Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The US Cycling Hall of Fame

Some catching up here... Back in May, during the Tour of California, I was invited to a private tour of the US Cycling Hall of Fame in Davis, CA by my good friend (and fellow collector) Richard Bryne of Speedplay. I joined Richard and his lovely wife Sharon after the finish in Sacramento for what was a great evening of talking old bikes and US cycling history. Richard is a wealth of knowledge and took great pride in explaining the finer points of history and the machines on display.

I'll try not to post what in essence could be a 'virtual tour' but I'll limit it to my own personal highlights. Here we go...

I'm a huge fan of the Major Taylor story. I won't even try to do him justice in such a small forum, but instead will lead those interested to here and here. To see one of his bikes on display was awe-inspiring. In the days of Jim Crow laws, this man was the first African American world champion in any sport - at a time when cycling in America was bigger than baseball!

The other thing that caught my eye was a corner loaded with six-day items and a video and write-up of how the six-day turned into the Madison.

Finally, this quote is taken from the earliest patent for a bicycle, granted to Pierre Lallement November 20, 1866. And this is what is as intriguing as what's on display here... the mountains of paperwork, clippings and magazines that are archived and hidden away!

Of course, there was a cambio corsa bike on display which I ogled, the actual Hall of Fame plaques upstairs, the REALLY old and strange stuff and of course the more modern US racing history. I'll leave all that uncovered here and let you find out for yourself. If you're a bike nut and ever near Sacramento, make the short trip to Davis and check out what's sure to be an important collection of cycling history. Oh yeah... thanks again, Richard!

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