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Monday, September 12, 2011
What is a Porteur Bike? Well a Porteur bike is a bike designed to carry large loads on a big platform in the front. They generally have swept back handlebars, and a lot of offset on the fork to decrease trail. Good for carrying stuff, but not as good for distance. Designed originally for newspaper couriers in Paris.
Starting around 1895 and running through the mid 1960s there were Porteur Races in Paris, France. The racers would have to carry 30+ lbs. of newspapers while they raced.
During the early years they had to find their own way to points designated by the race organizers and drop off loads of papers or pick up tokens. This gave an advantage to the couriers that knew their way around the city best. In later years the races were run on a designated course. Often times these courses were an out and back course.
Newspaper couriers got paid by the number of loads of papers they delivered. A good courier, one that could ride fast and knew their way around the city well, made good money. Many couriers made more money than professional bicycle racers. Some of the couriers had custom bicycles made just for the Porteur Races.