ArtBike: Off the road and on the wall

For more information on ArtBike! and the 2012 NAHB show, visit
For more information on ArtBike! and the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show, visit

Midtown and downtown Sacramento residents love bikes. And if they don’t, then they probably have the pleasure of dealing with them on a daily basis while navigating the city’s roads by car.

For a lot of us, of course, they are our only mode of transportation.

Perhaps this is why the North American Handmade Bicycle Show launched ArtBike! in Sacramento this past Second Saturday as preparation for the organization’s big show, scheduled to take place March 2-4, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

As part of the event, local stores, bars and galleries hosted various events centered on bike art. At Cuffs, for example, my eyes were immediately drawn to walls adorned with huge burlap coffee bags featuring vintage-esque screen-printed images of cyclists.

The artist, Megan Morgan, works with Strange Bird Designs ( and makes her own stencils for each piece. These bad boys go for $400 each, so while it’s likely you can’t afford to take one home, it’s worth the effort to go check them out in person (Morgan’s website does feature pictures of the bag, but they pale next to the real thing, so be sure to check them out in person).

Later, when we walked into The Golden Bear, something felt a little different there as well. This is probably because we got there before the big rush at 10 p.m. but maybe, too, it was due to Davis photographer Rik Keller’s compelling bike pictures that covered the bar’s walls.

Also on the Second Saturday bike route: Milk Gallery, which hosted The Art of Bicycle, a show in which 17 local artists showed off their bike-centric art via paintings, photographs and even some multimedia art. For me, the biggest treat was the old bicycle attached to a fiddle with a spring—when the wheel spun, music played.

Also great: the paintings of two Sacramento cyclists riding their bikes around Midtown. To me, these were awesome because, as a Midtown resident, I knew exactly where both pictures were shot, and the images placed me right there in the moment.

It almost made me wonder if anyone paints pictures of me while I am adjusting my iPod—I’ll have to keep a lookout.

Finally, a little fun for everyone: An interactive bike project in which nine brightly colored bikes are stationed on bike racks around the city. NAHBS urges locals to take photos of all the bikes they see, and there’s talk of a contest in the near future.