Back when I was studying graphic design, I told myself I’d never work in advertising. I got a job as a bike courier in Sydney to avoid it but after seven years of riding, destiny pulled me into the ad world. Today, I feel the same about both career paths: it was hell, but I’m extremely grateful for the experience of both.
One regret I do have about my time in ad land, however, is never having participated in The Fireflies Tour. Each year since 2001, a group of amateur riders from the advertising and film industry ride over a thousand kilometers in eight days, across the Alps from Lake Geneva to Cannes to raise money for Leukaemia research. Today’s striking road bike was built by Tom Donhou specifically for that journey.
The most striking feature of this frame is the paint, designed and applied by Tom. The Fireflies logo is placed on the seat tube, just underneath the red and white graphics, reminiscent of the Lampyridae family of insects and their glowing flight. The full effect of the paint can only be appreciated in the dark of the long alpine tunnels through which it will ride: it also glows in the dark.
The fillet brazed frame was built by Tom from the lightweight — yet extremely strong — Reynolds 953 tubing. Once the phosphorescent paint had been applied to the frame, it was built up with a Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and cable-actuated disc brakes, topped with a mix of Thomson and 3T components — a spectacular bike for a heroic ride.
Special thanks to George Marshall for the photos. Learn more on the Donhou Bicycles and The Fireflies Tour websites.