Art on Wheels: New bike map provides tour of Philly public art

The Lion Fighter | Image via museumwithoutwallsaudio.orgIf you’ve lived in Philadelphia for more than a month, you’ve likely already posed triumphantly next to the Rocky statue. But what about The Lion Fighter sculpture just a stone’s throw away on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum? Or any of the dozens of other outdoor masterpieces sprinkled throughout Philly? Well, here's your chance. Get to know all 38 outdoor works of art with Fairmount Park Art Association’s (FPAA) new interactive bike map.

The map features a four and 10-mile loop, with the longer trail beginning at the Philadelphia Art Museum, moving north on Kelly Drive along the Schuylkill River, and then heading back near the museum through West Fairmount Park. FPAA will bring the map to life on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 29 with free bike tours of either loop. The tours, intended for urban cyclists with experience riding alongside traffic, will provide information on 18th and 19th century works from the Iroquois sculpture at 24th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to The Wrestlers at the Horticulture Center. Unfortunately, registration for both the four and 10-mile rides are currently full, but you can join a waiting list by emailing cmartin@fpaa.org.

If you can’t make it for the official tours, roll on through at your own convenience by downloading the map here. Accompany your tour with detailed descriptions of the featured art from the audio program Museum Without Walls. The program allows you to hear recordings of the artwork descriptions from your phone or mp3 player to introduce you to lesser known statues and enrich your understanding of old favorites. So go ahead and visit the Rocky statue again; the accompany audio track begins with the film’s theme song, so you won’t have to hum it as you pose for a picture this time.