The Steve Larsen Bicycle Plaza at Davis High School will be dedicated at noon Friday. The plaza is between the Ron & Mary Brown Stadium entry gates and the main high school gym on Oak Avenue. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.
The first phase of the plaza was completed in 2011 as part of the total rebuilding of the high school’s multipurpose stadium with major support from the Davis Blue & White Foundation and the Davis community. The second phase features the “Spirit Rider” arch designed and sculpted by artist Keith Peschel of Rock & Iron Design. The arch will be part of the city’s Art in Public Places collection and is the first city-sponsored public art piece on the grounds of a Davis school.
Larsen was raised in Davis, graduated from Davis High School and is considered the community’s greatest ever all-around cyclist. He is the only American to have competed in world championships in the five different bicycle disciplines of road, mountain bike, track, cycle-cross and triathlon.
Larsen also was a professional triathlete and a former national mountain bike champion. He and his wife Carrie owned Wheelworks in downtown Davis and were sponsors of the Mad Cows Triathlon Racing Team based in Davis.
The Larsens moved to Bend, Ore., in 2005, where Steve worked in real estate, first with Lowes Commercial Properties in Bend and then with his own company, Steve Larsen Properties. He died in June 2009 of coronary artery disease; he was 39.
The “Spirit Rider” artwork is dedicated to and inspired by Larsen’s life. Commissioned by the Davis Civic Arts Commission, it features two fluid bicycles that appear to be in motion atop the arch, which also features a sculpted sprocket and spokes. A plaque on the artwork in Larsen’s honor states: “Be fast. Be bold. Embrace your goals. Above all, follow your dreams.”
Larsen’s widow, their five children and other family members will be on hand for the dedication. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/larsenplaza.