South Burlington cycling trio Nic Anderson and his kiddos are back at it again — this time, they ride in search of art and hope their neighbors will join in the scavenger hunt.
“It’s just to get people to explore their own backyards,” Anderson said, something that he’s been doing more and more over the last year, because of COVID. Last year, in celebration of National Bike Month, Anderson and his kids embarked on what would become a 304.4-mile journey, riding down every stretch of road in South Burlington.
This year in celebration, Anderson challenged folks to bike around town in search of the city’s public art, be it on underpasses, utility boxes, or in parks. Every selfie with a piece of art serves as an entry into a competition where ten random selections will win a prize package including a bicycle light, a Ben and Jerry’s coupon and other goodies. The cyclist with the most public art discoveries will win some prizes plus a $50 coupon to a local business.
“When I look out my window of my house there’s actually one of the art (utility) boxes in front,” said Anderson, who also serves on the city bicycle and pedestrian committee. “I thought, well, these are so cool and I bet a lot of people don’t realize just how many there are. We should make it a competition to get people out and explore.”
He hopes this challenge, which combines cycling with fun destination points, is accessible to people all over the city and of all levels of cycling experience.
“You don’t have to drive somewhere and start a bike route. You literally roll out your back door and there’ll be one of these amazing little pieces of art somewhere near your house,” he said.
A map on the city website documents at least 91 locations, including decorated utility boxes, murals and other public art. To enter into the draw, folks can snap a photo of every different piece of art found while out biking and submit it through a Google Form on the city’s website.