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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 22.05.2019, 22:08

At Rietumu – an exhibition of antique bicycles and motorcycles

BC, Riga, 22.06.2017.Print version
At the Rietumu Bank Gallery, a unique exhibition of antique bicycles and mopeds, produced in Latvia since the late 1920s, has been opened.

The Latvian collectors Martins Belickis and Arturs, who over the course of several years, have managed to amass an impressive collection of original antique bicycles and motorcycles, have provided the brightest examples from their collections for the exhibition. 

The name of the exhibition “From Erenpreis to Sarkana Zvaigzne” reflects its essence: there are bikes and mopeds produced by the famous Riga Erenpreis Bicycle Factory and its successors, which, despite all the political and economic cataclysms, have kept a high standard for many decades. 

The Erenpreis Bicycle Factory was founded in 1927, and for several years it was the largest and most modern factory of this kind in the Baltics. After nationalization in 1940, it changed its name and became known as Rigas Velosipedu rupnica (Riga Bicycle Factory). It was here that in the late 1950s, the first mopeds started to be manufactured in the former USSR, and later on the first racing motorcycles. Subsequently, the factory was renamed Sarkana Zvaigzne (Red Star) and under that name worked until the early 90s. 

The motorcycles produced by Sarkana Zvaigzne had also been successfully used in professional sports. The designer and sportsman Alexander Smertev became a four-time champion of the USSR at that time, participating in races with the motorcycles produced by this factory, in the creation of which he had personally participated. 

Visitors of the Rietumu Bank Gallery can see dozens of ancient bicycles, which, both in design and quality, can fully compete with modern models, as well as mopeds of different brands, produced in Riga since the middle of the last century. 

The exhibition will last until 7 July. Opening hours are Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance, as always, is free. 

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