“My husband did it. I had ridden a bit as a child, but never even considered it as an adult. It was one of those “impossible” things that gifted athletes did. However, shortly after being married, my husband found me an old steel road bike, rebuilt it, and gave it to me. I fearfully started riding it, but soon enough remembered what to do, and was thrilled with the rush and freedom which riding invokes. That was about ten years ago. Riding a bike, whether for exercise, to commute, for socialization, or for therapy, has encouraged me to tackle fears which, otherwise, I never would have been brave enough to encounter. Riding has taught me to pace myself in life, and not to expect instant results. It has helped me learn that like riding up a hill, sometimes everything sucks, but it is only for a time; you will eventually fly down the other side.
My husband and I came out (to Fort Davis, TX) together to ride Cyclefest, and while it is the hardest ride I’ve done yet, it is also my favorite. The clean air and clear night sky, being able to see for miles, this area is my favorite in Texas. I’ve ridden the 75m route three times now, and hope to ride it many more times.”
As for the art:
“I have always been artistic. But, about ten years ago (oddly the same time I began riding), I picked up a paintbrush and began trying to hone my skills. I painted a lot of people, beer, and nature themed pieces, but it wasn’t until three years ago that I found my niche in painting bikes and their riders. The first piece I tried, “The Guru”, floored me with how well it turned out. Usually, when I finish a painting I stand back and am amazed. It doesn’t even feel like I painted them sometimes. I began showing my work two years ago. I love watching people enjoy the work I’ve done. Art allows me to meet people and travel and connect. As I meet cyclists at events I am flooded with new ideas and inspiration.
Sometimes, I’ll be at a ride and see a really neat bike and will walk up and say “I don’t know you, but you have a great bike. Can I photograph it and paint it?” Let me tell you, that’s a great way to make a new friend!”
We asked Carola how we can see more of her work, how she shares and sells it, and her thoughts about being a working artist:
“There is much truth to the term “starving artist”, as it is a difficult field to make a name in, but I consider myself lucky that I’ve managed to incorporate my gift (painting) with my passion (cycling). If I make money at an event, great, but if I leave having talked to other cyclists and gained new inspiration, that is often better. My website is www.artistcarolalocke.com