When Terry DeSpain creator and co-coordinator of the Bronze Bike Rally in Joseph, OR was looking for a name and theme for the as yet unnamed rally, he did not have to look very far. In fact the name and theme were right down the street from Terry’s office in the form of local bronze sculptor and rider, Dick Cross. A long time area resident, Dick had left an 18 year job with Valley Bronze to open his own studio in 2000.
Inspired by fellow biker and artist, the late David Mann, Dick began turning out some truly exceptional work following a motorcycle theme. You can see the Mann influence in many of Dick’s creations like “Iron Horse.”
One of his early works was a tribute piece to his Dad called “Rode Hard, Run Dry.” His father had hooked Dick on bikes by telling him that if he got an old Vespa running it was his. What red blooded American boy could resist that challenge?
From the Vespa came a Honda 90 trail bike, then a 650 BSA when he turned 16. Then on to many other bikes including a Norton. Dick bought his first Harley in 1995, a Softail with 63 miles on it that now has over 60K on the clock. Obviously Dick spends quite a bit of time in the saddle.
Dick made a pilgrimage to Sturgis in 2000, came home, married off a daughter and dove head first into being a full time artist. He has never looked back. Dick also does wildlife, landscapes as well as paints landscapes.
During last year’s inaugural rally Dick started work on a life-sized Bronze Bike Memorial. He hopes to complete it over the next 4 years. Many of Dick’s creations are available as limited edition collector pieces with a maximum run of just 50 each. His booth was one of the focal points of last year’s rally.
Married for 32 years to his wife Debbie, they have a son and a daughter and 6 grandchildren. To see more of Dick’s work or check out pictures of last year’s rally go to: www.bronzebikerally.com Mark your calendars for this year’s rally in August 2008.