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Montreal BIXI Bikes Have Been Decorated By MURAL Festival Street Artists (FIRST LOOK)

They're hitting stations across the city on June 9! 🎨🚲

MTL Blog, Staff Writer
Montreal artist La Charbonne holds up a painted bike frame. Right: Mono Sourcil sits on a custom-painted BIXI bike.

Montreal artist La Charbonne holds up a painted bike frame. Right: Mono Sourcil sits on a custom-painted BIXI bike.

Courtesy of BIXI Montreal and MURAL Festival

Forget the usual silver-and-red BIXIs this summer and try to find one of the dozens of eye-catching custom bikes decorated by MURAL Festival street artists that are hitting stations across the city on June 9! Artists Mono Sourcil, Chien Champion, La Charbonne, Aless MC and Zephyr have transformed 45 bicycles into vibrant, rideable works of art. The BIXI and MURAL collaboration comes as the bike-share service celebrates 50 million trips in Montreal and the street art festival marks its 10th edition.

"Using the bikes like canvasses was a natural extension of the festival, which aims to make art more accessible in the city," MURAL Festival General Manager Pierre-Alain Benoit told MTL Blog.

"We expect the custom bikes to be used three times as much as normal BIXIs."

Each of the participating artists has embellished ten bikes with their own style. Nine of the vehicles will be dispersed around all Montreal boroughs and made available for the public to ride throughout the summer.

Each collection features one bike with a more extreme aesthetic, from fluffy seating to neon wheels. Those will be displayed during MURAL Festival, from June 9 to 19, at the corner of Prince Arthur and Saint Laurent.

The bikes by Aless MC feature repeating bike-inspired elements, like gears and spokes, over a bright colour palette.The bikes by Aless MC feature repeating bike-inspired elements, like gears and spokes, over a bright colour palette.@sofsilva.mtl | Instagram

"The beauty of this project is seeing it in action," said multidisciplinary artist Aless MC, whose bikes feature bright colours and repeating patterns. Anyone caught on one of her custom bikes is sure to stand out on the road.

"For this series, I was inspired by fashion and I wanted to highlight the bike features and let users match their style with their ride," she said.

A selection of five BIXI bike frames painted by La Charbonne, featuring funky patterns like stars, flowers and flames.A selection of five BIXI bike frames painted by La Charbonne, featuring funky patterns like stars, flowers and flames.Courtesy of BIXI Montreal and MURAL Festival

"I hope my patterns and colours will help people tap into their inner child," said Montreal muralist, illustrator and designer La Charbonne. Her playful bike designs are inspired by the 90s and pull from natural patterns like flowers, clouds and stars.

"We've had a tough couple of years and I wanted to create something fun and joyful for the city," she said.

Illustrator Chien Champion sits behind a blue bike frame with a flying horse. Illustrator Chien Champion sits behind a blue bike frame with a flying horse. Courtesy of BIXI Montreal and MURAL Festival

Meanwhile, Montreal illustrator Chien Champion alternates his bike designs between daytime and nighttime themes. Half of his fleet is orange, featuring suns rising over the wheels, while the other half is blue, with a moon motif.

"The idea was to have the two vibes of Montreal represented — nightlife with the blue one and day life with the orange ones," he said.

"I want the bikes to feel magical. I want people to see them and make their everyday life more special," he said.

Keep your eyes peeled for the special bikes to hit racks starting on June 9.

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