In celebration of Bay State Bike Month, The West End Museum (WEM) is launching its exhibit “Cycling Legends of the West End,”on Saturday, Sept. 18, with a special launch party co-hosted by MassBike.
The party will run from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and will feature roller racing on the sidewalk outside the museum with Boston Art, Sports and Entertainment, short bike tours with MassBike and more.
“Cycling Legends of the West End” spotlights three fascinating characters in cycling history. Two of them were West End residents; one was a longtime physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Bicycling legends Kittie Knox and Annie Cohen Kopchovsky lived in the West End during the progressive era, and in their own way, became activists for women’s equality,” said Duane Lucia, exhibit curator and a member of the WEM board of directors. “Dr. Paul Dudley White, longtime cardiologist at Mass. General, led the charge for the fitness movement starting in the 1950s, which in turn saw the reemergence of bicycling in the 1970s.”
The exhibit also recounts the invention of the bicycle, its popularization and innovations in the 1800s, the bike craze of the 1890s, and the renaissance of the 1970s. Vintage bicycles, photographs, artifacts, and graphic panels take visitors on a trip back in time, while also revealing that much of what happened in the late 19th century is happening again today.
The WEM will also have several events throughout September to celebrate Bike Month, among them:
Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story, Sept. 9, 6:30pm
Author Peter Zheutlin will speak about his new book about his great-grand-aunt, Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, the world’s first female international sports star. The young mother of three left her home in the West End in 1894 on an around-the-world cycling trip. Register here.
Kittie Knox: Breaking Barriers in Cycling, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m.
Hear from author Larry Finison and YouTube series producer Jazz Dotting as they discuss their works on Knox, the bi-racial cyclist from Cambridge and Boston who pushed for inclusion in cycling in the 1890s. Watch Dotting’s video about Knox, also