The official bike to be used during this year's 'Reels on Wheels' pipers fundraising cycle to the Willie Clancy Week has been unveiled at a ceremony in Dublin today.
Already dubbed the 'Pipe-bike', the specially designed bicycle is made entirely from old sets of uilleann pipes and will be used by all the cyclists on the NPU Charity Cycle from Dublin to Miltown Malbay, marking the first time the bike has been used.
The bike was launched at a prestigious ceremony in Dublin Castle today by former cyclist Lancy Armstrong who christened the bike using a bottle of Four Provinces 'The Piper IPA'. He hailed the bike as a great leap forward in competitive and amateur cycling.
"This is a massive step. To combine a musical instrument and a bike is just genius. It's definately the strangest thing I've ever seen and I've seen my arms swell 3 sizes from steroid use! This definately trumps that!"
"All credit has to go to the creator and of course the cyclists themselves. They're the ones who'll be riding this thing and it doesn't look easy. They wouldn't let me take part after last year. I don't think they want another Guinness-doping scandal on their hands."
The bike was created by master uilleann pipe maker Cillian O'Briain especially for the event. He described how he employed old parts of uilleann pipes to create the ultimate uilleann pipes bike.
"I used around 4 or 5 sets of pipes for the bike. The handle bars are made from a chanter, the brake handles are regulators as you can see and the brakes themselves are made from waxed hemp. The frame of the bike is made from 2 main stocks, one half set and one full set of pipes."
He went on in detail about the rest of the bike, describing how he used two half sets to connect the front wheel and a set of regulators to attach the back. Two bags are also placed on the pedals for comfort while a bellows is used as saddle.
O'Briain said he is not taking anymore orders on bikes for the next 50 years. He also said he imagines the cyclists will make some racket as they make their way to Miltown Malbay.
"The Pipes-bike isn't just a bike, it's actually playable! Sure it's got all the parts there. All you have to do is squeeze your arse to get the bellows going, your fingers are on the chanter handle-bars and your feet are pedalling those bags. If you want the regs you just use the brakes or smash them with your knees. Beautiful."
If you would like to know more about the Reels on Wheels 2015 or sponsor one of this year's cyclists visit: