World's Largest Bicycle.

World's Largest Bicyclist

Field review by the editors.

Sparta, Wisconsin

"Ben Bikin'" is the name given to this 32-foot-tall sculpture of a Gay Nineties cyclist atop an old high wheel contraption. Because Victorian-era bicycles were so tall anyway, this statue seems less impressive than it probably should. It was built by hometown fiberglass gurus F.A.S.T. Corp. to mark Sparta's claim as Bicycling Capital of America.

We drove past Ben Bikin' in the late 1990s when he was apparently in a less photogenic part of town. He has since been moved to a more postcard-perfect roadside park, and a speaker box has been added so that he can tell visitors about attractions in the area.

Ben is now also referred to as "Big Ben," as his popularity has spawned a real-life look-alike, "Little Ben," who rides around town as a civic mascot.

It's curious that Sparta chose an old timey bicycle and rider, when it could have commissioned a gigantic Astro-Bicycle pedaled by local space hero Deke Slayton.

Update: A nearly identical cyclist, dressed in blue and white and named "Will B. Rolling," was unveiled in Port Byron, Illinois, in late 2013.

World's Largest Bicyclist

Water St., Sparta, WI
I-90 exits 25 or 28. On the southeast edge of town, in a small park on the southeast corner of Hwy 16/Wisconsin St. and Water St.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Bear on Roller SkatesBear on Roller Skates, Sparta, WI - < 1 mi.
Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle MuseumDeke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum, Sparta, WI - < 1 mi.
Masonic Bucking GoatMasonic Bucking Goat, Sparta, WI - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Giant Ear of Corn Made of Milk Jugs, Westby, WI - 19 mi.

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September 23, 2020

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