By Andrea Cordle
The saying goes, “It’s as easy as riding a bike.” Those who say that perhaps have not seen the velocipede boneshaker.
The wooden boneshaker has a front wheel that is 37 inches in diameter, a back wheel that is 31.5 inches in diameter and an overall height of 50 inches. It is on display at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum.
Russell Herner, from Bellevue, Ohio, loaned the bicycle from 1866 to the museum for display through September.
Herner bought the boneshaker in late 2016 from a museum in Burlington, Vt.
“I wanted one all my life,” said Herner. “Bicycles have been recreation for many years. I really like old bicycles.”
The bicycle was owned and displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. until it was sold in the 1970s.
When asked if he ever rode the boneshaker, Herner said, “No and I don’t intend to.”
The bicycle does not have brakes. According to Herner, riders would kick their feet up on the post in front of the bike and enjoy the ride. If they needed to stop, they would either jump off or crash into something.
The boneshaker was called a rich man’s toy, as it cost around $100. They were quite popular from 1866 to 1869. By then, the high wheel bicycle design became the craze.
The museum will also have on display a big wheel bike from 1878, on loan from Jim and Patty Habermehl who have had the bicycle in their family since it was new.
Visitors to the museum can also view a Natural History exhibit by local artist Rodney Eakin. This exhibit features rare minerals, sea shells, artifacts, moths and butterflies.
The Grove City Welcome Center and Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesdays. It will be open each Saturday of the Grove City Chamber of Commerce Farmers’ Market from 8 a.m. to noon, as well as the weekend of Arts in the Alley. The museum is located at 3378 Park St.
For more information, call the museum at 614-277-3061.