When the Velorama Festival lands in RiNo August 11 to 13, you'll be able to U-lock your cruiser to new, hand-crafted bike racks. In line with the festival's ties to the Colorado Classic bicycle race, the RiNo Arts District has sponsored the creation of five artisanal, mountain-evoking bike racks by contest winners Mitch Hoffman and Tim Omspach.
The cyclist-friendly installations are the result of a RiNo Arts District contest co-sponsored by HomeAdvisor and the Colorado Classic. Hoffman, who works in computer science but constructs tall bikes in his spare time, got wind of the contest and applied with Omspach, a professional welder he met through mutual friends in the circus. With the $400 they received as finalists, they started building their first design, which sported an "abstract and gritty industrial look" to pay tribute to the warehouse-heavy history of the neighborhood, says Hoffman.
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Once selected, the two worked on the project nearly every day in July. The most time-intensive part, according to Hoffman, was cutting the steel pipes and other odds and ends they'd collected into one-inch pieces, then neatening up the melted edges with a grinder. To cut and clean the 200-odd pieces for one rack took about twelve and a half hours. Another critical step: sandblasting and powder-coating the racks, a method of smoothing and finishing that involves costly materials. (Hoffman estimates that for each unit, they racked up a charge of $500 for these supplies.)
Now the bike racks are done and have homes in RiNo. Their steel-wrought frames, which depict triangular mountain landscapes made from a variety of metallic shapes and found materials, can fit four to eight bikes each. At Velorama, you'll be able to spot two outside the RiNo Art District office, at 29th and Blake streets, one at the 7-Eleven on 31st Street and Brighton Boulevard, and another outside the Rackhouse Pub, also at 29th and Blake.
While you browse the flea market, enjoy some brews, soak in the sounds of Death Cab for Cutie and congratulate racers at Velorama, look around for Hoffman and Omspach's creations.