A love letter to the Memphis cycling community, the Bike Gate arch and plaza also provide a valuable connection, linking a network of trails and bike lanes that stretches from Downtown to Shelby Farms Park. The plaza feeds the Hampline trail, which connects to the Shelby Farms Greenline via Broad Avenue. Benches, water fountains, directional signage, and other features make the plaza a welcome stop on the citywide trail system.
With lead sponsorship from the First Tennessee Foundation, the plaza has an incredible visual component, a sculptural gateway made entirely of bikes and other wheeled objects. Artist Tylur French created the Bike Gate arch from more than 300 scrap bicycles. In order to stand out visually from the tree canopy behind it, the sculpture is several layers thick, with masses of bicycles, tricycles, wheelchairs, and unique shapes like tandem and pennyfarthing bikes.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation also funded construction of a new bike path that connects the plaza to the Old Forest trail system, enabling cyclists to connect to the park trails without having to jump curbs and ride through grass.
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We documented the progress of Bike Gate’s fabrication from Tylur French’s studio to its installation in February 2014. Click here to start at the beginning.