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University of Iowa News

May 18, 2005

UI Professor To Lead Bike Ride During Youth Festival Saturday

University of Iowa art education professor Steve McGuire will lead a bike ride Saturday during the Mayor's Youth Empowerment Program's Second Annual Youth Festival, which will be held just behind Pepperwood Plaza's Big Lots! store just off U.S. Highway 6 in Iowa City.

The actual address of the festival is the Mayor's Youth Empowerment Program (MYEP) office at 1060 Cross Park Ave. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. In addition to the bike ride, the festival will feature live music, games, refreshments, bike safety inspections, a bike parts swap meet, a silent auction and a bike raffle.

Norm Parker, defensive coordinator for the Hawkeye football team, is the festival's honorary chairperson this year. 

MYEP is a non-profit organization that provides after-school programs, communal living training, respite services and other assistance for adolescents with disabilities and their families. It is not affiliated with the Iowa City government or mayor.

McGuire, an avid cyclist, sculptor and storyteller who has gathered stories from as far away as Iceland, said he hopes to show festival-goers some of the specialized recumbent, tandem cycles he's built for people with disabilities. On Thursday, he will be taking some of the cycles to Ames, where local students will use them to compete in the 2005 Special Olympics Iowa games.

McGuire, a professor in the UI College of Education, said he has been able to adapt his training as a sculptor to modifying cycles.

"In sculpture you learn the properties of metal, how to weld and engineering principles," he said. "The same principles can be applied to building bikes."

More information about the festival is available by contacting the MYEP office at 319-341-0060.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Festival: Valerie Jorgensen, 319-341-0060.