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Bicycle Love! 

New exhibit at Sonoma County Museum explores rich cycling history


With the third annual King Ridge GranFondo ride this week, the timing is perfect to honor local cycling with a full museum exhibit. Customized: the Art and History of the Bicycle, at the Sonoma County Museum, covers more than 100 years of the art and history of the bicycle and its evolution in Northern California. The exhibit explores political issues, the green movement, mountain biking, bicycle racing and showcases dozens of unique bicycle inventions. An 1860s velocipede, classic "balloon tire" children's bikes of the 1940s and 1950s and an early customized mountain bike are on display, and a documentary with local professional cycling superstars screens.

Annual events such as the GranFondo and the Tour of California have made Sonoma County a new mecca for cycling enthusiasts. This year, the museum will participate in the Radio Shack GranFondo downtown celebration on Sept. 30. In addition, the Sonoma County Museum is offering several rides with the Sonoma County Bike Coalition. One such ride on Oct. 22 includes a tour of bicycle shops and a chance to meet the region's top custom bike builders.

Customized runs through Feb. 5, 2012, at the Sonoma County Museum. 427 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm. $2-$5. 707.579.1500.

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