cyclisk tower of bikesPhoto: Ilana SpectorThe ancient Egyptians erected obelisks out of hundreds of pounds of stone as a form of magical protection for their temples. Modern Americans erect obelisks out of hundreds of bicycles (and one tricycle) as a form of artistic display for street corners. At least that’s the case in Santa Rosa, California.

Crowned “Cyclisk,” this stand-out sculpture measures up at six stories tall, 10,000 pounds, and approximately 340 total bicycles (and that one trike, of course). But don’t worry about hundreds of Santa Rosa cyclists looking around for their rides stolen in the night, the bicycles making up the obelisk were all previously unusable and donated by the community.

This design by artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector towered above the rest in competition to realize Santa Rosa’s “1% for art” law, which requires corporations doing major construction to fund public art projects. Here, Nissan donated the funds for this project in order to — wait for it — build a $3.7 million auto dealership.

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Not to poke fun, but does that really help “solidify Santa Rosa as bike-friendly”? Or is this giant community art member just, ahem, compensating for something?

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