Gerards Artwork - bike and Rodney.jpg

Decorate Your Waka

We'd love to see you at the InMotion Matariki parade, along the Auckland waterfront, on Saturday 21st July 2018. But first you need to decorate your waka; whether it be a bike or a wheelchair.

Our friends at Lucid DreamBike are THE experts in decorating bikes (and wheelchairs) and we asked them to share a few tips. Here are a few inspiring ideas for creating a lantern to decorate your wheels.


We love riding bikes at night! It's joyous, fun and the key to a surreal parallel city where anything is possible. You too can turn your own bike or wheelchair into a Lucid DreamBike: a magical waka that allows you to explore the city.

We've experimented with different ways of doing this. It can be as simple as wrapping a string of LED fairy lights around your bike or wheelchair frame to the very elaborate. How far you want to go is up to you !!!

We try to make use of free or cheap, and ideally recycled materials and do our best to avoid buying low quality stuff that ends up in the landfill. This year we have decided to focus on designs that work with the front and rear lights we use on our bikes when we are riding at night. Bike lights are great because:

  • they are usually lightweight
  • they are bright
  • they are often USB rechargeable
  • you have 2 lights: a white light and a red one
  • most have built in flashing and pulsing functions so your lantern can flash and pulse too!
  • they are pretty easy to attach inside a lantern, and
  • they don't create waste

Things you'll need for lantern making

  • bamboo skewers are great
  • masking Tape
  • PVA Glue
  • tracing Paper is great but experiment with other kinds of paper
  • coloured pens and paints
  • clear selotape


  • use a white light inside your paper lantern
  • use coloured paper to create the colour your want

And always .... make sure that it is safe to ride still!

Other ideas ...

  • go to your local recycling centre or Op shop first and see what you can find. You can sometimes find paper lanterns and that is great because you don't need to buy new ones and they get another life . Experiment with different materials such as cardboard boxes, paper coffee cups, balloons, plastic flowers and foliage.
  • decking your bike out with flowers and green leaves and weaving a few fairy lights through them. It's really up to you what you do. The trick is to make something that is fun for you that you can ride with safely and with style.
  • if you use battery LED fairy lights think about creating tiny paper lanterns for each light and stringing them above your bike from bamboo.
  • bamboo is a great material for this, you can create rigid or bendy structures to hang lights from and cut up old tyre inner tubes into strips and lash bamboo sticks onto your bike to hang lanterns. Also think about bendy irrigation hose to create a loop over your handlebars to hang a lantern from.
  • try fixing different bells on your handle bars to bring some sound into your creation.

There are tonnes of great ideas out there - have a look on the internet for inspiration, put aside a day in the weekend and see what you can come up with.

Night Light riding makes it it easy and fun for existing riders to invite friends and family of all ages to join them !!


A bit about Lucid DreamBike

Lucid DreamBike are a group of friends who have been working in recent years creating beautiful collaborative bike spectaculars in our home town of Wellington and around the country. In the summer of 2016 we created a magical night bicycle of performance and art spread around some secret unexplored parts of wellington lighting up the bikes of participants and the streets of the city. We had so much fun that we have continued doing thus and coming up with new ideas on how to use the bicycle, art, music and performance to create a magical version of the city for all who want to enter it.