Arts Devo

Spring means bikes, sunshine and heavy metal

Jon Yunker owning the Whiskeydrome.

Jon Yunker owning the Whiskeydrome.

Photo by Ken Pordes

Welcome to the Whiskeydrome Last weekend was about as perfect as it gets in Chico—blue skies, sunshine, spring flowers, mid-70s temps, and tons of bikes! It was an especially inviting scene in downtown Chico on Sunday (March 31), as a few blocks were closed to traffic, and bike racers in skin-tight outfits zipped around an L-shaped course on day No. 3 of AMain Cycling’s three-day Chico Stage Race. As if that wasn’t wild enough, right in the middle of it all, racing at its own off-the-wall pace, was Greenline Cycle’s Chico Stage Race Party in the parking lot next to the Senator Theatre.

Sesar Sanchez of Lyfecoach.

Photo by Miles Claibourn

The annual event is a circus of bike, barbecue and beer fun, with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on hand, alongside food vendors and bike shenanigans—a bunny-hop bar, an army of tiny bikes for riding around the lot and, most impressively, the Whiskeydrome. The circular wooden structure is a cross between a velodrome and Thunderdome, and all the brave bikers spun around the thing sideways throughout the afternoon as local bands provided a soundtrack to the radness (full disclosure: Arts DEVO’s band of noise-making dorks was among those performing). It was a pretty perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. And, Greenline raised more than $2,000 for 6th Street Center for Youth. Nice work!

Camp Fire memorial On Monday (April 8), at 5:30 p.m., Chico State students, faculty and staff are collaborating for a community ceremony to “memorialize our loss, celebrate our resilience and strengthen our community” in the wake of the Camp Fire. The event will take place in the breezeway of Meriam Library and will feature speakers (including university President Gayle Hutchison), performers, a slideshow of photographs and poems, and a memorial art installation that members of the community are encouraged to contribute to in the coming weeks. A digital installation of the materials from the event will be collected on the university’s permanent Remembering the Ridge archive at

Most heavy A lot of metal bands come through Chico, and to be honest, it becomes a bit of a blur after a while—same huge amps, same Cookie Monster-howling, same everything. I still enjoy most of it, but it’s not often that I’m surprised by it. This Friday (April 5), however, The Maltese is hosting a show that just might get the old goose bumps erect as two especially brutal Seattle crews—Great Falls and Heiress—join new local madness-makers Lyfecoach for a night of raised beers and earnest head-nodding.

New art gallery!!! Downtown Chico is getting a new art space this week. Tonight (April 4), Provisions Gallery (inside the Upper Park Clothing store, at 122 W. Third St.), is having its grand opening with a reception for a group show featuring works by a bunch of hip locals, including Dylan Tellesen, Sea Monster, Matt Loomis, Daniel Beebe, Siana Sonoquie, Jed Speer, David Selkirk, Lucas Rod, Wyatt Hersey and Christian Garcia. Find the gallery online at