Museum of Wisconsin Art Presents Joy Ride: Designing Trek 

Exhibition to highlight the innovation and superior craftsmanship of Waterloo-based Trek Bicycles

March 19, 2018
Return to press releases

WEST BEND, Wis. (March 19, 2018): The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce the opening of Joy Ride: Designing Trek featuring Waterloo-based Trek Bicycles. Opening with a party on Saturday, April 14, Joy Ride highlights the company’s dedication to superior craftsmanship and innovation over the last 40 years and will include an original steel road bike from 1976, bikes from famous professional riders like Rachel Atherton, Alberto Contador, and Jens Voigt, and many more.

“Trek is a global leader in craftsmanship and innovative design. The organization cares deeply about its impact on lifestyles and ensuring that people can stay on bikes longer and later in life.” said MOWA Executive Director | CEO Laurie Winters. “The museum will showcase more than thirty bicycles in the State Gallery and a special installation in the Atrium. Additional bikes will be juxtaposed next to artwork in the permanent collection galleries as a way to emphasize their design.” 

From its humble beginning in 1976, hand building steel bike frames in a Wisconsin barn, to becoming one of the dominant players in a multi-billion dollar international cycling market with its state-of-the-art headquarters based in Waterloo, Trek Bicycles believes life is “better with bikes” and it strives to play an integral part of people’s lifestyles around the world. Joy Ride traces the history and evolution of this global leader in bicycle design, acknowledging not just the diversity of people who ride, but the drive for performance, cutting-edge innovation, and extraordinary artistry. 

“One of the greatest and simplest pleasures in life is going for a bike ride. A bike gives you freedom. It gives you the pleasure of sun and wind in your face and all under your own power.” said avid cyclist and MOWA Director of Exhibitions and Collections Graeme Reid. “Trek might be based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, but they make this pleasure available around the world.” 
A selection of bikes from some of Trek’s most famous professional riders will be on view: Rachel Atherton’s 2017 season downhill bike, Alberto Contador’s 2007 Champs-Elysées Tour de France bike, and Jens Voigt’s ‘hour record bicycle’ on which he recorded the longest distance traveled in a single hour from a dead start in 2014, to name a few. Other notable bicycles include polar adventurer and Cedarburg native Eric Larsen’s South Pole fat bike, and a 1995 Y33 mountain bike from the collection of late actor and avid cyclist Robin Williams. Trek’s playful side takes full reign in a psychedelic Grateful Dead-inspired mountain bike made for biking legend Gary Fisher and a collection of personal “art bikes” by Trek’s in-house designers that will be paired with artworks in the permanent collection galleries.

Exhibition Activities

On View: April 14–August 5, 2018 
Museum of Wisconsin Art | State Gallery | Atrium Installation | Art Bikes in Permanent Collection Galleries

Saturday, April 14 | 2:00–5:00 
Meet Trek designers and exhibition artists. Enjoy printmaking with bike tires, live music by The Latchkeys, light bites, and a cash bar. 

Thursday, April 19 | 6:30–7:30 
Trek designers give a behind-the-scenes look at their work and share what it’s like to be a part of an organization dedicated to making the world a more bike-friendly place.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike)
Bring your bike to MOWA! Experience the Joy Ride: Designing Trek exhibition and take your own joy ride on the Eisenbahn State Trail, adjacent to the museum’s property. Then explore the shops and restaurants of beautiful downtown West Bend.
To celebrate the Joy Ride: Designing Trek exhibition, a collaboration of community partners present a summer of cycling full of bike activities for all ages. Learn more at


The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States, with over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists. Through rotating exhibitions and educational programs, MOWA provides an innovative forum for the culturally engaged.

In 2013, MOWA opened its new 32,000-square-foot facility in downtown West Bend. The building, the first museum commission by acclaimed architect Jim Shields of HGA Architects, is situated along the west bend of the Milwaukee River on a triangular plot of land that inspired the facility’s modern wedge shape. An expansive wall of windows follows the curve of the river bank and minimizes the boundaries between interior and exterior. The museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, and two classrooms as well as visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events.  

Museum of Wisconsin Art
205 Veterans Avenue, West Bend, Wisconsin 53095
262-334-9638 |
Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing, 262.247.2266