New art celebrates historic Redlands event

Partial image of sculpture, Peloton Takes the Classic CurveCity workers cover sculpture, Peloton Takes the Classic Curve, after installation.Shadows of the sculpture, Peloton Takes the Classic Curve.

A 26-foot tall steel sculpture left a little town near Camp Pendleton in the fog and dark of night to arrive at the corner of Garden Street and Rossmont Drive as the sun rose Tuesday morning over Redlands.

City crews were waiting in a corner of a small park called Simond’s Parkway to install and hide the art.

“Peloton Takes the Classic Curve” was created by artist Kathleen King-Page to honor the historic and worldwide presence of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, which kicks off its 37th year April 12.

That evening, the City will pull the tarps in a small ceremony. 

The scribble sculpture, in multiple pieces, rounds a corner of the race route, and has an illusion effect when viewed head on.

“Each rider will appear to have two wheels underneath,” King-Page said at the installation. “That one on a single wheel is Romeo. Prime Donna’s rear wheel looks like it’s his from the front. Romeo just joined the group a few months ago to meet women.”

King-Page said each figure has a name, personality and back story.

The sculpture as a whole combines energy, whimsy and beauty.

“You can feel that freedom,” her husband and project manager Jerrold said as a group of cyclists rode by the park, just before the tarps went over the pieces. “It’s that feeling like when you were a kid and you hopped on your bike and rode away from your parents.”

The work, which RBC representative Scott Welsh says is valued at $50,000, was donated to the city in celebration of the longest continually running invitational, professional stage race in American bike racing.

Kathleen King-Page is a cyclist herself, (“See that cyclist near the back of the line? That’s La Tourista. That’s me,” she said of the sculpture,) and first attended the RBC in 2007. She approached Welsh with the idea, and he submitted it to the City of Redlands Art Commission, who unanimously voted that the art should stand in Redlands. The City’s Parks and Recreation Commission selected the site where racers are practicing now and will whiz by officially in just a few days. The City Council subsequently also unanimously supported the donation.

The art will be unveiled April 12 at 6 p.m. with City dignitaries, RBC representatives and the artist in attendance. The public is invited.