The community is invited to the unveiling of Mercer Island’s newest piece of public art, the Cyclemates’ bike sculpture, at an outdoor reception along Sunset Highway from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 13th. The presentation to the City will take place at 2 p.m.
The sculpture honors the 24-year legacy of Cyclemates, the junior-high and middle-school students who, led by their teacher Fran Call, bicycled on long-distance summer adventures around the West and across the country, between 1969 and 1993.
On some trips, the young teens pedaled nearly 4,500 miles from Mercer Island to the East Coast, on trips lasting two months. They earned and managed their own money, carried their own gear, camped at night and averaged more than 80 miles a day. All this with no sag wagon, no parent chaperones, no cell phones – only their young teacher who had confidence in their ability.
Last winter some Cyclemates organized “Cyclemates Bike” to plan and raise funds for a life-sized bronze sculpture to commemorate their unforgettable experiences and the impact they have had on their lives. The Cyclemates Bike committee is comprised of Laurie Lyford, Duane Eng, Jane Meyer Brahm, Fran Call and artist Robbi DeVries. The foundry artist is Ed Kroupa.
The goal was to raise $40,000 for the sculpture, to be installed on a granite base. Thanks to the generosity of many former Cyclemates, members of Call’s Outdoor Fitness classes, current “Solemates” (Call’s senior walking group) and various friends and supporters, the fundraising goal was exceeded in just six months.
“The majestic piece of art will be presented to the City of Mercer Island for permanent display,” said Laurie Lyford, head of alumna of Cyclemates III, which rode from Mercer Island to Halifax, Nova Scotia. “It will commemorate the feats of hundreds of intrepid kids who rose to extraordinary challenges and made their community proud.”
The unveiling will take place at the sculpture site located just east of 76th Ave. S.E. along Sunset Highway and north of Aljoya Retirement Community. The festivities will include refreshments. The sculpture and its future maintenance is a gift to the city entirely paid for by private donations and coordinated through the Mercer Island Arts Council.
For more information, contact Jane Meyer Brahm, 206-232-0701.