Velo City - An Exhibit

Sep 10, 2009 at 16:08
by Rob Church  
A small diversion filled with childhood memories and some lesser known stuff.

I spent a few days a couple of weeks ago in Whistler riding the park and have three more days booked at the end of this month, so what to do between bike trips? Why not visit the Museum of Vancouver Exhibit titled ‘Velo-City’.

Enjoy the pictures from the Exhibit inside,Forgive me for even suggesting this blog be posted; after all, it’s not completely dedicated to all things MTB or BMX. It does however have some things that I think many will find interesting and humorous. Perhaps it’s the right diversion to help start the transition from summer to fall.

The museum exhibit is smaller than I had expected, by that I mean I had expected to see more historical bikes, clothing, adverts and volumes of dusty stuff. This is not to say the exhibit is not worth seeing, far from it. There are stories of local individuals, a bit of history from a British Columbia perspective, multimedia and a fair number of bikes that you may not have ever seen. Definitely worth spending a rain filled afternoon.

I have original photos of myself riding Whistler Mountain (circa 1980 something), v-brakes, goofy helmets and painful wipe outs. Back in the day (I can say that because I am older than you), when mountain bikes did not have suspension, people were trying to soften the ride, and people were quite, well lets say 'innovative'. Check out the yellow ride, Brodie was playing with the Allsop suspension system. Notice the lack of a seat and tube. The Allsop system was a long flexible tube from near the headset in which the seat was positioned, it was a spring intending to isolate bumps and improve rider satisfaction. Imagine having that bad boy mounted to your big DH bike today? Sorry for the crumby picture, I cut off the seat but you get the point of the Allsop system, I wonder why it did not become popular? Even the headset had built in ‘suspension’.

While reminiscing about the old days, check out this front end; quick release and tabs bolted to a fork of some unknown origin, and a rotor that looks like its from an old Honda dirt bike.

This Knolly Endorphin was representing the North Shore, mounted quite nicely on an elevated cedar ladder. I’ve seen a few of these Knollies show up on the hills and in a recent Pinkbike article, they are great bikes and I’m certain will continue to be the pride of BC. (Okay that is a shameless plug; I’ve recently purchased a V-TACH myself).

So flash back with me to 1977 (I think), Sears catalog… remember laying on the floor, flipping pages, writing down page numbers and then the item number? Would Santa bring one of these? Oh how can you forget this baby? Full suspension, coaster brake, real dirt tires, and oh, oh yeah, a gas tank! The things we would jump in front of the house, my poor brother would lay behind the ramp and we would, alas, I digress, this was an awesome bike to see again.

A Schwinn built for two. Never saw one of these as a child but I am certain there would have been much ridicule had we seen one cruising down the street. How times change. Much like the cars from the 50’s, this bike had chrome and flairs like nothing else. Amazing how well this bike was kept when you consider its age.

Enjoy the rest of the pics, they are a collection of things built for special purpose, fantastic. If you get a chance, drop by the museum. It’s a great way to spend a few hours.


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