Life cycles: Bike enthusiasts won't tire of German museum's collection

By Peter Jaeger

Here's a good suggestion for cyclists looking for something to do on a Sunday.

Hop on your bike an head for Gau-Algesheim, a town between Mainz and Bingen, Germany. There you can take a break and check out the Rheinhessen Bicycle Museum, a small museum with a wide variety of old and modern bikes and many collectibles from the world of cycling.

The museum - the Rheinhessisches Fahrradmuseum - is inside Schloss Ardeck, a manor just a stone's throw from the main square.

It was founded five years ago by biking enthusiasts and local cycling club members. It is organized in four sections: information on the history and mechanics of bicycles: the role in daily life; the bike and art; and cycling as a sport.

Many of the eye-catching exhibits are displayed with loving care, and visitors can feel the enthusiasm of the club members who put their time and effort into the display. The co-founder and driving force, Dr. Heinz-Egon Rösch, is proud of the collection and eager to show off and explain his treasures to visitors, in English, if asked.

Museum highlights include an 1886 "high bike", with ist large front wheel and small rear one; a replica of the first bike in Germany made out of wood; an original poster by french painter Toulouse-Lautrec showing an early bike race in 1869; and a bike from China.

Other exhibits includes tandem bikes; strange-looking modern ones in which the biker lies horizontailly on his bike; and some of today's sleek, record-setting machines. Through the summer there is a special exhibit on bikes accessories - bells, lights and seats.

Old posters and modern art showing cycles from any biking buff - especially for those interested in rare, technical inventions and strange collectibles.

Gau-Algesheim itself is a small, relaxed town of winemakers and farmers. The quiet market square with the ancient town hall and the impressive St. Cosmas and Damian Church is a good place to sample the local wines and get something to eat before getting back on the bike and heading home.

REMUS - Das Museumsportal der Grande Région

Rheinhessisches Fahrradmuseum in Gau-Algesheim 

Le sport cycliste jouit d'une longue tradition en Hesse Rhénane. Le plus ancien club de cyclisme fut fondé dès 1889 à Mayence. Aujourd'hui, il existe 38 clubs de cyclistes et de cyclisme ou de sections de cyclisme dans des associations de gymnastique et de sport, sans oublier les nombreux amateurs faisant du vélo au quotidien et comme loisir.

Le Musée du vélo de Hesse Rhénane, situé dans l'ancien château Ardeck, de l'Électorat de Mayence, à Gau-Algesheim, se consacre dans quatre salles à la culture du cyclisme principalement en Hesse Rhénane. L'exposition présente des vélos de façons et fonctions diverses comme par exemple un bicycle de 1886. Des accessoires pour vélo, des affiches publicitaires et des photos, auxquels s'ajoutent des reproductions de peintures et sculptures d'artistes célèbres, composent une collection variée consacrée au cyclisme. Le musée informe aussi sur toutes les facettes du sport à vélo, du sport cycliste en salle jusqu'aux courses sur routes et au cyclisme populaire.

REMUS vous souhaite la bienvenue!