Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-23-08, 01:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NorthEast New Jersey
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bike Museum Needs A Break

Article from today's The Star Ledger

Museum website posted below

Long a fixture in Somerville, it's now homeless
Friday, May 23, 2008
Star-Ledger Staff

From the heavy steel bike used by racing champion Alf Goulet in 1914 to the lightweight carbon cycle Greg LeMond rode to his third Tour de France victory, from old trophies to race jerseys worn by world-class cyclists, the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame has what it considers the country's most historically significant collection of cycling memorabilia.

But for the last 18 months, the cash-strapped organization has had no place to display the collec tion and has had to stash it in a toolshed in Somerset County while searching for a new home for its museum.

"It's upsetting," curator Vince Menci said. "All the stuff is stored, where it should be seen."

A fixture for many years in downtown Somerville, the Hall of Fame museum's big moment had always been Memorial Day weekend, when cycling's oldest major road race in the United States, the Tour of Somerville, brings thou sands of bike enthusiasts into the small borough. Spectators, in turn, would pack the museum, which had been housed over the years in various locations along Main Street. The race was the reason the museum originally opened in Somerville.

When the 65th annual Tour of Somerville is held on Monday, a few items will be temporarily on display in the nearby Bridgewater Commons Mall. Most of the collec tion, however, will remain packed away.

"Is that where my medals and trophies are ... in a toolshed?" asked Jackie Simes III, a two-time winner of the Tour of Somerville and an Olympic competitor who now lives in Breinigsville, Pa.

"It's too bad," he said, that the display of cycling memorabilia do nated by many of his peers has disappeared from view.

The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, established in Somerville 21 years ago to spotlight competitive cycling and advocate for the sport, first set up the museum in a corner bank on Main Street with the help of a $150,000 state grant.

Relying mainly on donations and corporate sponsors, it was parked the longest at a a rent-free storefront in a Somerville shopping center. But in 2004, after five years, the museum was forced to leave because the center was slated for demolition. The museum then moved into the historic county- owned Van Horne house in Bridgewater.

Two years later, bumped out for space reasons, the bikes, trophies, photos, medals and jerseys went into storage in a shed on an old farm in Branchburg.

The Hall of Fame thought it would be a temporary move.

Corporate donations have dwindled over the years, and no one is willing to donate space, said Rusty Schommer, president of the Hall of Fame's board of directors. Spon sors like AT&T are no longer around or have moved on to other causes.

"Everybody is very supportive but when it comes to dollars and cents, that's a whole other issue," Schommer said, noting the organization, which holds the annual Hall of Fame induction dinner, runs on an annual budget of $50,000.

Despite having a collection that tells the history of bike racing from its heyday in the early 19th century , the museum was never high profile -- one organizer calls it "a well- kept secret"-- except for during the Tour of Somerville weekend. Last year, a local landlord allowed the museum to use an empty storefront on Main Street during the race, but nothing was available this year.

The next move may be to take the collection out of New Jersey.

The Hall of Fame has put out requests for proposals and says possible future locations include Davis, Calif., where the 2008 Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held this year, and Worcester, Mass., home of Marshall "Major" Taylor, an African American cyclist who holds seven world records. His bike has been lent by the U.S. Hall of Fame to the ADT Velodrome in Carson, Calif., to be displayed.

Ron Czajkowski, former board member for the not-for-profit Hall of Fame, said most of the group would like to see the museum re main in Somerville, but the ultimate goal is to get the display somewhere it can continue to tell stories of the sport's greatest cycl ers.

In the toolshed, which is heated and air conditioned, Menci, himself a former cycling champion, points to boxes filled with items donated by biking greats who were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bikes, including LeMond's green and black racing machine, are lined up as if they are in somebody's garage.

Occupying its own separate box is LeMond's maillot jeune, the yellow jersey worn by the champion during the 1986 Tour de France. Trophies bearing the patina of age are stacked on tables or in cases, along with promotional posters for big races and old photos.

And things keep coming.

"We have all these unbelievable artifacts that are doing nothing but collecting dust," Czajkowski said. "We have to find someone who will embrace them."

2008 The Star Ledger
2008 All Rights Reserved.

Museum website
Avraham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 08:00 PM   #2
Mettle to the Pedals
Dewbert's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Central Indiana
Bikes: Giant Cypress hyrbrid, Giant OCR2, Giant OCRc2, Giant Suede (wife's)
Posts: 710
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just read this myself. I hope a corporate sponsor or angel donor steps up.
2008 Giant FCR3 (kitted up for touring)
2006 Giant OCRc2 full-Carbon (for the sheer pleasure of riding)
2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
2007 Schwinn 7 Speed Alloy Cruiser (For getting to the Dairy Queen in style!)
Dewbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 08:53 PM   #3
I like my car
ShadowGray's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Shouldn't one of the big bike manufacturers step up and do something? It'd make for some great advertising too... the Trek Bicycle Museum?
ShadowGray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 08:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 444
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that is terrible to read of those classic old bikes, winning jerseys, memorabilia, and trophies just sitting in a storage facility.
Feathers is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:47 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.