The Dreamsicle SquidCross came alive Spring of 2016 in a dirt parking lot deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Lost Sierra to be exact. Painted on the right seat stay are the words "I DON'T KNOW. IT WAS A DREAM" and it was. At least that is how the idea for the paint job came to Emily, the bike's owner and Co-Founder of Squid.
Emily: "I'm thinking, blue background with Creamsicles and clouds."
Chris: "Alright, let's make it happen"
Chris's partner and artist, Rocky Namba took Emily's idea and drew up some Creamsicle Ice Creams and clouds. From there, we gathered the necessary supplies (raw frame, masking, paint, bike stand and the rest of the build) along with all our camping and riding gear and headed up the mountain.
We liked to call them "Race Day Rattlecans" and we've done a few of them. The basic idea is that we live paint a bike at an event during the day, built it up that night and race it the next day. In this case, we set up our EZ-UP right in the middle of the Lost and Found Gravel Race registration and vendor area, and got to work.
People stood in line to pick up their race number while Chris and Emily painted. And masked. And painted. Some people asked questions. Others wanted to help pull masking after it was finished.
A few beers, and hours, later Chris got to work building the bike in the campsite parking lot under the light of his headlamp. By 11pm the bike was built and ready for Emily to race a 100 miles of burly Sierra Nevada fire roads early the next morning.
A few flats, 100 miles and about 9 hours later the crew was back at camp. Exhausted, sharing stories from the day and ready for a dip in Lake Davis.
As is tradition, the following day we stopped at the tunnels near Donner Pass to shake out our legs, do a bit of exploring and take in the mountain views. Zack got a nice photoset of the one-day-old paint job covered in Lost Sierra dirt and splattered with mud.
Months passed and the Dreamsicle, as it was aptly named, became Emily's UCI race bike. First stop, the Qiansen Trophy UCI races in China.
The Dreamsicle was packed back up and made its way from China back to the US for Cyclocross World Cups in Las Vegas, and the Midwest.
More packing and unpacking, and the Squid Squad crisscrossed its way across the United States racing bikes. Cyclocross National Championships in the ice and snow.
And, again, across the ocean to race Tokyo CX on the beach in Japan.Fast forward a few years and the Dreamsicle was converted into a single speed, remaining a worth vessel for adventuring and playing on local single track.
This much loved machine has been pressure washed, locked up, packed and unpacked, tossed in and out of airplanes and rented mini-vans, crashed, displayed under the fluorescent lights of show room floors and pedaled across 1000 and 1000s of miles on multiple continents.
Five years later, once again, we had Zack, photograph the bike, this time to highlight its battle scars. All the chips, wear marks and faded colors the bike has to show for its many years of work. For having been spray painted in a dirt parking lot five years ago, we think it still looks pretty damn good.
Photos: Zack Cunningham, Jeff Namba, Ken Etzel, Angel Perez & David Bracetty