A Kiwi who makes bicycles described as “...pure art, craft and performance” in his spare time has walked away with a not-so-shabby $10,000 cash and media support to make his endeavour really take off. As part of the Steinlager 'Pure Futures’ competition, which invited Kiwis to upload their future visions, Christchurch-based Simon Courtney was selected the overall winner from 620 uploaded entries on the Pure Futures website.
Self taught in welding and metal work, and with a background in design and art, Courtney says his background allows him to write his own rules.
“Everything beautiful I create is based on a well constructed and envisioned plan. Each bicycle is made to a customised set of angles and lengths, using specifically chosen steel tubes so it will perform outstandingly when ridden with intent.” says Courtney.
"I want to build the soul and passion back into the bicycle—handmade by me personally but still modern in execution, each bike, from its raw components up, will be individually designed to create a unique, powerful and stunning machine."
His vision was ignited when he ordered a hand built bicycle and realised it would take five years from America because demand was so huge for customised and handmade bicycles.
Courtney’s entry was picked by a judging panel that included Ken Erskine, Duncan Blair, Stolen Girlfriends Club, York Spencer, and Jamie McLellan.
Dan Gosling, director of Stolen Girlfriends Club says: “I liked the idea and the green feel. He is a young guy trying to do something a bit different with a design and it has great commercial viability.”
Ken Erskine was impressed by Courtney’s focus, determination and passion. “He's taken the time out to learn the skills to actually be able to create the things he's been dreaming about riding, and he's turned a passion into a potential business with a great market,” says Erskine.
Other finalist include Geoff Barnett’s vision for an environmentally friendly compact bottle crusher to become an accredited alternative to transporting bottles around New Zealand—or exporting them overseas— and Sam James who, after gaining a Bachelor's degree in 3D object design, has a vision to start his own bespoke furniture-design studio to "keep a dying art form alive in New Zealand at a professional level, and to make furniture that will last and be loved by generations".
To date, the competition has generated almost $100,000 in assistance to New Zealanders wanting to bring their visions to life.
Check out the finalists HERE.