The pieces in the new bicycle museum in Balassagyarmat are the property of 10 private collectors, and visitors can follow the history of the bicycle.
The oldest pieces on display come from England and France, including a foot-operated treadmill made of iron from the first half of the 1800s. Next came Scottish-made, rod-powered Macmillan bikes, followed by the huge-wheeled bicycles. Today’s bikes with a gear, chain and rubber wheel appeared in the late 1800s.
Among the more than 100 bicycles on display, specialties include an antique bike made for rich children, a tandem bike, a tricycle racing bike, a recumbent bike with front-wheel drive, and an exercise bike. Visitors can also see the first motorized bicycle, the Dombo motor-driven bicycle manufactured in the 1960s, and some more advanced motorcycles. Mountain bikes and BMX bikes are also in the exhibit, along with a collection of bells and lanterns.
There are touring bikes from Europe and racing bikes from all over the world, but the largest group of bicycles is represented by Hungarian brands, including the products of Weisz Manfréd Acél és Fémművei Rt. and Csepel Művek.
A headstone will be erected in front of the building in memory of cyclists who have died from road accidents as well.
The museum will open on June 20 and also house the Ipoly Tour Center Club and a café. Miklós Olexa, founder of the museum and president of the Ipoly Tour Association, is planning to set up a stage for bicycle events in the museum’s yard later this year.