Trek Bicycle recently held an “It’s about the Bike” auction in New York City. Featuring seven custom painted, one-of-a-kind Trek bicycles, the auction raised an unprecedented $1.25 million to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s cancer research, awareness and advocacy programs.
The auction was part of STAGES, a global art exhibition designed to raise both funds and awareness for cancer research, treatment and prevention. More than 20 renowned artists devoted their expertise and created unique artwork to be showcased and ultimately auctioned off for Armstrong’s cancer fighting foundation, LiveStrong.
As part of STAGES, Trek, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Nike and some of the most recognized and influential contemporary artists from across the globe teamed up to create a unique collection of bicycles that blur the lines separating art, culture, and technology.
"Each of these artists gave their time to this cause," said Armstrong in a LiveStrong press release. "Through the dollars that we raise, we’ll increase awareness, fund research and work to end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face."
Raising an unprecedented $500,000, the exhibition’s undisputed favorite was the Damien Hirst-designed "Butterfly" Trek Madone, which featured hundreds of real, shimmering insect wings affixed to the bicycle’s frame and rims. Armstrong rode the distinctive piece of artwork during the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France.
Other bikes auctioned included Shepard Fairey’s elaborately decaled Trek Madone, ridden by Armstrong during this year’s Giro d’Italia, which generated $110,000, and Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s Trek Speed Concept, ridden by Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France’s Annecy time trial stage, which garnered $200,000.