Hi everyone. My gallery, website, blog and store are now all in one place:www.Bikechik.com Please update you bookmarks and come over for a visit. All the news about Bike Scribbles and my travels will now be updated there, including the story about this:
Thank you for your readership these past four years. See you at the new place! -Kathleen
The good folks at Top Dog Coffee Bar have graciously allowed me to adorn their walls for the next month. There are Scribbles of all types and my abstract seascapes as well. Please join us on Thursday evening for Top Dog's famed munchies, signature roasted coffee and local wines. We can all howl as the full moon rises over the central coast. You'll find us in the middle of Main Street in Morro Bay.
When I was a baby I had carrot red, bone straight hair. For the first day of kindergarten my mother had it cut in the fashion of the day - the "Peter Pan" cut. The carrot red had darkened. Instead of making friends everyone said I looked like a boy and I went home in tears. I didn't want to go back until it had grown down to my shoulders. It took all the bravery a five-year-old could muster to get on that bus for the second day. By second grade it was long again but somehow wavy and dishwater blonde??? This persisted until...puberty. Something about those crazy hormones. The red magically reappeared. For sixth grade graduation I was a strawberry-blonde frizzball. Thank god Stevie Nicks made this look popular!
I struggled through junior high trying to figure out what to do with it until fate and Mom, again, stepped in. I had to have a major operation on my spine and would need to be in the hospital for a long time. Mom thought a perm would tame the mane and ease the management. It was genius. The frizz went away - FOREVER - and the bramble bush became oodles and oodles of 'cascadading' curls.
When I at last stood upright from my convalescence the compliments began. My hair became my glorious crown. I would get stopped in the street several times a week by strangers "You have such beautiful hair!" they would say. I had to wear a body cast and then brace for a year. High school boys are no more kind than kindergarteners. I had terrible acne for years. But no matter what else went wrong I could always count on The Hair. After each compliment I would always say the same thing: "Thank you very much, but I had nothing to do with it. It's a gift. It just grows."
I had heard of Locks of Love many years ago and stuck it in the back of my head - 'I have to do that one day'. I kept thinking about the little girl who had the gift of The Hair she could always count on until leukemia or some other greedy illness robbed her of her crown. I had to share. But the one trait The Hair lacks is that it does not grow long very well. Locks of Love requires a minimum of ten inches in a ponytail or braid. It would start to get straggly and I'd lose my nerve.
Eight months ago I looked in the mirror and saw - gasp! - a few white hairs growing out from the top of my head. It was now or never. It was of no use to my strawberry sisters if it turned gray.
I have spent more money on conditioner in the last eight months than in any five years of my life. But it was so worth it! The Hair grew long and survived until it was long enough for the ten inch ponytail.
Strawberry Sister, wherever you are, I lend you my crown. Beauty does indeed come from within but your road is hard enough without having to walk it with a cold head. You should have a choice of whether to be bald or not. All philosophizing aside every girl is entitled to feel pretty - whatever pretty means to her. Walk tall.
"Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing, turn out your toes as you walk -- and remember who youare!"
- The Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
My ponytail will not be enough. It takes six to ten ponytails to make one wig. So if you've heard "You have such beautiful hair!" all your life then grow, grow, grow and give! You'll never regret it. And in this day of "going green" what could be a more renewable resource?
In the fall of 2009 my road led back to the Central Coast of California and the little town of Atascadero.
I was met by it's wonderful inhabitants and some of the best cycling terrain I've ever had the pleasure to explore.
With breathtaking scenery on all sides that often had me whispering to myself "I'm soooo lucky!" I set about to regain some of the fitness I'd lost between Interbike and Thanksgiving.
I asked the locals where the main bike shop was and they pointed me in the direction of Kman Cycle and Run. My aging "Fiery Steed" was already having saddle slipping issues. Also, Kman's sister website Team Kman (@teamkman) provided me with a comprehensive list of trail maps incuding mileages that I went to right away to plan my training routes. It was a great way to get acquainted with the area.
My friend Martha VanInwegen (@marthvan) lives in Atascadero and, knowing me, also mentioned that Kman's had a BIG BLANK WALL that might be hungry for a Bike Scribble! Hmmm, do tell!
Well, I'm a muralist at rock bottom so while I may love to paint on canvas and draw on paper, I pretty much want to put everything I do on a big wall in the open air. Ever since I painted the first Bike Scribble on canvas I wanted to see it on a bike shop wall.
To my surprise, when I met with the owner Keith "KMan" Schmidt and his wife Robyn, they were smitten with the concept straight away. I don't think I've ever seen a project come together more quickly.
Keith "Kman" Schmidt
I chose my colors from the landscape of vineyards, olive orchards, lakes and lavender sunsets.
We met the first week in December and by January 8th the Scribbles were spinning vibrantly on the two story wall and visible from Highway 101. While I wasn't sure why I chose Atascadero for the next chapter when I arrived, now the purpose is absolutely clear.
While there were some grumblings from the city about needing sign permits and such, nothing in that regard has materialized. The City of Atascadero doesn't really have a public art policy or process and we're hoping, now that some redevelopment in the historic downtown area is planned, that public art will be a larger part of those plans.
With any luck this mural is the first of many. The plan is to have a whole peloton's worth of Bike Scribbles on as many LBSs (Local Bike Shop) as will have them, promoting the joy of cycling through public art. I've been talking to bike shop owners in several cities across the country and there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the energetic designs.
In between the brush strokes I've put in some delightful miles over the rolling hills from Atascadero north through Templeton to Paso Robles and west to Morro Bay. There are wineries and wildlife in every direction. The cycling community here is serious, dedicated, warm, wonderful and completely wacko in love with their region. I don't blame them. It's gorgeous here and I've made some great friends.
The Central Coast is Cycling Heaven.
On to the next Bike Scribble!
"@bikechik Thanks for sharing your great passion, inspired by riding through vineyards, indeed, almost a surfeit." -@RandallGrahm President, Bonny Doon Vineyard
A professional artist for 25 years with a major crush on cycling. Please see my website for a look at my extensive portfolio of public, commercial and residential murals and paintings on canvas. If you are interested in commissioning artwork please email me (click on profile link below). I love to travel, especially wherever there are good trails and bike races!