If you are a sport enthusiast or a history buff, you can find a museum to your liking in New Bremen, Ohio. The small town, with a population of just under 3000 people, was founded in 1833 and retains much of its historical charm, which makes it an ideal place to host one of America's most unusual historical attractions: The Bicycle Museum.
The Bicycle Museum contains North America's largest private collection of bicycles. Founded by Jim Dicke, a cycling enthusiast and the owner of Crown Equipment Corporation, a multinational company producing electric forklifts, the Bicycle Museum has been open to the public for over a decade.
The Bicycle Museum houses antique bicycles, prototypes that never made it to the market, cycling-related memorabilia, short films on the history of the bicycle, and a large shop where visitors can buy anything from books to miniature models of the most extraordinary bicycles that ever existed.
One of the most notable examples featured in the Bicycle Museum is the 1892 Victor, the classic high front wheeler where riders are an outstanding 56 inches (142.2 cm) from the floor. The 1892 Victor was the Rolls Royce of its time, selling for $130 US Dollars (USD) at a time where a factory worker earned an average of $17 USD a month. Another awe-inspiring example is the military bike of the beginning of the century, fitted with rifles, a small medical kit, and a typewriter.
The Bicycle Museum features dozens of prototypes featuring all kinds of adaptations, such as dual headlights, wood frames, wicker sidecars, and small-wheeled folding bicycles. For those looking for something more modern, the Bicycle Museum also houses several futuristic models, including the 1960 Bowden Spaceliner, which looks like something taken out of a sci-fi movie. There were only 522 Spaceliners made, which makes the bicycle a collector's item. The same is true of the 1922 Dalton, featuring a seat placed between the front and rear wheel, rather than above them.
While the Bicycle Museum is not huge, the collection is ever growing, and it is now considered the largest museum of its kind in the country.