‘’If nobody wants to keep the cultural heritage alive, I should be the one to do it!’

Jeroen van Roekel
History of the Mountainbike Museum & Trailcenter

How it all started

The idea to start a Mountainbike Museum came in the nineties.
Founder Jeroen van Roekel tells us:

‘’When I was a young lad I rode through the village on my BMX. My friends all got a moped for their sixteenth birthdays, but I just found that a boring way to get around. Everyone already had a moped! Then I passed a shop window that had a mountain bike in it.
My first thought was ‘I need to have that!’ three days later I purchased that same mountain bike.
This was in 1989, my new hobby was born!”

I think it’s safe to say that this is a hobby that’s got out of hand, don’t you think?
‘’That’s a very safe thing to say’’, smiles Jeroen. ‘’I began collecting mountain bike magazines. Those were hard to get in the Netherlands, because the sport wasn’t popular back then. Mountain biking was much more popular in America and other countries. Those magazines were fairly innocent. In the late nineties however, I saw mountain bikes that weren’t even ten years old wind up at the dump. I took those bikes and built them singlehandedly into fully functioning bikes. That is when the collecting rage really kicked in! ‘’

A collection can expand quickly, but how on earth does one collect more than 700 bikes?
‘’The word travels fast if you’re a collector. People would come (and are still coming) to bring their bicycles that they didn’t use anymore, but they don’t want their beloved bike to land in the garbage, so they take them to a place where they know their beloved bike will be taken care of.
The collection grew fast. I’ve found a permanent home for the bikes at the address of Kemperbergerweg 5a, where I could finally realize the Mountainbike Museum.’’

In 2019 you also opened a Trail Centre at the museum. Why?
‘’I wanted to stimulate interest in mountain biking as much as possible. A big part of mountain biking is the culture: a lot of people choose to ride in a group, so that they can motivate each other and work on their skills by learning from one and other. That’s why I chose to make the museum a Trail centre. People use it as a start and finish spot for their ride. They drink a cup of coffee together and share experiences with other bikers who happen to be there at the same time. Sharing those experiences is priceless”