Davis has been long recognized as a bicycle friendly town, so the opening of an attraction all things bicycle is no surprise.
After moving to Davis from Somerville, New Jersey in November 2009, the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame has since merged with the California Bicycle Museum and designed a new logo. On Saturday, Apr. 24 at 11:30 a.m. the museum will officially open its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Hall of Fame will be open until 4 p.m on opening day. The USBHF will be open to the public on Wednesdays from 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to the Davis Farmers Market on the corner of Central Park on Third and B Streets.
Over 125 cyclists have been entered into the Hall of Fame in its 25-year history and four new inductees are elected annually.
City of Davis public relations manager Bob Bowen, who will be riding his 48-inch high-wheeler in Saturday’s Picnic Day Parade, said these are necessary steps to transform the Hall of Fame into a quality attraction.
“Bicycling has always been part of our community’s identity. In 1967 we were the first city in the country to paint bike lanes on the streets and since then biking has been an integral way in how our community circulates,” Bowen said.
For this reason, Bowen said he believes the Hall of Fame’s new home helps set a solid foundation because of the high value the city puts on bicycles.
“Receiving the Hall of Fame is appropriate for a city that has a lasting bike culture. There is enough support and interest around the Hall of Fame to raise its visibility nationwide,” Bowen said.
Anthony Costello, a board member of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and former president of the California Bicycle Museum, said the addition of the museum’s historical collection provides an interesting perspective on the evolution of bicycles.
“The Hall of Fame offers insight into the inductees’ great achievements in the sport, but it also shows how bicycles have evolved over time,” Costello said.
Museum visitors will have the chance to see more than just the average, modern bicycle, such as the “draisine” bicycle from the 19th century where riders pushed with their feet to move forward. Other bicycles from UC Davis’ Pierce Miller Collection on display will include an “ordinary” from the High Wheel era.
Because the Hall of Fame’s overall collection is so extensive, Costello said the antiques and memorabilia, along with the interactive features, will be shifted so visitors can come often and enjoy a different set of treasures.
“Davis embodies many aspects of the Hall’s mission and was selected in large part because of the community’s support to find innovative ways to promote cycling,” Costello said. “It is important to keep making the experience different so members of the community can enjoy the Hall of Fame frequently.”
The League of American Bicyclists awarded Davis with the highest rating – platinum level – for the infrastructure built for bicyclists throughout the city.
Jim Brown, California Bicycle Coalition communications director, said Davis is the epicenter for bicycling in the U.S. and is a great location to accommodate the Hall of Fame.
“It seems like the perfect home for the Hall of Fame. This will definitely raise the profile of bicycling in California since it is a national asset,” Brown said. “Davis is a model bicycle-friendly community and the Hall of Fame and Amgen Tour are two assets that show there is a much larger focus on bicycling in California.”
MICHAEL STEPANOV can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.