Visit to Musee du Velo, Switzerland, 2021
In the village of Chippis, in the Swiss Alps near Sion, Switzerland, is a private museum dedicated to bicycles. It is primarily dedicated to racing bicycles, but there are a good many other items as well, spanning over 140 years. The collection has been assembled and maintained by one man, Marc-Andre Elsig. Marc worked as a team mechanic for many years, and was often given team bicycles after a season finished. Thus, he came to be in possession of bicycles actually raced by Hinault, Fabian Cancellara, Jan Ullrich, and Tyler Hamilton, to name but a few. The collection includes 3,000 tricots (not all on display), some worn and autographed by famous riders. Marc spent an hour and a half, kindly showing me the treasures he has assembled, explaining the significance of each item: there are engineering marvels, historic racing machines, many of which are unique or the only known surviving examples of short production-runs, period costumes (for example, a military uniform of the Swiss cycle corps to go with the Swiss military bicycle, a postman's uniform to go with the post bicycle).