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Cycling club celebrates artwork at Bidwell Park

Chico+Velo+Club+board+members+pose+before+cutting+the+ribbon+for+the+%22Decide+and+Ride%22+sculpture+at+One+Mile+Park.+Photo+credit%3A+Michael+Arias
Chico Velo Club board members pose before cutting the ribbon for the

Chico Velo Club board members pose before cutting the ribbon for the "Decide and Ride" sculpture at One Mile Park. Photo credit: Michael Arias

Chico Velo Club board members pose before cutting the ribbon for the "Decide and Ride" sculpture at One Mile Park. Photo credit: Michael Arias

Michael Arias

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The sculpture named “Decide and Ride” was officially recognized by the public Friday afternoon at the ribbon-cutting ceremony where people gathered to take a look at the new art piece in Bidwell Park.

The Chico Velo Club started fundraising for the art project in late 2012. After meetings and discussions with the Park and Natural Resources division, the club was finally able to create the art piece that honors Ed McLaughlin and the sport of cycling.

With the total cost coming to $12,000, local artist Jeff Lindsay was put to work to create the sculpture that now occupies the corner of land right next to One Mile bridge.

Janine Rood, executive director of the Chico Velo Club, said that she and the club are thrilled to have the project complete. Even though it was an unfamiliar experience in proposing a piece of public art, the hard work was worth it.

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Executive director of the Chico Velo Club, Janine Rood, thanks all the people that helped contribute to the creation of the “Decide and Ride” sculpture in One Mile Park. Photo credit: Michael Arias

 

“It’s because of Ed that we have all these bike paths,” Rood said.

McLaughlin not only contributed to the bike paths in Chico, but his efforts can be seen in the Upper Bidwell Park road closure for bicyclists as well as the bike racks placed on the B-Line, Butte County’s public transit system.

Ed McLaughlin, a cycling enthusiast and advocate, died at age 67 in 2012 due to illness. His legacy and efforts were discussed aloud at One Mile recreation area that day.

As the board of Chico Velo executives took turns remembering McLaughlin, one man called him the “nucleus” of Chico cycling.

But the sculpture serves another purpose in addition to McLaughlin’s memorial. It is also a safe place for cyclists to meet up and ride.

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Board members of the Chico Velo Club smile as they cut the ribbon to present the “Decide and Ride” sculpture at One Mile Park. Photo credit: Michael Arias

 

The sculpture’s location was not randomly selected. The spot it now occupies has been the meeting place for cyclists in the club, as well as other local riders, for years.

“Decide and Ride” is named after the mileage and directional components the sculpture has on it. Cyclists can discover the paths’ mileage and destination by reading the monument.

“Decide and Ride” is the first, of hopefully many, new pieces of public art to come from the Chico Velo Club, Rood said.

Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @mikey_arias on Twitter.

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Cycling club celebrates artwork at Bidwell Park