Opening Reception for Italy's Golden Age of Bicycles

May 06, 2017 1155

The Italian American Museum cordially invites you to attend the opening reception for "Italy's Golden Age of Bicycles: 1952 - 1985". Presented by the Brooklyn Velodrome Vintage Wheelmen. Guest Curator: Michael Haddad. Thursday, May 11, 2017. 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. 212.965.9000 155 Mulberry Street - (Corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets) - New York, NY 10013

The Italian American Museum will present an exhibition of vintage Italian racing bicycles (1952-1985) from the collections of members of the Brooklyn Velodrome Vintage Wheelmen from May 11 to July 2. The exhibition, which coincides with National Bike Month, will showcase the technological and design innovations that made Italian bikes rule the world over an amazing span of four decades.

Twelve different brands of Italian-made bicycles and vintage wool jerseys will be shown and will illustrate how Italian ingenuity dominated the world of competitive cycling.

The Italian bicycle industry of this period was driven to technical perfection, which led to the development of stronger, lighter steel tubing and the ubiquitous use of multi-speed gearing. Italy was also producing the best racing tires and consumers were seduced annually by every new Italian innovation. Italian frame builders began to create steel bicycles that were lighter and with better handling characteristics than those of the previous era.

These builders machined and engineered every part of the racing bicycle to remove unnecessary material and thereby lowering the weight. By refining the angles of the frame tubes, these Italian craftsmen could build bicycles that cornered better and handled with more stability, while still maintaining a lively road-feel. All these refinements gave a performance advantage to the rider. The bicycles themselves also had better finishes and more effort was made in the brazing and filing to make these frames as beautiful to look at as to ride.

The exhibit will examine the bicycles, their Italian creators and the people who made the brands popular. Some of their stories describe the Italian American immigrants’ experiences and the contributions they have made to their adopted country.

The exhibit is sponsored by Colavita and will coincide with three other high-profile cycling events: Gran Fondo New York, National Bike Month and the 100th running of the world famous Giro d’Italia. The Museum located at the corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets, is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 PM. Suggested donation is $10.

SOURCE: Italian American Museum

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