Marveling at Pittsburgh’s mecca for bike fans.
By Valentine J. Brkich
Now that spring is here (finally!), you’re bound to see a lot more bicycles out and about. But other than, maybe, Amsterdam, nowhere else will you see more bicycles than at the aptly named Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
My wife, kids, and I just happened upon this amazing museum one day and, let me tell you, we were blown away. The moment you step through the door, there are literally bicycles everywhere—on the floor, on the walls, and even hanging from the ceiling. It’s kinda like my own garage, just on a much grander (and much more organized) scale.
It all began back in 1996 in the nearby suburb of Bellevue. One day Craig Morrow picked a discarded bicycle out of the junk and repaired it. Soon he was repairing and selling other used bikes, as well as collecting rare and vintage ones. Eventually, he had a few thousand bikes stuffed in garages throughout town.
Fast-forward to 2011, Craig and his wife, Mindy, founded Bicycle Heaven as a place to repair and sell bikes, as well as to display their incredible and ever-growing collection. Today it’s the world’s largest bicycle museum and shop with — get this — over 6,000 bicycles on display! It has even been written about in The New York Times.
We pretty much walked around the museum with our mouths agape the entire time. You can’t help it. The number of bikes is astounding.
Some of their bikes are movie stars, having appeared in films like “A Beautiful Mind” and “Fences.” They even have Pee-wee Herman’s epic custom two-wheeler from “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”
The strangest thing on display has to be the tree (yes, an actual tree) they brought in from a rural Ohio farm, which had grown around two antique bicycles.
My favorite bike on display by far, however, was the black GT Dyno BMX, which was my all-time favorite bicycle growing up. Had I been wearing my ripped-up jean jacket and British Knights high-tops, I’d have thought I was back in 1987 again.
We probably spent an hour wandering around the museum, but honestly you could spend an entire day there and still not see everything. Luckily, it’s open seven days a week and admission is free, so I know we’ll be back.
by Valentine J. Brkich, April 2019
Valentine J. Brkich is a freelance writer from Beaver, Pa., and the author of Achieving Mediocrity: Surefire Strategies for a Lackluster Life. Follow him online @valentinebrkich and SmallTownDad.com.