The Bike Museum of Alon Wolf



Since I was a boy I liked to collect things and ride a bike. 5 years ago in 2008 I had a dream to open the first bicycle museum in Israel. In the beginning I had the fortune to buy an older woman's 100 years old Brennabor bike that came to Israel with her ​​father and family on a ship from Germany. She kept them in her basement in Jerusalem for many years. In 2008 during Passover she was cleaning the basement and decided to post them for sale on a second-hand website.

The first couple of bicycles that I managed to collect hung on the walls of my house, until my wife suggested to me that I over did it, and that it's not suitable as house decorations. Luckily, in the Moshav where I live, there is an old chicken coop which I decided to renovate and to establish there the museum workshop and showroom. Since then I have not stopped collecting,renovating, and replacing the bicycles in the collection.

Now I have a collection of about 140 bicycles, divided into eight sections. The museum is a non-profit museum and so I am asked often by visitors"where do you get all the bikes from?"The answer is that each bicycle has a different story how it came to the museum; some are donations from good people, or families of past professionals, some I find in bike shops or even in kibbutzim, some are fromgarbage collection areas, and some I buy.

All the bicycles undergo renovation; I learn about their history and prepare a typed explanation for each one. My life outside of the museum work is also dedicated to bicycles. I accompany bicycle tours throughout Israel, I am a certified children' bicycle guide, I coach riding teams and teaches new ones how to ride. Additionally, I am doing shows and tours of the museum in external museums that wish to have a presentation of the bicycles.

For people who visit the museum I begin a tour of the museum by sharing the history of the bicycle. I tell the first bike: "the walking machine" invented by the German Baron Karl von Dries in 1818.In the next phase they added a pedal in the front wheel and made the "rattling bones" (bone shaker), in the middle of the 19th century they built the big wheel bicycle (penny farthing). A bike like these produced by Singer with a wheel 60 inches I have in the museum collection. This kind of model was not used for a long time because it was dangerous, thus reducing the size of the wheels and adding another wheel for balance, making it a tricycle. In 1888 John Dunlop invented the tires and inner tubes and began producing bicycles with equal wheel sizes.

The next section I explain about is the section of bicycles made ​​in Israel. There were six companies that produced bicycles in Israel. In this section there is a total of 18 men, women and children bicycles from those companies. The first bicycle factory in the country was founded in 1940 by Abraham Michelson in Givatayim. The bikes were of very high quality and in addition the factory produced parts like bayonets, brakes, and more. Another company was established in 1958 at Kibbutz Tzora'a called ICM. They were established with the assistance of the Israeli government and investors from South Africa. The location of they factory was in the industrial area of Beit Shemeshin order to allow new immigrants who lived nearby to work in the factory. In the early sixties three additional companies were built, Jacoby-Presenti, Dahar, and HereshOfan (HOC). HereshOfan that arelocated in the industrial area of Petah Tikva still exist and produce custom made bikes to order.

Another section in the museum is city bikes from all over the world, some outstanding bicycles are;a Syrian pare left abandoned in a Syrian village after the Six–Day War, an Iranianbicycle, A German City bicycle with a rareback break,an Indian pare without a chain with driveshift, an Italian Boutique Tandem with five seats and many more bicycles from around the world.

Another sectionis that of work bikes, there is a Raleigh messengers'bike, a tricycle used to work in the market, an ice cream distribution bike, and Chinese tricycles for carrying people and equipment. An additional section is the off-roading style of bicycles that is considered quite a new field of cycling developed by Gary Fisher, Richi, and some other bike fanatics in the late Seventies. You can see models of the leading brands such as hard tail bike,full suspension and soft tail bike from the 80s and 90s.

In the Children' section there are tricycles made ​​of iron from the 50s and 60s, bikes with wheels that rise and fall while riding. Stinger Schwinn bikes from the 60s, a 70s Raleigh Chopper and American Western-Flier from 1950 and many more. The next section is that of folding bikes. Among other things there is a pair of Bicorton bike, folding aluminum from the 60s, and Molten Standard Triumph bike designed by the designer of Rolls Royce and more.

In the second presentation hall there is a special bike section. There are four pairs of counter-clock road bikes with the unique structured combination of materials like carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, Skedium and more. A rare pare of Porsche aggressive dirt bike from the 90s. A hybrid Mercedes bike, afullsuspension bike custombuilt for me from bamboo and carbon,ski bikes with skis, and many more.

The road bike section has a lot of bike designs from different countries around the world from the 70s and 80s, all made of iron with a bent handlebar and old fashioned gear levers in the front.

Finally, the Champions' secion. Bike I have trophies, certificates and clothing of some Israeli champion in cycling. Two of them, Yitzhak Ben David and Henry Ohayon were professional riders in theBertin group. They came from Morocco in the late 50s. They were champions of Israel and attended the 1960 Rome Olympics. Ben David's BertinVitos' bicycle pair was produced especially for his measurments in a factory in France. An additional Lejeune bike ​ belonged to Albert Bouzaglo, Israeli champion at 100 km in 1957. Some more bikes in this section include; Reuven Kinori's 1968 Chinleybicycle pair, champion of Israel from 1968 to 1972. Another bike is the 1960 Bianchi that belonged to Amos Levy who came to Israel from Egypt and won there the National King Farouk trophy. He was coach of Israel bike team and International Bicycle judge.
I believe that with the museum I can get many more adults and young people interested in the bicycle field and in bike riding specifically. I also want to preserve the history of the bike companies operating in the country and the legacy of past champions.