I was standing in line at Bakery by the Lake recently, because that is what you do if you want something yummy downtown on a weekend morning. The line can get quite long, as it was this day, but luckily there was a pamphlet within arm’s reach advertising the Art in Motion bike tours in the area.
I’ll need this, I surmised, to burn off the calories I’d be consuming at the bakery.
Studying the maps within the pamphlet, I could see how the routes would be very attractive to someone who is both an art fan and a fitness fan.
So naturally, I had to grab the bike and cruise by the points of interest, some of those being on streets I’d never pedaled through.
Coming from Post Falls, I intersected the first route at Riverstone, where there are a few pieces strewn about. I pedaled around the pond before touring downtown Riverstone, trying to view all the art listed on the route.
Next I rejoined the Centennial Trail and headed south toward North Idaho College, where Chief Morris Antelope stands watch along the river on the north end of the campus. From there I steered east, ending up going back north on Hubbard Avenue and across Northwest Boulevard to Lincoln, then a quick loop on Short Avenue to Government Way for a bit, then east on Miller Avenue to Fourth Street, where I realized I would have to go against traffic. Since I’d been on Fourth extensively, I just bypassed it and joined the route at Phippeny Park, then south on Eighth Street to Coeur d’Alene Avenue, which I took east (as suggested on the route map) down to 23rd Street, then down to Sherman Avenue, where the large Take Time By sculpture by Teresa McHugh welcomes visitors to the city at the eastern entrance.
The loop meanders back to downtown via Mullen Avenue, with a swing down 14th and over to Lakeside, which sidles up to Tubbs Hill and eventually points you to McEuen Park, and its abundant displays.
Coasting out of McEuen, I stopped by the corner of First Avenue and Sherman, where James Haire’s “Last One In” depicts a boy swinging from a rope, the joy of a perfect summer day displayed plainly on his face. A block west at the entrance to City Park, Robert Stone’s “Twin Towers” stoically reminds us of the 9/11 tragedy and the sacrifices made by first-responders.
Most of the art is for sale, with a few pieces already spoken for.
If you wanted to make a day of it, you could flip the pamphlet over and ride a more abridged route the other direction, but I was aching to stretch my legs, so from downtown I headed out to Higgens Point before deciding on the way back to town to head north via 15th Street and out to Lancaster, making a nice large loop back to Post Falls.
I managed a nice 50-mile ride, and this was before the smoke and heat descended upon North Idaho.
Resting up at home, I felt fully satisfied. My legs had been put through the ringer, but I had filled my culture tank in the process. Stopping to enjoy and interpret the art at each stop allows you to rest while viewing some of the best art displays in the Northwest.
And the great thing about the loops is the ongoing rotation of displays. I’m sure by the time I want to do the routes again many of the pieces will have been replaced with something else.
For more information, you can visit the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission at www.cdaid.org/109/committees/arts-commission. The site explains how art is selected, where it is placed and what entities are responsible for bringing it out to the public for us to enjoy.
Walkers can enjoy the majority of the downtown art by traversing the equivalent of 10 blocks. Either way, get ready for some culture and calorie burning!
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Jerry Hitchcock can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2017, via email at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at HitchTheWriter.