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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

The Spirit Rider and Steve Larsen Memorial Archway Davis California

Sony a6400 ƒ/11.0 35.0 mm 1/320 ISO 100

This is The Spirit Rider arch sculpted from steel by artist Keith Peschel of Rock and Iron Design in Davis California. It is part of the Davis Public Art displays.

It was done to honor Steve Larsen a Davis guy and world famous bicycle racer.

Steve Larsen is the only American to have ridden in the world championships in 5 different cycling disciplines (road, mountain bike, track, triathlon and cyclo-cross). Steve started cycling at 13 while growing up in Davis, CA and went on to become a world class competitor in road racing, mountain biking, cyclo-cross, XTERRA and triathlons.

He won bronze in his first cyclo-cross in 1986 at the first Jr. National Championships in Santa Cruz, CA. Larsen competed in road racing with the junior national team program in Europe before moving up to the Amateur World Championships with the U.S. team.

He went on to compete on the road as a member of the Motorola Professional team in 1993 and ’94. Transitioning to mountain bike racing, he won the NORBA National Cross-Country Mountain Bike Champion title in 1998 and again in 2000. Steve also competed in triathlons and finished 9th overall in the 2001 Ironman in Hawaii.

He retired from racing in 2003. For a while, Steve owned and operated the Wheelworks bicycle shop in Davis while supporting the local Mad Cows triathlon racing team. He was known for his friendly support of anyone who biked, from novices to professionals.

Steve and his family relocated to Bend, OR where he started a successful real estate firm.

Steve passed away unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 39. A permanent artistic arch entitled “Spirit Rider” was erected in his memory in 2013 at Davis Senior High School.

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