Two-wheel tour of San Jose’s Art Boxes

One of the great activities at last month’s Luna Park Chalk Art Festival was a bike tour of 24 of the “art boxes” recently created around San Jose. The art boxes are city-owned utility boxes that have been painted by local artists, each in the artist’s individual style. Decorating the boxes has turned these eyesores into public art, and is also expected to deter graffiti (and in case it doesn’t, each box is triple-coated with an anti-graffiti coating).

The bike ride was led by San Jose Bike Clinic, and was originally planned as a one-time event. But Art Box project leader Tina Morrill has shared the route with us, and it’s now available on Box in two parts: a map with directions and a list of boxes and artists.

The ride is 15 miles long and passes 19 of the project’s 34 or so completed boxes in the Northside, Japantown, the Alameda, and Willow Glen. An optional 8-mile extension covers five additional boxes in the Berryessa area. The directions are given for starting and ending at Backesto Park in the Northside, but it would be easy to start anywhere along the route and complete the loop.

Given San Jose’s flat geography, the ride should be reasonable for most people or families to do in an afternoon, but as always you should keep your personal fitness level in mind when planning to ride. Also be sure to ride safely, wear a helmet, and obey the rules of the road.

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