Born to Be Wild

Our journey in Iowa continues. And no road trip would be complete without at least one completely random and unplanned destination. While on the road, Sriram spotted the National Motorcycle Museum and decided we had to stop in for a visit.

One of the first displays you come across as you enter into the museum is of dare devil Evel Knievel, perhaps the most famous rider of all time. Known as much for his Americana riding outfits as his dare devil stunts, Knievel’s official career spawned 15 years, included more than 75 jumps and resulted in more than 425 broken bones (which earned him a Guinness World Records record for most lifetime broken bones).

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But Evel Knievel wasn’t what drew us off the road. Just around the corner, Sriram got what he came for. The bike.

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Peter Fonda’s famed bike from Easy Rider. I confess, I’ve seen this movie and found it to be … mind numbingly boring and tedious. But Sriram is a big fan and was hoping to come across the bike. He was certainly happy to discover it in the museum.

We meandered through the museum which had some interesting displays and stories, including a display for the first female motorcycle club, an old fashioned 1920’s gas station, a track chronicling the history of race surfaces, as well as many movie and television bikes. As with any such museum (planes, automobiles, etc) it’s so difficult to photograph with any real meaning because the backgrounds are cluttered with so many other bikes. But I managed a few fun shots.

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Notice the bike on the bottom left, it’s an ice-cream “truck”. Such fun.

Of course, for me, the museum was not considered authentic until we came across this display commemorating the best rider of them all, and the object of my (very) youthful crush. The Fonz, himself. No bike, but a worthy tribute.

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It was a fun stop and considering how pricey a lot of museums and tourist attractions are, the $10 admission was modest. I’d recommend it for motorcycle enthusiasts and casual fans alike.

Wondering about a particular bike? Ask in the comments section. I have lots of pictures.


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