As the Athletes Transition from Swimming to Cycling, groupings of Swimmers become packs of CYCLISTS. Attached to the site base plate stands the CYCLISTS sculptures in a mirrored design, pulling away from the ARCH, on their way to challenge the distance, terrain and fellow Triathletes on the bicycle course.
These CYCLISTS, made of Stainless Steel and Cement, cycle away from the Transition Area towards their journey. As the miles zip by, the CYCLISTS focus their attention on nutrition, technique and cadence.
Measurements: (3’H x 3 1/2’W x 2”D)
3 feet height by 3 1/2 width by 2 inch depth
Materials: Stainless Steel, Cement
The Stainless steel reinforces the mechanical aspect of Cycling while the cement parallels the relaxed yet stationary body position of optimal cycling posture. Being one with your machine is emphazied by the use and choice of material.
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I consider Drawing to be the most important step in evolving an idea into material form. The seemingly simple act of envisioning an idea through a combination of strokes of graphite on paper contains the fundamental proof that an idea can exist. In the development of the CYCLISTS, having photographic reference of real Triathletes racing on bicycles provided a visual shortcut to describing the motion of CYCLIST on paper. With all the triathlon magazines I had laying around the house.. I had all the photo reference I needed to sketch out my group of CYCLISTS. The following are drawings of three groups of cyclist.
From the onset this project, I wanted to be as inclusive as Triathlons are to the individuals that participate in Multi-sport. I illustrated the passion for competition through a variety of Athletes of both genders, including the para-triathletes of Triathlon.
I envisioned two architectural planes illustrating the running discipline on one plane and the cycling disciplines on the other. Between these frames would provide a symbolic gateway to the Triathlon finish line, while framing the swimmers in unique design. Here my initial drawings for the cyclist would be designed and redesiged onto the plane until the desired look is realized.
The next step was developing a maquette of my idea. This maquette would be fully materialized version, sculpted to reflect the intended composition, arrangement of figures and dimensions of structures. This sculpted maquette becomes the representation of my concept, allowing me to understand what the projected cost and build time for the final monumental version. Perforated steel has now made its way into my design.
Pictured below is the Maquette for the CYCLISTS plane. Made of cut wooden dowels painted silver, aluminum perforated sheet metal, staples, glue, and cut foam board. The CYCLISTS were cut out of the perforated sheet metal and foam board to create both the negative and positive silhouette forms.
These Drawing studies of CYCLISTS proved to be a exercise in design layout within a framework of time and budgetary constraints. Each Graphical Drawing illustrates the variety of Panel ideas in which I imagined fabricating out of steel
Combining all CYCLISTS onto one plane proved to be challenging in terms of design aesthetics yet after a few trial designs I narrowed it down to these panoramic designs. I would continue to revise this design until I am able to meet a cost effective and time effective design.
Through the various stages of redesign, I took the design step further by pushing the boundaries of my planar format by adding geometric lines that would function as both structural support in terms of strength and as a directional design element. Fot the Monumental sculpture, Steel is my choice of material.
As my final redesign, I decided to minimize the overall CYCLISTS design down from a pack of CYCLIST to just a total of two CYCLISTS. Surrounding the ARCH on both sides will be a CYCLIST on the left and right side of the ARCH pedaling away from the Transition ARCH.
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Now that the Drawings, Maquettes and Redesigns have illustrated my intent, I am now comfortable with moving into the Monument size fabrication process.
I start by creating a Monument scale Template. I will use this Template as a guide for bending Stainless Steel flat bar into the silhouette shape of both CYCLISTS. This allows for consistency in both CYCLISTS for attaining the symetrical design element for the overall sculptural composition.
Stainless Steel wire mesh, which form in inner structural layer of the CYCLISTS, is also cut to fit within the design Template.
The Inner portion of the CYCLISTS Stainless Steel structure will be filled with cement. Cement is not only cost effective, it is strong, easy to work with, and perfect for the outdoors.
The Template for the CYCLISTS has yet another use. This time the Template will be used in conjunction with the Steel frame to form a secure backing to allow for the pouring of wet cement into the frame.
By cutting foam board to the specifications of the Template frame then attaching the Steel Frame by way of Blue Tape, I am able to create a sealed basin in the form of the CYCLIST design. This allows me to pour wet cement into the frame, in and between the Steel Wire Mesh up to the top until the entire frame is filled.
Covering the cemented frame with plastic bags and continually wetting the cement during the curing phase adds additional strength to the CYCLISTS form.
The Process of Fabrication and Welding is tedious and very involved. It begins by Taking the raw materials of Stainless Steel Flat Rods and Mesh Wire, cutting the each metal to a desired shape and length, bending by way of clamping and hammering, tweaking each bend to meet the guidlines of the Template, then welding each piece together to make up the full CYCLIST monument.
We started by following the outline of the Template until the silhouette frame was complete, then Welding the inner wheel, arm and leg elements together, followed by placing the cut mesh wire form within the frame of the design and Welding it in place.
Reinforcement Stainless Steel Rods were later welded through out the inner frame for added strength and rigidity. The last stage of Welding involved the creation of a Steel Framed Base connected by two hollow Stainless Steel one inch square Rods welded to underside of the CYCLISTS wheels.
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The finishing of the CYCLISTS, includes a variety of steps. First was to design and implement a way for the CYCLISTS to stand upright.
I design a basic Steel Frame Base, using cut rebar attached via welding. Next, using foam board I design and cut a rectuangular base frame within the Stee Frame Base for additional cement support. This foam board base is designed as a basin to catch and hold wet cement in place until it is dried.
The process of covering the cement base with plastic bags and continually wetting the cement during the curing phase is used here again for additional strength.
Once the cement is dried, it is then coated with a weatherproof sealant. I perform 3 coats of the sealant to securely seal the form and to add additional protection from the elements.
Installing the CYCLISTS and the other elements of Transitions through Triathlon at the Riverside Park South location was met with traffic and rain. Due to these challenges the installation was carried over into a second day. The Base Frame went into the ground first, firmly attached to the site with bolts and spot welds. Next the Arch was installed, using a hoist, rope, scafolding and spot welding.
Then on the following day, the CYCLISTS along with the cast of SWIMMERS, RUNNER and VICTORY were spot welded to the Base Frame. Finally the day of completion has come. The last weld was met with a small applause by myself and the installation crew.