UT Landmarks brings back annual bike tours

Daniela Roscero, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: The article first appeared in the April 8, 2022 flipbook.

UT Landmarks has relaunched the bike tours program after two years of suspension due to the pandemic. 

“We take our role as a free, public art collection very seriously, and the monthly tours are a way to make the collection more accessible for those who prefer a guided experience,” Landmarks education coordinator Catherine Whited said in an email.

Landmarks, the University’s public art program, features around 50 works of art, according to their website. The bike tours are longer than the one-hour monthly walking tours, but visitors typically stop at more landmarks, including those at the fringes of campus, Whited said. Every tour varies in the landmarks they exhibit, but some tours include the “Clock Knot,” “Monochrome for Austin” and “Figure on a Trunk” pieces.

“On a traditional walking tour, guides are really restricted to choose works that are physically close to one another, and generally they can only cover four to five pieces in an hour,” Whited said. 

For the tour, visitors can rent a bike for ten dollars from the Orange Bike Project, located in the 27th Street Garage.

“We reserve our nicest bikes (for visitors) to ride so they can enjoy and not necessarily have to …  pedal too hard to keep up. Ideally it’s a smooth ride (to) more enjoy the landmarks,” said McTzviel Oyerinde, coordinator at the Orange Bike Project.

UT alumna Susie Herbstritt said that participating in the bike tour made her feel like things were getting back to normal again.

“After the pandemic, it was just great to see this happening again,” Herbstritt said. “We just love getting out, getting some movement, seeing the campus from a different point of view.”

According to Whited, bike tours will be brought back as an annual event the first Sunday of every April. The Landmarks app is also available to anyone who wants to take a self-guided tour, she said.

Herbstritt said her favorite part of the tour is hearing the tour guides contextualizing the different landmarks.

“They always bring some other detail or some other bit of information that helps you experience it in a new way,” Herbstritt said.

Trey Morton, Herbstritts’ husband, said his favorite part of the tour was seeing Nancy Rubins’ “Monochrome for Austin” sculpture.

“We got married in Las Vegas, and we saw the Nancy Rubins sculpture there, so it was like a little throwback to that,” Morton said.