Next to old and valuable pieces – such as the bersagliere’s bicycle dating back to 1900, the racing bike from 1935 equipped with the first ever rod gear branded Campagnolo and used by Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, the fireman and the baker’s bicycles plus many others – the museum displays some of the most famous and historical jerseys such as the pink jersey worn by Marco Pantani’s when he won the Giro d’Italia in 1998, or the white jersey worn by the super champion Fausto Coppi in the postwar years, or the National team jersey from 1996 and that of the Turin club dedicated to Serse Coppi, Fausto’s brother.A corner is dedicated to local professional riders, with jerseys worn by Matteo Cravero (now retired) and those of Marco Osella and Miculà Dematteis, both still racing.We have bicycle dating back to an 1860 Boneshaker, 1870 Highwheeler, 1880 Side-by-Side Tandem, and 1890 Tally-Ho Tandem (only three known to exist), and bicycle through the 20th century to a Greg Le Mond bicycle used to win the 1989 Tour de France final time-trial by a mere eight seconds.We also rent bicycles for use on the Backroads Bikeway Trail System, a total of 20 different mapped / signed bicycle routes throughout Berrien County, Michigan and La Porte County, Indiana.The owner is the kind proprietor of the sheesha cafe I visit thrice daily to catch up on some reading and voluntarily inhale carcinogenic substances.
Penny-farthings are an extreme type of early bicycle.
Gallery: An American Star bicycle dating to 1884 was designed with the smaller wheel in front to avoid the tendency of other high wheelers to pitch forward.
The Star's pedals ratchet up and down around a flywheel, better accommodating riders of different leg lengths.
Although commonly referred to as penny-farthings, because of comparison with a large penny and a smaller farthing coin, it is likely that this name only came into usage as penny-farthings began to be replaced by the smaller wheeled safety bicycle and for most of their short reign, aficionados simply called them ‘bicycles’.
The splendid 1870’s penny farthing bicycle – our first acquisition through the Cultural Gifts Program – was installed between the Victorian display and the Queen’s Gifts and a successful launch held on Saturday 7 June 2014.