Bike Scribbles as Sculpture

Bike Scribbles as Sculpture

Kathleen King is an artist and cyclist best known for the pieces she creates called “Bike Scribbles.” Her stuff has appeared at the Tour of California on the road in chalk, painted on walls and plenty of paper. For the first time ever, she’s created a sculpture of her work, adding a rich new dimension to her art.

I love Kathleeen’s work because the look is so kinetic; she really captures the movement of a bike, of a peloton. I also love her use of bright, bold colors; earth tones and pastels don’t ping her radar.

She created a very large sculpture that’s been erected outside of San Diego.

Her original illustration, titled “Peloton Takes the Cucamonga Curve.” 

I’m going to let Kathleen tell the story herself:

A developer from Pasadena is building a commercial structure in Rancho Cucamonga. The City of RC has a “one percent for art” program – a requirement that 1 percent of a commercial construction project total budget must be spent on public art OR pay that amount in the form of a fee to the City. 

Water jet cutting one of the scribbles.

The developer, who enjoys cycling himself, said he saw clubs riding through the area all the time and since the building was on a wide corner lot, he thought a sculpture of cyclists rounding the corner would be ideal.

A scribble right off the cutter.

As luck would have it, I had just chalked the course at Redlands Classic. Organizers were happy enough with the results to include it in press coverage, which the developer saw. He looked me up and decided my work was perfect for what he was imagining. 

Kathleen with a stack of cut scribbles.

“Peloton Takes the Cucamonga Curve” depicts 9 riders (on eight wheels). Each rider has a nickname and represents a classic member of a group ride. The sculpture covers an area 26’ x 10’ x 10’ and is made from waterjet-cut steel, coated with acrylic paint. The colors selected reflect the kit colors of the clubs native to San Bernardino County, and the vineyards of Rancho Cucamonga’s history.

The piece was created at The Fire Garden in Bonsall (San Diego County). My partner in life, Jerry Page, partnered with me every step of the way on this project as well. Jerry’s 30-year career in massage therapy paved the way for his involvement in the leadership, development, and management of paracycling, and professional men’s and women’s teams. Welding, structural, and technical support was provided by “fire artist” Tony D’Aula, owner of The Fire Garden, an outdoor event space.

Painting the primed pieces.

I refer to public art as “installing the human spirit in the landscape”. I am so grateful (overjoyed, frankly) for the opportunity to install the presence of cyclists, permanently, on the road in an urban landscape – a testament that we are here, we belong, and we are joyful! I love it when a cyclist can see themselves in my work, which I got a huge dose of when the Swami’s Gurus came out to the preview party. I love it even more when someone who hasn’t ridden a bike since childhood remembers the freedom and fun and says with a wistful grin: “I should start riding again!”

Assembly of the painted sculptures.

A lot of my work now is focused on populating greenways trails, bike/walk trails, and Rails to Trails projects with equally lively public art—not just my own creations but those of other artists as well. I believe art completes the benefit of a trail experience by exercising and revitalizing the mind and spirit as the body is also renewed by the fresh air and sunshine we all need.

Please keep in mind that I will be excerpting individual riders and segments of this piece to create smaller individual steel sculptures, including smaller versions of the entire piece, in case anyone would like to commission a Bike Scribble of their very own.

Swami’s members with the sculpture.

To learn more about Kathleen’s work, you can visit her site A Surfeit of Passion.

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    1. Kathleen King

      Thank you, Terrabiketours! It is in our plans to bring the Bike Scribble to Europe. The dream is to install a unique piece on an iconic cycling route. If you know of any likely sponsors, corporate or private, who could help us make that a reality, let’s connect!

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