Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 is Dancing on the Pedals from the Starting Line

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!
(photo courtesy of Todd Ventura (@tventura)

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


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, in word, deed and spirit. Makes me want to hop on my old "Log" and ride into the sunset.

Anonymous said...

what a fantabulous mural! I love the energy and the colors! I look forward to seeing it on my travels up and down Hwy 101! may you do one in Ventura soon!

PS can I post it on my bikgergo blog?

Mark Glenesk said...

Excellent - Very nice art on the K-wall. A-town needs public art - I hope you are able to get some commissions for downtown during this redevelopment process.

Paul Mickelson said...

I would love to see more of these throughout California. Start with the side of my house!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for creating a beautiful and FUN art piece for north county!

Kk said...

Thank you for your compliments. Encouraging more people to ride is what it's all about.

Mark and Artpredator, from your lips to God's ears. Paul, where's your house? Jennifer, my pleasure.

DarbyRides™ said...

It's sexy/awesome!

cookeecut said...

Stunning, beautiful artwork!

Len Colamarino said...

Thanks, Kathleen, for gracing our community with your joyous cycling art. And the pictures and text that you put on your blog express well how fortunate we are to be able to live and ride in northern San Luis Obispo County. We hope that you will take up residence here and start riding with us regularly, as well as producing more public art for Atascadero.