- Associated Press - Saturday, October 17, 2015

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - Visitors to the Old Settlers Reunion could step back in time by viewing a collection of vintage bicycles, some that have been restored and others that are in their original, nearly pristine condition.

Rich Weishaar of Effingham needed to find a way to get some exercise after having open heart surgery in 2007. So, he opted to buy a new bicycle to help with his recovery.

“Later, I went to an auction and bought an old bicycle,” said Weishaar. “That got me started going to more auctions and garage sales and picking up more bikes. I also started going to bicycle shows, where you can win prizes. These shows have classes, just like car shows.”

His collection includes versions made from 1938 to 1980 of the two-wheeled transportation. He was showing 15, but, his collection includes around 40 bicycles in different styles and ages. He transports them carefully with specially built bike racks to keep them from getting scratched.

One of the more rare bicycles displayed was built by Iver Johnson, which hasn’t been made since World War II. The company’s name was Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works.



“Iver Johnson made both guns and bicycles, but when World War II started, they stopped making the bicycles. I bought this one at a sale in Toledo (Illinois),” said Weishaar.

Another of his favorites is a red 1959 Schwinn Phantom. The bike was only made in three colors, red, green and black, and the red ones are the most rare, he said.

Some models have a battery powered head lamp and horn. It takes D cell batteries power the accessories on the bicycles.

Weishaar researches to learn the history of his and other bicycles. Every U.S. bicycle manufacturer filed bankruptcy in 2000, because they couldn’t compete with the manufacturers in China and Taiwan, he said.

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Source: Effingham Daily News, https://bit.ly/1Mcq58s

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Information from: Effingham Daily News, https://www.effinghamdailynews.com

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