details of the event unfolded, most factors supported this sentiment. Yet the fact still remains, for an event of its kind, with the amount of sponsorship that it has, there has been a notable lack in participants. Fanelli says, “Word is spreading, but it’s not spreading quite as fast as we’d like.”

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