A Rugby employee will take centre stage on the giant Lady Godiva multi-cycling machine that will be pedalled down to London as the region’s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad in July.
Justin Tipple of Shaw Sheet Metal will sit in the important front rider’s position for a significant portion of the 125-mile journey, as the innovative ‘Cyclopedia’ vehicle makes its way from Coventry and passes through Rugby on its way to London to coincide with the opening of the world’s biggest sporting event this summer.
His nomination for the critical role of guiding the 7m long, 8m high unit comes as recognition of the hundreds of hours of work he put into the build of the main Cyclopedia framework.
Justin and the team at Shaw Sheet Metal worked for around three months on the aluminium structure that will carry a representation of Lady Godiva herself, and the company are continuing to provide ongoing support and assistance to the Godiva Awakes project which is co-ordinated by Imagineer Productions.
Justin explained his role within the group of around 100 cyclists that will ensure that the Cyclopedia arrives safe and sound at its final destination:
“The group will be split into three teams, and I will rotate shifts with two others to power the lead bike. It’s the only one that can steer and brake, so obviously it’s a huge responsibility.
“We’ve had a few test rides already, including demonstrating to the different police forces on the route that it is safe and roadworthy.
“I haven’t ridden a bike regularly since I was at school more than twenty years ago, so I will be working hard between now and July to build up my fitness levels. The dog is certainly enjoying his extra walks at the moment!”
The final Cyclopedia is due to be unveiled to the public at a special awakening ceremony in Coventry on the 28th of July before passing through Rugby on the 30th and then several other towns including Northampton and Milton Keynes en-route to the capital.