June 7, 2011

Pinarello Pinball Colours

When we were kids, my good friend Noah Rosen and I spent most afternoons and weekends racing our bikes up and down the neighborhood streets. At nightfall the races would end, and we’d retire to the basement with a bowl of popcorn to make forts, watch movies and play his father’s vintage pinball machine. Noah still remembers the evenings fondly, “ When we were playing pinball the room would be glowing in the darkness of the basement. But, maybe it was just our childhood enthusiasm.”

We’re still good friends and ride together whenever I’m back in Toronto. Noah now runs Velocolour and paints frames beautifully. Earlier this year we decided it might be fun to collaborate on project together, as we’d done at art school when we were kids. The idea was to paint a Pinarello with a unique design, which told a story. The frame would then be auctioned with the proceeds going to Right to Play, an organization that brings sport to children in disadvantaged areas. Within the project and design there are elements of our youth, which tie it all together.

After bouncing umpteen ideas off each other we agreed the frame should be painted with vintage pinball machine graphics. Noah succinctly said, “The connection made sense as a starting point. Childhood memories of us playing together, being kids, formed the design of the paint scheme, which would hopefully raise money for other kids to do the same thing.”

Often, while riding in the middle of a peloton or in the midst of city traffic I have the feeling I’m the ball within the machine, bouncing off bumpers, shooting through holes, and accelerating when it is clear. When I find the flow of the peloton, or the city traffic, the feeling is sublime.

Pinarello kindly donated a 55 cm Prince carbon frame for us to use as the canvas.

The auction will take place at the end of June. Details will be posted soon.

Here are some of the photos of the project development. I’ll post more photos of the frame in the coming days.

[nggallery id=30]

7 Responses to “Pinarello Pinball Colours”

  • Posted by Rick Millenaar | June 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    OK… a bike frame is a difficult ‘canvas’ for a piece of art, being so narrow and spread around. I played a lot of pinball when I was a kid, what a fascinating ‘sport’. So far, it looks like something for the HTC-Highroad team, Cavendish maybe? Good luck with the auction, and Micheal, don’t go ’tilt’ in the peloton.

  • Posted by Cam Austin | June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

    This Gallery is sweet:

    Awesome business:
    The photo of the Pinarello Sketches of ideas looks exciting; loads of ideas.

  • Posted by Michael Barry | June 8, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Noah is posting photos and writing about the project and process here: http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f22/velocolour-bicycle-painting-18829-3.html


  • Posted by Craig | June 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm


    ding dang dong! What a cool idea and a great cause.

    big ring

  • Posted by Michael Barry | June 24, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Some more shots of the Pinball Pinarello with a description of the painting process. http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f22/velocolour-bicycle-painting-18829-4.html

  • Posted by Custom Painted Pinball Pinarello Prince - The 5th Floor | July 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    [...] more the full story behind the design at Michael Barry’s blog and if you’ve got $3500 to spare, why not bid on it? window.fbAsyncInit = function() { [...]

  • Posted by Pinball-inspired Pinarello Prince | July 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

    [...] story behind it at Michael Barry‘s [...]

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