Go Bike! Community Project: Bike rack or work of art?

A mural that was painted by community volunteers on a wall on Belvidere Street in honor of the Road World Championships. photo by brooke marsh

Adriel Velazquez
Contributing Writer

A mural that was painted by community volunteers on a wall on Belvidere Street in honor of the Road World Championships. photo by brooke marsh
A mural that was painted by community volunteers on a wall on Belvidere Street in honor of the Road World Championships. photo by brooke marsh

For an unconventional place to lock up cycles around the city, the Go Bike! project has facilitated the design of 30 individually designed bike racks to be installed all throughout Richmond.

The shape and design of the bike rack toppers is the work of John Sampson, a VCU graphic design student. Sampson’s design was chosen from a pool of more than 80 applicants.

“Art and bikes are huge in Richmond,” Sampson said. “This GoBike! project combines both to welcome the world to the UCI Road World Championships. The contest was a great opportunity to get creatively involved in the event.”

His wheel-like design includes 75 evenly spaced marks that point inward to represent the 75 nations that will be coming to Richmond next week. 

The toppers were made locally at OK Foundry, with patterns created by Tektonics. The bike racks were made at the City of Richmond’s Center for Workforce Innovation’s program which teaches welding to students.

There will be 30 bike rack toppers spread out among 30 locations around the city for the UCI World Championships, and each one will feature a unique design by a local artist and feature sponsor company branding. The participating artists are being curated by Ronald Johnson of the painting department at VCU. 

“The artists did amazing work,” Sampson said. “Many of the concepts and processes were mind-blowing.”

For companies who want to purchase a bike rack, it costs $5,000 for a regular sized bike rack and $10,000 for a larger bike corral. According to the website, each rack will feature an engraved plaque with the sponsor’s name or logo.

The money made from sponsers buying racks will go towards a design contest and the $2,500 award for the winning design that will distinguish all of the racks.

The organizers will manufacture the winning design using a local artisan, and provide a $1,000 stipend to each of the 30 local artists to create an original work of art based on the selected design.

For more information on the bike racks, including instructions on sponsoring one of the racks, visit the Go Bike! community project website.   

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