By Trina Ortega • Photo by Wende Cragg, courtesy Mountain Bike Hall of Fame & Museum
(LAS VEGAS) — With the intention of reaching more enthusiasts as well as a broader segment of the population, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum will be moving from its home of 25 years in Crested Butte, Colo., to Fairfax, Calif. The move begins in October and the new free-standing museum located in Marin County is expected to open in spring 2014.
The Marin Museum of Bicycling will be a bicycle history museum and cultural center and the new home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The museum will be located in a 3,000-square-foot facility in downtown Fairfax, which is the birthplace of the famous Repack races of the 1970s. Mountain bike pioneers Joe Breeze, Otis Guy, Marc Vendetti, and Julia Violich are the moving forces behind the project. (For a related story about the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees, click here.)
When Kay and Don Cook, founders of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame & Museum, were presented with the idea of moving the museum, Marin County was the only other place that made sense.
Cook explained that Fairfax is the “true birthplace” of the sport because the competitive aspect of the sport was alive in Marin County. Around the same time, the Repack races were occurring, clunkers were being used in Crested Butte but they were considered more a means of transportation.
“It is exciting news that the museum is going to be moving to bigger and better digs, with a much better chance of viewers and a larger population. There are so many plusses I don’t even need to get into it all,” Cook said last week at the public announcement during Interbike in Las Vegas.
Breeze said many advocates in Marin County have had a longtime dream to have a cycling museum on the West Coast.
“I knew Don and Kay wanted the very best for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and really wanted to see it grow,” Breeze said. “It’s kind of like a marriage, where you’re bringing new people into the family not losing people.”
The new museum will not only highlight mountain bike history and house the Hall of Fame, but will be a general bicycle museum showing how the two-wheel machine has had a worldwide impact since the 1860s, according to Breeze.
On display at the museum will be bicycles from the earliest days to the present, with a focus on American-made bikes. The museum will feature bicycle-oriented events, such as lectures, movies and live TV coverage of events. The main hall will seat up to 90 people and serve as a meeting place for bicycle clubs and enthusiasts and private and public events. A gift shop, both online and at the museum, will feature cycling memorabilia, photos, posters, clothing and other gift items.
The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame will be a central focus of the Marin museum and will be expanded to show more bikes, more history and more inductees.
“We are very honored to be asked for it to be taken into such good hands and delivered to the next level for the world to appreciate this American-born sport,” Cook said.
For more information and to make a donation to the new museum, visit www.mmb-mbhof.org.