Bikes get final tour before auction
October 3rd, 2003 / By Billy Smuck
Mike and Lee Murphy had discovered about half of the 71 Tour de Lincoln bikes that had been on display around the Capital City since May 1.
So when they learned that all 71 would be at Haymarket Park Thursday evening, Lee Murphy said, making the trip to see the bikes was a no-brainer.
"We didn't have time to find them all around town," she said. "So when we heard they were going to bring every bike down here, I was like, `Amen.'"
Beginning at 6:45 p.m. today, the bikes will be auctioned off at the park's concourse.
The minimum bid for each will be $500. A third of the sale price will go to the artist, a third to a registered Lincoln arts organization of the buyer's choice and the remainder to the Lincoln Arts Council to support public arts.
An estimated 13,000 people turned out to review or preview the bikes Thursday evening, said Liz Shea-McCoy, president of the Lincoln Arts Council and chairwoman of the Tour de Lincoln project.
"We expected about 3,000," Shea-McCoy said. "We were all taken aback."
Shannon Harner, board member of the Lincoln Arts Council, said that by the end of the night, a total of 490 people had registered to bid.
They also were allowed to bid on the maquettes -- the small-scale models of the bikes -- during a silent auction that began Thursday and closes at 8 tonight.
Minimum bids for the maquettes were $5, and bids reached as high as $350by the end of Thursday night.
Shea-McCoy could not say how much she thinks will be raised by all the bidding.
"I have no idea,"she said. "We'll just leave that open."
The park gates for tonight's auction will open at 5 p.m., Shea-McCoy said.
Harner said there is no deadline to register, and latecomers can register and bid until the auction is over.
The auction action will be open to those who don't plan on bidding, Shea-McCoy said.
Mike and Lee Murphy, who had used up four rolls of film while strolling around the bikes Thursday night, said they'll be back tonight but have no intentions of bidding.
Rick and Kim Turnage, who brought their three children along, wanted the family to see all the bikes at one time.
Kim Turnage said they hope to see another, similar public art display in Lincoln's future.
"The community has really gotten behind this project," she said. "We've seen people who don't normally get excited about art get excited about this."
Reach Billy Smuck at 473-7120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.