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Steve McGuire, a University of Iowa professor of 3D design and metal arts, has ridden his bike across the country three times. He said when he's riding, with the vast expanse of the sky stretched before him, he can't go more than an hour without soaking in not only the beauty of the landscape but also the realization of his own diminished existence compared to it.

The isolation and awe-inspiring layout of the land he experiences when riding his bike influenced much of his art when he was younger. Today, when he's not out riding, he's teaching UI students how to find the beauty in bikes by helping them build one.

"We're so used to understanding a bicycle as this object that you purchase at a store," he said. "When it comes to building a bicycle, a whole other level of geometry and building precision is involved, and I think that's what you become aware of when you see these bikes because they are one of a kind."

t 6 p.m. Friday, students and community members are invited to attend a silent auction to raise money for the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County's Youth Off-Road Riders Program and view a display of bikes built by McGuire's students. The auction will take place at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 4213 S.E. Sand Road.

Several local businesses ranging from the Bike Library to Riverside Casino have donated products and gift certificates to the auction. All of the money raised will go toward the program designed to help local kids get involved in cycling.

Everything from the competition fees to the bikes themselves are provided for the kids. The program began in 2012 with seven kids. This year, that number has more than doubled, and program director Anthony Branch said the group wants to raise enough money to support more participants.


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