A Fat Bike Sunrise

Fat Bike Sunrise

This recent work captures an early morning sunrise while riding a fat bike in Tucson’s Rillito River – which is dry most of the year. As are many of the “waterways” around Tucson.

I had the chance to borrow a “Fatback” bike for an extended period of time and my main word for the fat bike experience is FUN. A whole new world opens up with this type of bike. I felt like a young desert rat kid again – roaming the washes and dry river beds. Not only roaming, but having that feeling of exploration and freedom. Contours and vegetation vary widely in ways you never imagined while the miles pass. At one time almost barren and later almost too full of bushes and trees to find a way through. Follow the water; find the sand. Let your instincts show you the way.

I was so drawn in, that I never really fully thought about all of the things that it was freeing me from: traffic lights, cars, noise, straight lines, paved roads, trails to be followed, defined routes, routines, schedules, and time itself. Suddenly this ride was not about a route. Not about riding fast… just about riding. Riding this way. Deciding which way to turn when we got there. Not knowing how far we would go or when we would stop.


More Giro Paintings

Giro d'Italia cycling print

Getting drawn into an event where the challenges, excitement and the emotion get compressed into a brief moment is one of the pleasures of following sport. The characters are transformed from ordinary to mythic – if only for a moment. It is a spectacle.

If I was at the Giro, I doubt I could do much drawing while riding on the back of a motorcycle trying to stay in front of a field of riders going an average of over 40 km per hour. So I’ve found my own way of getting close to the race, I watch the live event on a computer screen. Then, I work with pen & paper and a camera, switching between these tools and following the race. As the race goes on, I take as many as 100 pictures and create a couple handfuls of sketches. Since I’m taking a picture of a computer screen, there are new levels of cropping and distortion added to my own point of view.

gruppo maglia rosa 2015

With this process, the picture quality, perspective, and content all give me plenty of bonus surprises.

One of my favorite pictures from this Giro has something that is at the edge of perception within the picture. And then I began throwing paint at it. The picture below shows a preliminary sketch of this. What I found while doing this image was the barest feeling of a rider and the great big wings of green behind him. Riding and flying. I can feel that in my bones. It happens every once in a while and it is an unearthly feeling. This image seems to hold that for me. I can see it in my head, without even looking at it.

winged rider giro 2015


Have a great weekend. Enjoy.

Rudi and Jay.


PS: We’re looking forward to Sir Bradley Wiggins hour ride this weekend. Here’s a prediction. 54.1 km in one hour.

Stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia

Contador vs Astana

The first of a series of paintings features Fabio Aru. He was riding to the finish and I was drawn to the shape of his face against the cool colors that surround him.


This next painting, from a helicopter’s point of view, shows the Mortirolo climb. It is a switchbacking road against the lush green of the mountain forest. The riders were going through screaming crowds, but from a distance it is just a landscape with a road flowing through it.


I love the pink jersey. It’s a great excuse to make a pink on my pallet. And getting to use pink…. That’s one of the reasons I love watching the Giro d’Italia.


And the last one. Pink again. And pink against grey and Astana blue. And crazy Tinkoff yellow and blue.

Contador vs Astana
Contador vs Astana