Cycle the Arts to provide public art tours in Scottsdale

Cycle the Arts, a two-weekend event, rides into Scottsdale with hopes of providing public art tours via bicycle for the various artworks around the city at a slow pace.

The first half of the free event is slated for 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 8 and will feature tours in south Scottsdale. North Scottsdale will get its turn at 7 a.m. Sunday April 15.

“Cycle the Arts is a great way for residents of Scottsdale to learn the stories behind the public art they see every day around town, or discover pieces they might not have known existed,” Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, a public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art, said in a prepared statement.

“Each stop on the ride features either the artist who designed the piece, a board member who approved the piece or a staff member who managed the piece to share in-depth information and answer questions from riders.”

Mr. Vaughn-Brubaker said Cycle the Arts is also a great way for visitors to enjoy Scottsdale’s urban desert setting and to learn more about various destinations throughout the city.

The 10-mile south Scottsdale route on April 8 will include 13 stops at notable pieces like Bronze Horse Fountain in Scottsdale’s 5th Avenue Shopping District, Rippling Waters Bridge over the Crosscut Canal at Oak Street and Diamond Bloom at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West in Old Town, a press release states.

A monumental sculpture in Old Town Scottsdale that’s a part of Scottsdale’s public art program. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

The 30-mile north Scottsdale route on April 15 will have fewer stops, but it will include multiple pieces at some of the stops, according to a release.

Featured art includes Curiosities at Mustang Public Library, Cactus Mirage at McDowell Mountain Ranch Park and Aquatic Center, and a few new projects — some still in progress — at SOHO Scottsdale, a live/work luxury community.

Susan Conklu, senior transportation planner for the city, said she enjoys coordinating Cycle the Arts in conjunction with Scottsdale Public Art because it combines two of her passions, art and bicycles, in one event.

“I like meeting bike riders who are just learning about public art for the first time, as well as friends of Scottsdale Public Art who may be newer to bike riding in Scottsdale,” Ms. Conklu said in a prepared statement.

“We mix them all together on an easy-paced ride that includes ride rules at the beginning to teach safe biking operations. Our routes often feature new pieces of artwork and recently constructed bike infrastructure.”

Both events offer participants a special arts experience, with the April 8 ride designed to be family friendly and the longer April 15 ride providing more of a challenge for seasoned cyclists. Participants in each event will receive free T-shirts from Valley Metro and the City of Scottsdale.

Helmets are required for both rides and riders are encouraged to bring water.

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