Hidden Gem in Ohio: The Bicycle Museum of America

from Off the Beaten Path | 318

7 W. Monroe St., New Bremen, Ohio

High-wheelers, boneshakers, velocipedes, tandems, and more bits of bicycle esoterica than you knew existed are in this collection that was previously located in Chicago. Jim Dicke, whose grandfather worked at the Dayton Bicycle Company at the turn of the century, brought the group of multiwheeled wonders to Ohio.

The Bicycle Museum of America, Ohio© 2009 The Bicycle Museum of AmericaA Schwinn Black Phantom from the 1950s is among the thousand-plus bikes exhibited at one time or another in this museum.

When Leonardo da Vinci sketched the bicycle drive chain in the late 15th century, he couldn’t have anticipated the infinite variety of vehicles that would ensue. Among those are the 1898 Chilion ladies’ model, a wooden bike that didn’t rust but did tend to splinter at inopportune moments; and the Schwinn Sting-Ray Orange Krate, circa late 1960s, which looks as though it were getting ready to burn rubber on the drag strip.

Some of the bicycles on display here were dedicated to popular entertainers: Crooner Cowboy Gene Autry, for example, had a Western model made in his honor in 1950, with a rodeo-brown finish, jeweled fenders, and a pony-head adornment. The Shelby Cycle Company produced a Donald Duck model in 1949 that intrigued many a baby in the boomer generation with its Donald eyes that flashed and a horn that squeaked “quack-quack.”

Open year-round. Closed Sun. Admission charged.

www.bicyclemuseum.com
(419) 629-9249

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