Yippee Ki Yay - The Melon Farmer Bike Comes to Life

2020-12-03 16:34:48

As 2020 comes to a close, we’re hoping this look back at one of the coolest things we did this year here at Norco will bring a smile to your face – and we’d be remiss if we didn’t allude to the classic Christmas film it drew its inspiration from.

In the midst of all this year’s mayhem, we held a colouring contest – yes, a colouring contest!

With kids out of school, parents out of ideas and the world looking for fun, safe ways to spend their time, what better than combining bikes, art and creativity?

The Youth is Truth contest was inspired by Norco Pro Jill Kintner, a pretty talented artist in her own rite.

The idea to engage young riders in a way that harnesses their imagination and combines it with their drive to ride and get aboard a sweet new Norco Fluid FS Youth – just re-designed for 2020 with all the handling and quality we build into our top end full suspension designs.

With over a thousand entries to comb through, and in the end of the rigorous selection process, Sully Hicks’s Watermelon/Die Hard inspired design was selected to be brought to life by Tony Bauman, the artist behind Made Rad by Tony, who’s created some of the greatest custom paint we’ve ever seen.

I was super pumped to take on Sully’s design. It was a fun, lighthearted idea that was thoughtfully laid out. The way he broke up the sections of skin and melon meat worked really well with the shape of the frame,” said Bauman.

“I knew this one would be recognizable from 100 feet away but the tricky part would be the making it look good from up close too!”

This isn’t the first Norco to don Bauman’s artistry, with some of his most amazing work appearing on custom bikes belonging to Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson.

A talented artist herself, Jill appreciates quality when she sees it!

“Putting pen to paper has been such a powerful tool for me over the years to develop ideas and have a creative outlet. I am really focused on being the best pro mountain bike athlete I can be, but sometimes I get just as passionate about art and design and use every opportunity I can to combine those two worlds.”

 “My favorite project was collaborating with Tony to create the Queen of Hearts bike for Crankworx last year though. It is such a beautiful bike, and the whole process kind of blew my mind to see and idea come to life like that! Tony has true talent, and his execution mixed with my concept was inspiring to be a part of,” she said.

And, to be honest, we sort of wanted to keep this one for ourselves – but there was a pretty pumped rider out there itching to swing a leg over it and shred – so, if you’re on the trails of Pennsylvania and see a mach-speed watermelon scream by, you’re not seeing things – it’s probably Sully out cuttin’ a slice and spittin’ pits.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Youth is Truth contest, and to Jill Kintner and Made Rad by Tony for bringing Sully’s dream to life.  

Photos courtesy Bryn Atkinson, Keely Shannon and Bobbi Hicks. Video courtesy Bobbi Hicks.