DeFuniak Springs resident Diane Pickett got an idea on a recent visit to the city of Stockholm, Sweden. She saw bicycles available for rent to tour the city. Unfortunately the bikes, manufactured in France, were not available for export. Pickett purchased bicycles here, and asked Charlie Morse, director of Emerald Coast Technical College (ECTC) to fabricate fenders and fit the bikes. “We were glad to do that,” said Morse.
The bikes have an added front and rear panel with space for advertising. Bicycles do not usually come with these type of panels, so some special fabricating was required. ECTC’s welding department was delighted with the idea of being involved with such an interesting project that would also help promote DeFuniak Springs and hopefully draw customers downtown. They coordinated with the Art Co-Op in designing the advertising and adhering the logo ads to the panels. After some trial and error on paint as well as design, the finished product is something the community will be proud to showcase; so come on over and cycle around the circle and enjoy the beauty of a true step back in time. The bicycles were donated by Diane Pickett in celebration of DeFuniak’s recent Main Street designation.
Pickett donated the bicycles – a tandem, and two single-seat bikes, to the DeFuniak Springs Art Co-Op. “They’re the only store [in the downtown historic district] open six days a week, and I wanted to reward that,” said Pickett. She added, “This is just a small example of what they can do at ECTC.”
Visit the Art Co-Op at 756-B Baldwin Ave in DeFuniak Springs and be among the first to enjoy cycling around this historic town on a tandem bike. The solo bikes are also available for a modest rental and include a safety helmet, with funds going to the Art Co-Op. Biking has become increasingly popular around the world and DeFuniak Springs Mayor Mayor Bob Campbell felt it was an ideal project for both residents as well as visitors to get into the act of healthy and pollution-free transportation. Now that DeFuniak has been designated as a Main Street Program, Campbell feels there will be a strong increase in visitors and cycling can be a real asset for its convenience as well as its fun. The community also has a Tesla station and bikes could provide those drivers an activity while awaiting re-charge of their vehicles.
For further information regarding the bicycles, contact the Art Co-Op in DeFuniak Springs (850) 892-3007 or stop by for a ride and a look at some of the wonderful local art on display. DeFuniak residents are very proud of their artists and welcome this new and exciting venture.