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Bicycling Hall of Fame chooses Davis

By Dave Jones on April 10, 2009 in University

Bicycle-friendly UC Davis and the city of Davis are beaming today (April 10) with the announcement that the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame intends to move to Davis.

“One knows in the first minutes here that bicycles have got to be the symbol of this community — there seem to be more of them than there are people,” Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef said in a news release.

“The hall of fame is a natural for Davis and UC Davis — we are bikes!”

Even Gov. Schwarzenegger weighed in: “No other state embraces the fitness and environmentally responsible lifestyle of cycling more than the Golden State. … Having the hall of fame here in California is yet another testament to why our beautiful state is the best place in the nation and the world to live, work and play.”

And, in all of California, Davis stands out for its extensive network of bike paths (more than 100 miles) and a university campus where you stand out in the crowd if you are NOT on a bicycle.

The hall of fame board of directors had narrowed its choices for a new home to Davis and Greensboro, N.C., before voting this week to begin exclusive negotiations with Davis’ nonprofit California Bicycle Museum.

UC Davis and the city are partners in the museum, which staged its inaugural exhibition from last fall through February of this year in the basement of the city’s Third and B Street Building. The university’s Pierce Miller collection, ranging in time from the 1820s to 1930s, is the museum’s nucleus.

The plan is to incorporate the museum and the hall of fame in one facility, said Dan Kehew, president of the museum’s board of directors. The museum has no permanent home at this time.

According to the news release, the museum expects to finalize the relocation agreement with the hall of fame and, in doing so, secure the long-term use of a city-owned building.

Eleven cities in all vied to lure the hall of fame from Somerville, N.J., where redevelopment is forcing the hall from its home. During the selection process, UC Davis and the city of Davis hosted the hall of fame’s induction ceremony last November.

Dawn Wylong, president of the hall of fame, said the Davis community’s overwhelming support for cycling tipped the scales.

“The Davis community is passionate about bicycles, at every level, in every aspect of cycling,” Wylong said. “In Davis, the hall of fame will be celebrated and appreciated for what it represents.”

Mayor Ruth Asmundson said bringing the bicycling hall of fame to Davis is a logical step for a city recognized as the first platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

“We have been a model for city planning that encourages bicycling for sustainability, clean air, transportation and fitness,” Asmundson said. “There is not another city in the U.S. where bicycling is a more important part of the community than Davis.”

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Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556, [email protected]

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