Two Brooklyn bicycle enthusiasts are turning their love of riding into a public art project, with their bikes as paintbrushes. Pepin Gelardi and Teresa Herrmann are co-inventors of the Contrail, a device that lets a small amount of paint onto the tire of your bike, leaving temporary coloured lines behind you. “When many people ride with Contrail,” they say, “the result is a colorful path which illustrates where bicycles are riding.”

There’s nothing shady about that paint, either- “Contrail uses washable, non-toxic chalking fluid made from eco-friendly pigments” that fade with wear, time and rain. The project has a pretty huge monetary hurdle before it can be snapped onto every bike in the city, though. Right now, each product costs $1000 to produce, but with a bulk purchase (enough to create 2000 Contrails), they will be on the market for $29. That’s where you come in!


Pepin and Teresa are asking for donations on their Kickstarter page to raise the $10,000 they need to start selling Contrails to the public and giving them away to non-profits and community organizations, our favourite of which will turn the morning trip to school into an artistic journey.

Working with the Biddeford Maine Community Bicycle Center, the City of Biddeford, Maine and local businesses, we want to develop a system of safe routes for young adults to bicycle to school. Local businesses will help fund signage and extra crossing guards to ensure that these routes are as safe as can be. To celebrate and illustrate the new paths, over a designated week students will ride from school to their neighborhoods and back using donated Contrails. The result will be a path of lines that converge and grow brighter as they approach the school.


As well as the satisfaction you’ll get from helping such an innovative project, you also get a little treat as thanks for your donation; from the access to behind the scenes project updates and a personalised Thank You note for your $5 pledge, to a custom-designed Contrail named after you for pledges over $2000, you’re not going to be empty-handed. Read more about the project and donate here.