As subtle as a flying brick.

Bikes as art as bikes as art as etc.

The bike racing world has a tradition of attention-getting designs, but some spectators at this year’s Tours of California or France might have done double-takes at some of the art on Lance Armstrong’s rides. As it turns out, Trek and Nike have commissioned custom designs promoting Livestrong, and as I write this Lance is cycling into Paris on a bike covered with butterfly wings, courtesy of Damien Hirst.

Along with the Hirst piece, TdF fans have been able to see Armstrong riding art by Shepard Fairey, Yoshitomo Nara, and Mark Newson.

If you happen to be in Paris, you can attend the Stages (warning: Autoplay Flash video/audio) exhibition, which opened on the 17th and features some of the bikes and commissioned art by Ed Ruscha, Raymond Pettibon, Andreas Gursky, and more. After the show’s over, the bikes will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

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