The history of cycling in Cedar Rapids at the heart of a new fresco [PHOTO]

The history of cycling in Cedar Rapids at the heart of a new fresco [PHOTO]

A brand new two-story mural project in downtown Cedar Rapids is slated for completion in a few weeks and will celebrate one of Iowa’s favorite summer events. The mural will be a tribute to the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride in Iowa (RAGBRAI), which is entering its 50th year.

Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Economic Alliance

Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Economic Alliance

The location of this mural will also have another meaning. It will be directly across from a historic business celebrating its 125th anniversary in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Google Street View

Google Street View

Google Street View

Google Street View

Hall Bicycle Company, which opened in 1898, is celebrating the milestone in 2023. According to a press release from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance:

Located at 419 2nd Ave. SE of Cedar Rapids, the mural faces the downtown bike path along 4th Street. This is the third new mural to be added downtown this year. The mural is fully funded by the Downtown SSMID (Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District), which notes that vibrancy and place-making are central to its vision and mission.

The artist, CERA, is currently based in the Chicagoland area. The artist is known to use “bright colors and graphic patterns to draw his audience into a sense of excitement and wonder. His work has been exhibited in Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and Seoul, South Korea.”

The mural is fully funded by the Downtown SSMID (Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District), which notes that vibrancy and place-making are central to its vision and mission.

The Downtown Self-Governing Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) worked with the local On View Gallery.

Cedar Rapids Downtown District Executive Director Jesse Thoeming further notes that the mural will be a nod to the importance of cycling in Cedar Rapids and its economic impact on the community, saying “we want the best RAGBRAI tribute in the entire state to be located right here downtown and what better place than next door to the Hall Bicycle, a staple of our city.”

It certainly looks like an impressive step in that direction.

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Jack C. Nugent