CLC Students Handcraft new Paul and Babe Bike Rack in Brainerd
Dynamic duo Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are now keeping an eye on the bikes of downtown Brainerd.
Located on the corner of Laurel and S. Seventh streets, the bike rack features Paul Bunyan, Babe and the iconic historical water tower, all surrounded by a base that resembles a bike chain. It weighs in at 800 pounds and fits six regular or fat tire bikes.
The bike rack was handcrafted by students in the Central Lakes College Welding Program, and was brought in through a partnership with the city of Brainerd, Brainerd Restoration and Gull Lake Sandblasting & Powder Coating.
This provided an opportunity for CLC’s welding students to work with the city as well.
Brainerd City Planner Mark Ostgarden was impressed with the talent, saying “It is more than bike rack, it is art that will be an attraction in our downtown for years to come.”
Brainerd Restoration plans on installing bike racks at four other locations. Another bike rack crafted by CLC welding students will be installed at Crow Wing County’s Community Services building. Three other racks will be made by local metal artists.
For the welding students at CLC, making the bike racks was more than just a grade or practice.
“Students will always learn more when they work on a project that they can take pride and ownership in,” Otto said. “The racks are great examples of something that they can take pride in and say ‘hey, I built that’ years later when they are in downtown.”
After students created the bike rack, Gull Lake Sandblasting & Powdercoating did the sandblasting and powdercoating. Mike Angland, architect with Widseth Smith Nolting, provided input and guidance during the project.
Other partners of the CLC Welding Program, who have donated materials used for this and other projects on-going basis, include: Clow Stamping, Brunswick, Reyerson, Fab Four, Dane Engineering, Silver Star, Pequot tool & Manufacturing.