In 2012, Chico Velo started the Ed McLaughlin Art Program to fund, build and maintain bicycle-related art in and around Chico. Ed McLaughlin, the founder of Chico Velo, had two great passions: bicycling and art. The Ed McLaughlin Art Program will allow the community to honor and remember his significant contribution to Chico and to bicycling.
Our first art piece, Decide and Ride, installed in 2015, is a bicycling-related functional art piece at One-Mile to designate the regular ride start meeting place for local cyclists on Vallombrosa Way. We began fundraising in late 2012. After the concept was presented to the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission in 2014 and met with enthusiasm, we moved forward with planning the project. We met with Park and Natural Resources Manager Dan Efseaff on-site to discuss potential locations, hired local artist Jeff Lindsay and developed a concept for the art piece. The foundation and installation was generously donated by Modern Construction.
The goals for the design are two-fold. First, to promote recreational bicycling for all abilities and define a recognizable, safe gathering point for bicyclists, at One-Mile on Vallombrosa Way for scheduled rides or decide and ride options. Our second goal is to provide information about ride destinations, mileages and wind direction in a fun and visually attractive way. The wayfinding info includes two popular cycling routes (name, round-trip distance, and elevation gain) in each direction (detailed info on all routes will be available on the Chico Velo website):
Cohasset to dirt – 45 mi, 3410 ft
Woodson Bridge – 62 mi, 740 ft
Durham – 12 mi, 70 ft
Table Mountain – 60 mi, 2520 ft
Honey Run/Neal – 33 mi, 1670 ft
Forest Ranch – 33 mi, 2530 ft
River Road – 15 mi, 135 ft
Paskenta – 100 mi, 2210 ft
Decide and Ride is located just north of the One-Mile bridge on the triangle of grass adjacent to the sidewalk on Vallombrosa Way. This area currently suffers from foot traffic ‘cutting the corner’ preventing grass from growing, resulting in dirt/mud. The art piece will mediate a barren patch of lawn in addition to encouraging cyclists to meet in a safe location, and help reduce congestion at the entrance to the One-Mile parking lot.
We hope you’ll enjoy both the art and the function of Decide and Ride. Check back here to learn more about future bike-related art projects in and around Chico!
We selected local artist Jeff Lindsay because of his experience in producing public art for the City of Chico and his ties to bicycling. Jeff founded Mountain Goat Cycles, one of the first mountain bike manufacturers in the US, in Chico in the 1980s. As the owner of Red Hot Metal, Inc., his focus is on public, commercial and residential art. Examples of his public art in Chico abound, including the Steve Harrison Bike Path ‘chainring arches’, the Annie’s Glen Tunnel metalwork and the screens shielding the utility hardware just outside the City Municipal building on West 4th Street (below). Jeff Lindsay has a proven reputation for excellence in public art design and installation.