What better way to enjoy local public art than by riding a piece of art while viewing it? Ron Rothberg’s Art Bikes offer self-guided public art tours by bike. But these aren’t just any bikes; these are electric bikes designed by local artists. Known as ebikes, these bikes do the work for you, giving you freedom to explore our city’s art, architecture, parks, and points of interest without breaking a sweat.
New, custom bikes are being designed every month, and a visit to the Art Bikes website shows photos of the unique creations. Arbus Magazine inspired two ebikes, dubbed “Arbus 1” and “Arbus 2,” with colorful art by local muralist Jason Tetlak. In fact, Tetlak’s murals are easy to find on a bike tour, including his well-known “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” mural in our Brooklyn neighborhood, which holds the world record for largest 3D mural.
Art Bikes currently offers tour options including a three-hour, self-guided tour of the city’s public art or a 90-minute option designed for picking up lunch at a local restaurant and picnicking at one of several curated locations. Some favorite tour highlights on the Art Bikes website include the “Swan Dive” interactive mural, Mom’s Park on St. Johns Avenue with its statue and mosaic art by RouxArt and Kate Garcia Rouh, Riverside’s Cheek Mansion, and the iconic “Life” statue at Memorial Park. Art Bikes is working with artists and storytellers to design custom tours that will soon be available on Sundays.
“Next year we will auction off the bikes and start all over!” says Rothberg. Likely happening in May 2022, Art Bikes will give the proceeds to an arts organization. “We want to continue to involve artists and always have new art to ride.”
Bikes can be reserved online at www.artbikesjax.com and picked up at Open Road Cycles in Avondale (Open Road San Marco will soon have the bikes too).