Local artist paints a mural for Bike Friendly Kalamazoo on Lovers Lane Oct. 4, 2022. (Dan Nichols/WWMT) PORTAGE, Mich. — A mural to encourage bike ridership and promote bike safety is to be completed and unveiled to the community Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The community is also invited to help finish painting the mural, located near Lovers Lane and Centre Avenue in Portage. The massive 17 by 58-foot painting is the first public mural as part of Bike Friendly Kalamazoo’s public mural program.
"We wanted to express the joys of bicycling," said Bike Friendly Kalamazoo president Paul Selden. "So that everybody seeing the mural would maybe want to get on a bicycle and if not maybe give those who are on bicycles a little more space on the road."
The muralist, who grew up in Portage, said the large public art installation combines her two passions, biking and painting.
Ellen VanderMyde used to ride on the bike path that passes the mural.
"It started as a passion project because I grew up cycling this path right here and I hope that folks in the community will come out and see it in person," VanderMyde said.
Bike Friendly Kalamazoo said they hope to have at least one more mural put up in the city of Kalamazoo in the upcoming year.