ROANOKE, Va. – Roanokers now have some new outdoor-themed art to enjoy.
Two new bike sculptures were installed Tuesday morning near the top of Mill Mountain.
The road to installation wasn't a walk (or ride) through the park. Crews set out at 5:30 a.m. and used a crane, a flatbed truck and a police escort to get the bikes to their final destination.
But once the installation was over, Patrick Boas, with Roanoke Parks and Recreation, was all smiles.
"I feel like I’ve had a grin on my face all day, and my cheeks are starting to hurt. But even as we stand here ... people from New York are doing U-turns to stop and take some pictures and then next go explore what we have in Roanoke," Boas said.
Within minutes, people were already stopping to take selfies next to the new artwork.
"I think it’s a really good statement," said Travis Hipes, a local cyclist. "People are driving along the Parkway ... and since Roanoke has gotten this silver from IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association), it’s really solidified that this is a cycling town. It has some of the best mountain bike trails in the world and some of the most beautiful areas to road ride."
Not only was the road to this day rough for crews, it wasn't easy for Jacob Smith, the artist who created the sculptures, either.
"It was tricky," Smith said. "I definitely relied on some friends to come and hold things. Or have people come by and grind on some things. I also had a chain hoist in the ceiling at the shop."
The project took 3 1/2 years from idea to the present and was the brainchild of Boas.
"With Roanoke becoming more of an outdoor-minded community, and the past couple of years with the different studies that Parks and Rec and Roanoke Outside has done. Community surveys have been saying that, 'I'd like to see more outdoor-minded art,'" said Boas."This was an opportunity to jump on that."