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Rack combines love for fishing, biking

Bemidji artist Ron Schrader designed the new bike rack for the Sanford Center. Monte Draper | Pioneer Photo

BEMIDJI - The Sanford Center has installed four giant fish hooks in front of the building, not to catch fish, but to be used as a bike rack for as many as 16 bikes.

"I grew up fishing rivers in southern Minnesota and we were always biking with a fishing rod in hand," said the bike rack's designer Ron Schrader. "The location that was graciously awarded was sitting right by the lake so it seemed to fit."

Schrader, a Bemidji artist, has designed artwork like this in the past and heard about the contest one day before the deadline. He submitted the concept and the Sanford Center Art Committee Chair Sandy Kaul decided the design is not only unique and functional for riders, but also would be fun for facility visitors.

Schrader is a self-taught artist with more than 27 years of experience exploring artistic concepts using the earth's essential materials.

He said the rack took some extensive work. He bent the steel hooks to a proportion that allowed for various sizes of bikes to be locked up to it. The header piece on top is made of a salvaged piece of aluminum that he got from his employer Next Innovation in Walker.

Schrader is thankful for the space that the Sanford Center provided for the rack and happy his design was selected.

"Combining entertainment, the event center, bikes and fishing was all kind of a challenge but the inverted fishing hooks seemed to tie the location together," Schrader said.