respect the bike showcases ohio's rich history of two-wheeled inventiveness

Travis Peebles, who co-owns Blazing Saddle Cycle, displays a Roadmaster bicycle that was made about 80 years ago by the Cleveland Welding Company, located at W. 117th and Berea Road. The rusted, 40-pound bike is not for sale, yet it adorns the shop as a proud reminder of cycling's rich local history.

It is perhaps a little known fact that both Cleveland and Ohio have a rich history in the annals of bike history (those crazy Wright brothers started it all with a Dayton bike shop, after all). Our region's tradition of making bicycles is intertwined with our manufacturing history. That deep tradition will be on display this Friday, April 27th at the Greenhouse Tavern during "Respect the Bike: Ohio Built with Ohio Pride," an exhibition of historic and contemporary Ohio bike builders.

"Cleveland and Ohio were huge springboards for cycling," says Peebles. "From the 1890s through the 1900s, there were tons of bikes that were made in Cleveland."

Respect the Bike will feature a wide range of bicycles from pre-1900 bikes made in Northeast Ohio to contemporary bikes built by local, entrepreneurial frame builders such as Rust Belt Welding, Carmen Gambino and Dan Polito.

Peebles, who admits to being "borderline obsessed" with hunting for old bicycles and makes a living restoring '70s and '80s era steel bikes, partnered with the Greenhouse Tavern because of its commitment to local foods and cycling.

Respect the Bike is also billed as a kick-off to Cleveland Bike Month, which takes place in May. Attendees are encouraged to ride their bikes to the event and participate in the monthly Critical Mass ride at Public Square beforehand.

Source: Travis Peebles
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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