Scribbling To Vegas!

Bike Scribbling LIVE at Interbike!

Last year this Bikechik went to Interbike to see what she could see.  Darn near made my head spin clean off!  There, primarily, in a journalistic capacity I was a total NEWB, an Interbike virgin!  By the time I’d gotten the lay of the land it was time to go home.  Well this year I am returning a veteran (maybe that’s over-stating).  I’m armed and dangerous and bringing the Bike Scribbles along for the ride!  I’ll be painting a Bike Scribble on canvas LIVE in the Urban Legend Lounge (they’ll have beer there!) and raffling it off to benefit Kids on Bikes, Bikes For Kids Foundation and 1,000 Bikes Foundation.  Raffle tix are two bucks ($2.00 US) each.

Every $200 donated provides a deserving child with a bike, helmet, lock and school based curriculum including bike safety education.

You’ll even get a sticker like this for your trouble:

Such a deal!

Please click on links to learn more about these wonderful charities.

And please spread the word!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Bike Scribbling LIVE at Interbike!
Raffle of painting to benefit charities that provide bikes to disadvantaged youth.

What: Cycling artist Kathleen King will be painting a Bike Scribble, live at Interbike.  The 6″x 5″ canvas entitled “Vegas or Bust” will interpret the Interbike experience as a Bike Scribble.  Acrylic on canvas stretched on a gallery wrap frame. Estimated value: $6,000. A sketch of the design will be displayed in the painting area.

Why: The painting will be raffled off to benefit three cycling charities that focus on providing bikes for disadvantaged youth. Raffle tickets will cost $2 each. Those who purchase raffle tickets will receive Bike Scribble stickers. Purchase as many tickets as you like!

Who: www.kidsonbikes.net Colorado; www.bikesforkidsfoundation.org California; http://1000bikes.org LA, NYC, Boston, Las Vegas

Where: Interbike, show floor, Sands convention center  – The Urban Legend Lounge will have coffee in the AM, full bar in the PM, free wifi, and bikes and commuter gear on display. Grab a coffee and a colleague to do some business, or enjoy a beer during the 3rd annual Urban Legend Fashion Show. The Fashion show will be held twice this year; Wed and Thurs at 3:30pm – be there!

When: All five days of Interbike – September 20 – 24. Winner will be chosen at noon on Friday the 24th.

Ultimate Why:  Because every childhood should have a bicycle in it.

Bike Scribbles on display in Morro Bay

Join us for a party…!

Bike Scribbles
and other works on canvas
by
Kathleen King

Artist’s Reception 6 pm to 8 pm Thursday May 27th 2010

@ Top Dog Coffee Bar
857 Main Street
Morro Bay CA
map
805•772•9225
310•663•2561

The good folks at Top Dog Coffee Bar have graciously allowed me to adorn their walls for the next month. There are Scribbles of all types and my abstract seascapes as well. Please join us on Thursday evening for Top Dog’s famed munchies, signature roasted coffee and local wines. We can all howl as the full moon rises over the central coast. You’ll find us in the middle of Main Street in Morro Bay.

You can also find @Topdogcoffeebar and me: @bikechik on Twitter

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

The Comeback Trail

We’re going to play a little game called “find the bike or cyclist in this picture”. I didn’t plan on it but there were so many cyclists training on this road I just went with it. There’s one in about every other shot.

Click on the photos to enlarge and they’ll be easier to see.


The subtitle of this blog is: “It’s All Terrifying and it’s All Beautiful”. Never before have I witnessed a scene that exemplified that sentiment so well as what I am about to show you. As many of you know the neighborhoods around East and West Mountain Road in Santa Barbara were laid waste by the Tea Fire. That road is the way to the infamous “beyond category” 3,998 ft alt. hill climb simply known as “Gibraltar Road” and therefore a favorite haunt of cyclists including myself.


I watched as the 300 ft flames climbed into the sky that night and roared, fast, ferocious and deadly down the hillsides, whipped by 70 mph winds. I prayed for the people in those houses. “Run! Get out!” I whispered under my breath. When the fires had all been put out I made a point to ride up to that area on the days that followed, my goal being this:

What had happened to the art collector with the sculpture garden and the cyclist fashioned into a mailbox? I had to know. It took over a week to get there. Edison crews pulled the barricades back a block at a time as they replaced the torched telephone poles.

Here he is today:


As I rode past driveways I knew well I saw instead the houses that high hedgerows had hidden, now reduced to smoking ruins. The air was still oppressive, the smell of smoke filling my nostrils. I rode slower and slower and slower… I couldn’t take my eyes off the blackened smoldering hillsides, the trees, the mailboxes, the twisted metal and wire of all the things that days before had been an everyday part of someone’s home.

No time to get the mail.

This bike tried to run from the fire by climbing a tree.

I wasn’t alone. There were other cyclists and motorists and joggers. We all had the same look on our faces. The way people look at a wake for a child. All I could think about was how horrific that night must have been, to be trapped in one of these canyons. I could see how the hungry fire had fingered through the creek beds like a thief, torching the trees from underneath, curling up the embankments to devour everything. The power had gone out shortly after the fire had started. No light to gather your belongings, children, pets. No street lamps to show a way through the thick smoke. The few narrow roads out must have been chaos. I have never been filled with such sorrow simply looking at a landscape. On the first trip I couldn’t take any photos. I would raise my camera and slowly lower it back down and turn it off. The camera couldn’t see the way it felt. I slogged back the way I came and didn’t pick up my pedal stroke until my path was greener and I was beyond the burn zone.

I resolved to return and document, document, document. When I did I began to see such beauty. Cast-iron black trees against blue sky and chocolate earth. A thousand shades of umber, sienna and rust. Then on the last trip… GREEN! Like a fresh splash of cool life on the eyeballs, NATURE was coming back. And that made it even more beautiful. I wish I was more of a photographer with a proper camera and lenses because I can’t hope to do it justice. My friend Carson Blume, cycling photographer, is sick this week otherwise I would have got him up here. I hope you get the idea anyway.

Green


Remember Christo? The artist who wrapped an island in pink plastic? I know it’s hard to see but this is an entire hillside wrapped in burlap. It looks so surreal up close and it’s BIG.

More burlap hill
(see tiny cyclist?)

A sculpture I could not see before because it was beyond the gate, obscured by trees.

Kind of proud of my calves these days. They’re not massive or anything but I’ve always had trouble growing them and for me they are huge. Thanks for reading and Enjoy your rides!

And Suddenly… BIKE ART!!

“1 km”
© Kathleen King 2008

While the memory of exactly when Crayola’s Big Box of 64 entered my world is lost in the fuzzy recollections of the toddler brain, the day I savored my first taste of freedom is clear as an early spring day.

On my fourth birthday I received a grape purple Schwinn ‘big kid’ BIKE! It came with training wheels… I tooled around on the driveway for about 20 minutes, marched into the kitchen and demanded they be taken off. My mother all flustered, my dad with a knowing grin stood 20 feet apart on the blacktop and pushed me back and forth standing farther and farther apart with each pass. After about 15 minutes of that I circled the drive a few times and rolled off down he hill. I was FREE. I yelled to my mom that I’d be back before dark.

I went to explore the canyons and visit all my little friends. To her credit, Mom, instead of freaking out and shrieking at me to come back ( I was only four) simply got on the phone to all my little friend’s moms and proceeded to track my progress through the neighborhood with the accuracy of NORAD, as I flew by kitchen window after kitchen window. It was 1968.

I became a professional artist at 19 when I sold my first painting, quit my day job and later dropped out of school (oops). But it’s taken 25 years of painting and 40 years on two wheels for the love of cycling to make the trip from my heart to my brain where it finally trickled down my right arm and hit the canvas.

So here it is, my first ever bike painting. It does have a precedent in my body of work, for those of you who are serious art enthusiasts. It follows from a series called “Scribbles” (for obvious reasons). You can see more Scribbles on my website if you like.

I’m serving it up here for ‘my people’, my bike people, like my first born. But don’t feel you have to tell me the baby is pretty. Please express whatever you’d like. The point of ART is neither to be ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but to make you think and ultimately feel in a way that you hadn’t thought or felt before you looked at it. If you happen to enjoy it, well heck, that’s gravy!

Yes, there will be more joining this one soon, pedaling hard on his heels about to catch…