Thursday, September 29, 2011

Octave Lapize - 1910 Tour de France - 1908 Olympics

Octave Lapize
Octave Lapize (October 24, 1887 - July 14, 1917) was a French professional road racing cyclist and track cyclist. Most famous for winning the 1910 Tour de France and a bronze medal at the 1908 Olympics in the men's 100 kilometer race. He was a three-time winner of one-day classics, Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Brussels.

In his first Tour de France in 1909, he abandoned early due to wintery conditions during the month of July, but not before he managed a Stage 2 second place behind Tour winner Fracois Faber.  The following year he went head-to-head with Alcyon teammate Faber who led confortably until colliding with a dog at the foot of the Pyrenees. Lapize finally won by just 4 points helped by a number of punctures to Faber's bike on the final stage from Caen to Paris. In a total of six starts in the Tour de France between 1909 and 1914, this victory was the only one he finished.
Octave Lapize is noted for looking at some Tour officials on the climb of the Col du Tourmalet in the 1910 Tour de France and yelling, "Vous estes des assassins! Oui, des assassins ( French for 'You are murderers! Yes, murderers!')" The stage in question was 326 kilometers in length, featured 7 brutal climbs, and was raced on unsealed roads with single-gear bicycles.
World War I ended his cycling career. As a fighter pilot in the French army, Octave Lapize was shot down near Flirey, Meuthe-et- Moselle on July 14, 1917. Severly injured, he died in a hospital in Toul.

Sturmey Archer - 1965 - Dutch Language Poster

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Julien Vervaecke

Julien Vervaecke (November 3, 1899 - May 1940) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer. He won Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Brussels, 2 stages in the Tour de France and finished 3rd in the 1927 Tour de France. 

Julien's younger brother, Felicien Vervaecke, was also a successful cyclist.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Andre Leducq

 Andre Leducq (February 27, 1904- June 18,1980) was born at Saint-Ouen, France. He was twice world champion as an amateur before turning professional in 1927. The following year he won Paris-Roubaix and was second in the Tour de France, becoming popular for his humor. His other victories included two Tours de France (1930 & 1932) (he won 25 stages in nine Tour rides) and the 1931 Paris -Tours.

Carolina Camera: The Sling Shot Man

1907 Tour de France

The 1907 Tour de France was the 5th annual Tour de France bicycle race. Participants rode 2,788 miles across France from July 8th to August 4th. The average speed of the winner, Lucien Petit-Breton, was 17.69 miles per hour. The race was started by 93 riders and at the end of racing there were only 33 riders classified as finishers. The race was dominated at the start by Emile Georget, who won five of the eight stages. In the ninth stage, he borrowed a bicycle from a team mate after his own broke. This was against the rules, and he was penalized 45 points. Lucien Petit-Breton, who was riding extremely well, became the leader and eventually the 1907 Tour winner. Louis Trousselier's Alcyon team wasn't happy with the penalty given to Georget. They didn't want him to receive a mere points penalty, they wanted him out of the race. Not getting their way, they withdrew completely from the Tour. 
Lucien Petit-Breton winner of the 1907 Tour de France
The length again increased by one stage. The mountain stages had been so successful, according to the organiser Henri Desgange, that the western Alps were included. For the first time, a car with bicycle repairman drove behind the riders, to give assistance in solving mechanical problems on the bicycles. 
Emile Georget, at a track event, winner of 6 stages of the 1907 Tour de France.
Not all cyclists were competing for the victory, some only joined as tourists. The most notable of them was Henri Pepin. Pepin had hired two riders, Jean Dargassies and Henri Gauban to ride with him. Because they were professional riders who would forfeit a lot of money by riding for the "Baron", Pepin generously promised to pay them more for helping him than they would earn even if they won the tour.  They treated the race as a pleasure ride, stopping for lunch when they chose and spending the night at the best hotels they could find. The angry timekeepers had to wait long hours until the 3 gentlemen arrived at the finish. This was before the Tour instituted cutoff times that eliminated the slower riders. 

Top five finishers of the 1907 Tour de France
1. Lucien Petit-Breton: 47 Points
2. Gustave Garrigou: 66
3. Emile Georget: 74
4. Georges Passerieu: 85 
5.Francois Beaugendre: 123
Lucien Petit-Breton: Winner of the 1907 Tour de France
Click here to learn more about Lucien Petit-Breton.
Gustave Garrigou 2nd place finisher in the 1907 Tour de  France
Emile Georget 3rd place finisher in the 1907 Tour de France
Georges Passerieu 4th place finisher of the Tour de France

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Bespoke Bicycle, This week in Britain, No. 795

Nicolas Frantz

 Nicolas Frantz (November 4, 1899 - November 8, 1985) born in Mamer, Luxembourg, was a bicycle racer with 60 professional racing victories over his 12-year career (1923 - 1934). He rode for the Thomann team in 1923 and then for Alcyon-Dunlop from 1924 to 1931.

He had immediate success after turning professional in 1923, winning Paris-Lyon and the GP Faber. His advantage in stage races was his consistent health and fitness. He rode the Tour de France for the first time in 1924, won two stages and finished second just 35 minutes and 36 seconds behind Ottavio Bottecchia. In 1925 and 1926 he won another four stages and finished fourth and second respectively.

Frants then dominated the race for two successive years. He won three stages in 1927 and won overall. He was seventeen minutes behind the race-leader Hector Martin before the start of the stage to Luchon but finished in yellow. His  second stage win was between Toulon and Nice and the final win was at Metz. He finished an hour and forty eight minutes ahead of second placed Maurice De Waele.

He wore the yellow jersey from the first to last day in the 1928 Tour de France, the only rider since Ottavio Bottecchia to have done so. In that race, the frame on his bicycle broke on a level-crossing during the 19th stage with 100 km remaining. He borrowed an undersized, women's bicycle and was helped back into the race by his Alcyon domestiques. He exchanged it for another Alcyon bicycle, which he rode to victory in Paris.

He  dedicated himself to the  Tour de France and prepared exclusively for the race year round. Frantz worked relentlessly to stay in top physical condition. In the race he was always scanning the road surface ahead of his wheels. The result- during the 1928 Tour he punctured his tires only twice. At the overnight stops he was careful of his health and what he ate. He was obsessed by detail, to the point that he arrived at the start of the Tour with twenty-two jerseys, twenty-two pairs of socks and twenty-two pairs of shorts, one for each day of the event. 

Frantz won Paris-Brussels in 1927 and Paris-Tours in 1929. He twice finished in the first three of the world championship. He also won the championship of Luxembourg  for 12 consecutive years (1923 - 1934)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Pashley bicycles are the "genuine article"—quality bicycles hand-built in England. This video discusses how the Pashley fights the tide pulling toward modern mediocrity and thrives delivering the kinds of bikes that people really want while keeping highly-skilled manufacturing traditions and jobs alive and at home and the resulting social impact on the surrounding community. Includes brief interviews with Adrian Williams, Dave Cook, Clive Morton and Dave Moldstock.

Take to the Streets!
Cycling Sunday 2011 

Sunday, September 25, 2011
2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Downtown streets will be closed for car-free cycling.
  • Walkers, skateboarders, scooters, and rollerskaters are welcome, too!
  • Helmets required!
  • Enjoy food and refreshments at downtown restaurants.
 Cycling Sunday Route 
Sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem Department of Transportation, the Forsyth County Health Department, and the Winston-Salem Urban Area Bicycle & Pedestrian Program.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1906 Tour de France - The fourth Tour de France

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Route of the 1906 Tour de France

The 1906 Tour de France was the fourth Tour de France  and second to use the point system. Taking place from July 4th to July 29th 1906. The distance of this edition of the Tour was 2,824 miles. This was a substantial increase from the 1905's 1877 miles and resulted in a much slower average speed. The winner averaged 15.201 miles per hour.

It's necessary to understand the bikes and the road conditions of this early edition when comparing the average speeds of today's Tour de France with the speed of the 1906 race.

The bikes were quite different than the ones used in modern day Tour de France races. The bikes were made with lugged steel frames. Bars and stems were also made of steel. The rims were wooden with tubular tires glued on them. Early brakes were pads that rubbed on top of the tires. The wheelbase of the bikes was about 20% longer than that on modern bikes. Fork rakes were much greater to provide enough spring to soften the ride on the rough roads that they raced on.

Most of the roads were not paved. Racers used goggles to keep the dust out of their eyes. In the mountains they raced on roads that were little more than foot paths. Often sheep and cattle would block their way.
The start of the 1906 Tour de France
The 1906 Tour de France still had cheating and sabotage. Four of the racers were disqualified for taking trains as short cuts. Spectators threw nails in the road as they had done in previous tours.

This Tour  was made even more difficult than the previous tours by the addition of more mountain climbs and longer total length. The increased length made it possible to follow the borders of France, which was closely followed in the 1906 race.

A total of 100 cyclists signed up for the race, but only 76 of them came to the start. Only 14 racers were classified as finishing the 1906 edition of the Tour de France.

Rene Pottier took a big lead in the early stages and dominated the entire race to win overall. In the second stage Pottier had mechanical problems and had to stop to repair his machine 109 miles into the race. He lost 58 minutes while he worked on his bike. The other racers worked together to stay ahead of him. Pottier chased them for 120 miles and caught them 16 miles before the finish. He then rode away from all the other racers to win the stage. Pottier showed his strength in the last stage of the Tour by winning the stage in a sprint finish. 

1906 Tour de France complete final general classification.

1. Rene Pottier: 31 points
2.Georges Passerieu: 39                                                
3. Louis Trousselier: 59
4. Lucien Petit-Breton: 65
5. Emile Georget: 80
6. Alois Catteau: 129
7. Edouard Wattelier: 137
8. Leon Georget: 152
9. Eugene Christophe: 156
10. Antony Wattelier: 168
11. Georges Fleury: 201
12. Ferdinand Payan: 222
13. Leon Winant: 241
14. Georges Bronchard: 256

Rene Pottier

Georges Paserieu
Louis Trousselier

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hell's Belles Ladies Bike Polo Tournament - Oct. 15th + 16th, 2011 - London

World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship held last week in Seattle, Washington

Freddy Maertens

Freddy Maertens

Freddy Maertens was born February 13, 1952 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium. He was the World Road Race Champion twice. In Italy in 1976, he won in front of Italians Francesco Moser and Tino Conti. In Prague in 1981, he beat Italian Giuseppe Saronni  and France's Bernard Hinault. 

Maertens also won the 1977 Vuelta a Espana, taking more than half the stages; 13 in total, and took the sprinters' maillot vert in the Tour de France three times (1976, 1978 and 1981). In 1976 he won a record-equalling eight stages of the Tour de France; the following year (1977), he took seven stages in the Giro d'Italia.

Outside the Grand Tours, his stage race victories included Paris-Nice (1977), the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque (1973, 1975, 1976 and 1978), the Tour of Andalucia (1974, 1975), Tour de Luxembourg (1975), Tour of Sardina (1977) and Vuelta y Catalunya (1977).

However, despite his sprinting dominance during the 1970s, Maertens did not win a one-day Classic, coming  closest with second places in Ronde van Vlaanderen (1973) and Liege- Bastone - Liege (1976). His other one-day road race victories included:

  • Gent-Wevelgem (1975, 1976)
  • Paris-Brussels (1975)
  • Paris-Tours (1975)
  • Amstel Gold Race (1976)
  • Rund um den Henninger Turm (1976)
  • Zuri-Metsgete (1976)
  • Omloop "Het Volk" (1977, 1978)
  • Grote Scheldeprijis (1973)
Maertens is believed to have been one of the best sprinters in the world, and is credited with having nurtured another great sprinter, Sean Kelly, during Kelly's early professional career. He was also an accomplished rider in individual time trials, winning the Grand Prix des Nations in 1976.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rik Van Steenbergen

Rik Van Steenbergen was born September 9, 1924 in Arendonk  to a poor family. He worked as an errand boy and a cigar-roller. He began racing at 16 and became one of Belgium's best juniors from 1940 to 1942.

He started cycling as a professional during World War II in 1942. The next year he won his first important races, and became Belgian road cycling champion. In 1944, he won the Ronde van Vlaanderen Classic, which he won again two years later.

During his career, which lasted until 1966, Van Steenbergen won several more classics: Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Brussels and Milan-San Remo. He also won the World Road Cycling Championships three times, equaling the (still standing) record of Alfredo Binda. His last world title, a year after his second, was won in front of a home crowd. In addition, he placed third in the first post-war championships in 1946. 

Van Steenbergen also excelled on the track, and won 40 Six-day events. His track capabilities made him an excellant road sprinter. However, he usually had difficulty climbing, which prevented him from winning major stage races. He nevertheless placed 2nd in the 1951 Giro d'Italia. Some suggest he could have competed for victory in stage races had he concentrated on them, instead of racing almost every race he could enter. It is estimated Van Steenbergen won slightly fewer than 1,000 races, though accounts differ widely.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pino Cerami

Giuseppe 'Pino' Cerami (born April 28, 1922 in Misterbianco, Sicily, Italy) is a former Belgain road racer.  He joined the professional peloton in 1946 as an independent. He was naturalised as a Belgian on March 16, 1956.

Cerami won the 1960 Paris-Roubaix Classic with Tino Sabbadini of France second and Miguel Poblet of Spain in third place. Cerami also won La Fleche Wallonne Classic in 1960. He was third in the 1960 World Championship Road Race. At the 1963 Tour de France, Cerami won the 9th stage at 41 years old; Cerami is the oldest Tour de France stage winner ever.
Pino Cerami

Caz's Pashley

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home"

Visiting Adventure Cycling -

Interbike 2011 - Hed Wheels

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We are fans of Hed wheels at Ken's Bike Shop. Not only do we love the wheels,
but we also love the customer service and product knowledge of all the folks that make  the wheels happen.
Steve Hed
As soon as the show opened I went straight to the Hed Booth. I wanted to see what was new for 2012 and also get some wheel advice for a local athlete who is wanting to buy a new set of deep dish carbon wheels to race on. Steve Hed was there, so I introduced myself. He was very nice and spent a lot of time with me showing me all the wheels and discussing the changes to the product line. My confidence in the people and products of Hed was reinforced by my visit to their booth.

Interbike 2011 - Sidi Shoes

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The Sidi Booth


New Ergo 3 SP

Adjustable Heel on the Ergo 3 SP

Ergo 3 SP with a Speedplay compatible sole.

T 3.6 Carbon Sole Tri Shoe

New Dragon 3 Off Road Shoe

Adjustable Heel Cup on the Dragaon 3

Sidi Dragon 3 Toe Protector

Sidi Spider SRS Lorica Women's MTB Shoe

Sidi Sales Representative: Christina Depweg

Interbike 2011 - White Industries

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Beautiful White Industries High Flange Front Track Hub!

Interbike 2011 - Fit Kit

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Mark and Chris from Fit Kit

Mark and Chris were kind enough to give me a ride to and from the show. I attended a Fit Kit Training seminar this past winter in Baltimore, Maryland. I use what I learned there daily when doing bike fits. Thanks again for the ride.

Interbike 2011 - Waterford Precision Biycles

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Johanna Heller and Richard Schwinn with a Waterford Fit Cycle

Waterford Candy in the form of  head tubes showing off custom carved lugs and a dish of candy.
 The fine folks from Waterford brought along some examples of their fancy carved lugs.
Amazing custom carved lugs on Stainless Steel

This example is my personal favorite.

Another amazing example.

My favorite again.