Michael Milton helped open the
Freewheeling Exhibition which has arrived
at the National Museum of Australia on the final leg of a two-year
Freewheeling: Cycling in Australia takes a unique look at
the bicycle and its impact on Australia's social, economic and political
life over more than 140 years. It features two of Cadel Evans' bicycles
and Michael Milton's very own custom-design "stump bucket."
Milton, a six-time Paralympic gold medallist, has been a bike rider his
entire life. When he lost a leg to bone cancer aged nine his dad modified
his Raleigh Grifter so his prosthetic leg would stay on the pedal.
"Cycling offered me fun, freedom and independence. It's the same today. I
have way too many bikes, which I ride for fun, for training, for
transport, with my kids. I even ride a bike on stage during
"I designed the stump bucket when I took up track cycling ahead of the
2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. It attaches to the frame of the bike and
holds my stump in place which gives me some leverage, especially at the
start," explained Milton.
National Museum Director, Dr Mathew Trinca, said that since Australia
embraced the bicycle as a form of transport in the 1880s, our love of the
two-wheeler has continued to grow.
"This exhibition is the culmination of two years on the road around the
country and we invite you to reflect on how this simple, affordable
machine has shaped our lives, and the possibilities it still offers for
the future," Dr Trinca said.
"Ten themes explore different types of bicycles and styles of riding, and
introduce some of the people whose lives have been shaped by cycling,
including Canberra's own para-cycling champion Michael Milton whose
carbon fibre 'stump bucket' is among the dozens of fascinating objects on
display," Dr Trinca said.
National Museum curator Catriona Donnelly said the exhibition looks at
the thrilling danger of the early penny-farthing, the revolution of the
chain-driven 'safety' bicycle, the 1980s icon of the BMX and the simple
joys of children learning to ride a bike.
The exhibition includes objects from Tour de France winner Cadel Evans,
long distance legend Hubert Opperman, BMX racer Caroline Buchanan,
cycling reporter Jim Trail, and para-cycling champions Sue Powell and
Freewheeling: Cycling in Australia is on display at the
National Museum of Australia from 13 April to 9 July 2017.