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Medal Designs

I fill my travel-restricted days by reading online newsletters and watching online documentaries and other programs. One of those shows is called Saved and Remade. People bring treasured but unused belongings to the Saved and Remade team, who reimagine and transform them into functional items.

In one segment a pile of swimming medals was transformed into fish-shaped wall display.

Wall Art courtesy of Elizabeth Knowles at bbc.com

Some of these swimming medals are plain, while others look interesting. Seeing those medals made me look at the designs of the cycling medals in my collection.

Most are simple designs. The medals display the name of the event and incorporate a cyclist or a bicycle component in the design.

The 2015 Kedah Century medal mimics a bicycle chain ring.

The medal from the 2015 Janamanjung Fellowship Ride includes a cyclist and a bicycle chain ring.

A bit more thought went into the design of the medal from the 2019 Bentong-Raub Golden Ride. Like many others, this one features a cyclist. But it also stands out because of the Eddy Merckx quote.

A few designers incorporated in their medals an element unique to the event. A simple motif is the logo of the event host. Here the Avillion logo provides shape and colour to the 2017 Avillion Coastal Ride medal.

The designer of the medal for the 2016 Perak Century Ride must have been a soccer fan. That medal includes a Gaur or Seladang. The mascot of the Perak F.C. semi-professional soccer team. The design also has an outline of the state of Perak.

Another medal showing a geographical outline was handed out after the 2018 Campaign for a Lane ride. This medal has a map of Penang island that includes locations along the ride route.

Two medal designs that incorporate cultural motifs come from the Melaka Century rides. The 2014 medal contains a depiction of the A’Famosa Fort. The Portuguese fort is a historical landmark in Melaka. It dates to 1512.

The 2015 Melaka Century Ride medal is in the shape of a Tengkolok. A tengkolok is the traditional Malay headgear that forms part of the formal regalia of the Agung (King) of Malaysia. The tengkolok is also part of the formal attire of Sultans and the Yang DiPertuan Besar, the monarchical state rulers.

A more recent landmark to appear on a cycling medal is the Sri Wawasan Bridge. Putrajaya is the Federal administrative centre of Malaysia. It is a planned city built around a man-made lake. Eight bridges of different architecture cross Putrajaya Lake. The Sri Wawasan Bridge is a longitudinally asymmetric cable‐stayed box-girder bridge with an inverted-Y shape concrete/steel pylon 96 metres / 315 feet high. The main span is 165 metres / 541 feet long.

Sponsor logos rarely feature on the cycling medals I have collected. The same is true of this medal, despite it being from the 2012 Amstel Gold Race sportive. Dutch beer brewer Amstel has served as the race’s title sponsor since its creation in 1966. This medal naturally carries the Amstel name. It also includes a group of cyclists crossing a finish line together. In a clever nod to the sponsor, this medal doubles as a bottle opener.

These rather plain medals display the logo of the Audax Club Parisien and part of a bicycle wheel. The Audax Club Parisien is the governing body for randonneuring worldwide. 

The key differentiators are the colour of the medals and stripes. As well as the numerals. These medals were awarded to cyclists who had successfully completed an Audax ride of the stated distance. I earned 200km, 400km, 300km and one more 200km medals between 2016 and 2019.

Photograph courtesy of audax.ph

I included these medals because they reflect conscious design choices that are updated every four years. The design above was for 2015 to 2019. The 2020 to 2023 medals are below.

Photograph courtesy of wizbiker.com

Some design elements – the Audax Club Parisien logo, the colours of the medal and stripes and the text denoting the distance, and a bicycle wheel – have been kept. New elements are the round shape, a loop to hang the medal on a chain and the partial map of the world. I assume the inclusion of the map is recognition that randonneuring has become a global sport.

I have a 200km and a 300km medal from the latest series. I don’t see another 400km or a 600km or 1,000km medal in my future.

Cycling events in Malaysia became much less prevalent after one organiser absconded with the registration fees he had collected for a century ride in 2016. I picked up a few more participation medals in the following three years. And nothing since the COVID-19 restrictions on mass-participation events. It will be some time before I can look at new cycling medal designs.

About alchemyrider

I left Malaysia in 2008 as a non-cyclist. I am back home now with three road bikes and all the paraphernalia that goes with being addicted to cycling.

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