Tuesday 21 May 2013

Bike Museum, Sakai, Osaka

During Sunday's first stage of the Tour Of Japan in Sakai, we took the chance to shelter from the rain in the Bicycle Museum Cycle Center, a wonderful museum run by the Shimano Foundation. The first floor of the museum covers all aspects of the history of cycling, from Ordinaries to Wiggo's Shimano equipped TDF bicycle. Sakai is famous for craftsmen who made tools, cutlery and guns and later that developed into the bicycle industry. 

Bicycle presented to the Crown Prince in August 1936
Bicycles presented to the Crown Prince and Princess from the city of Sakai .

The royal seal adorning the head tube.
Wiggo's winning Pinarello with full Shimano.
One of many bicycle posters around the museum.
Speed record breaking bicycle from the 1950's

An original Breezer MTB

One of the nice things about the museum was the bikes on display seem to have a story behind them, they are not all just factory models that have never been ridden, from the Royal household bicycles to one of Lance's early rides. The second floor is devoted to the "evolution of the bicycle" with various kinds of modern bikes on display and a few different models where you can try out different braking and gear systems.

Andrew Hampsten's 1988 Giro winning Huffy.
The basement is given over to education with a cycling library and a breath taking "open storage warehouse", basically a huge room holding 250 of the bicycles in the museum's collection that are not displayed elsewhere.

A 3Rensho track bike on display in the basement warehouse
The Open Storage Warehouse.