First off a couple of Birthdays today:
Roger Lapebie was born on January 16, 1911. He died on October 21, 1996.
The French rider won the Tour de France once plus was on the podium another time. He also stood on the podium at the Paris-Roubaix Classic as well.
Lapebie won the 1937 Tour de France in front of Mario Vicini of Italy and Leo Amberg of Switzerland.
Lapebie was also 3rd in the 1934 Tour de France behind Antonin Magne of France and Giuseppe Martano of Italy.
In addition, Lapebie was 3rd in the 1939 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Emile Masson Jr., and Marcel Kint, of Belgium.
And a big birthday shout for a man with one of the coolest names in cycling,
Dirk De Wolf was born on January 16, 1961.
The Belgian rider stood on the podium of the World Championship Road Race and the Paris-Roubaix Classic.
He also won one of the five monuments in cycling.
De Wolf was 2nd in the 1990 World Championship Road Race behind fellow Belgian Rudy Dhaenens.
De Wolf was also 2nd in the 1989 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind another fellow Belgian, Jean-Marie Wampers.
In addition, De Wolf won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic in 1992.
Enjoy your day today Dirk, it's almost a full moon!
Long before Roger and Dirk were even thought of, some dude named Joseph Pennell was lobbying for the fixed gear. Around this date in January of 1900, Mr. Pennell denounced the addition of brakes and freewheels in Contemporary Review magazine. Pennell and his purist homies prided themselves on their mad handling skills and insisted that freewheels were for sissy-ass-bitches who could not control their ride. As Pennell saw it, freewheels offered no advantage to recreational riders and served only those mundane cyclists "who wish to loiter about at the rate of six to seven miles an hour in the grease among traffic." Eeeww, how foul and disgusting a creature would have to be.
Our boy J.P. was out there in the trenches fighting for elitism far before it was even hip. He is also thought to be the father of skinny jeans. Can I get a WTF!!! for Mr. Pennell!
And on this date in 1919, Prohibition was ratified, and set into motion a year later on this same date. Yes, a major panic was stricken in the cycling scene of the U.S. when alcohol was made illegal. Many think this is how the "back" alleycats started. Cyclists would be riding home from the speak-easy totally hosed on bootleg PBR, speeding through the alleys and trying to avoid "the man". Thanks to Prohibition-which totally did not work by the way and was repealed in 1933-for the creation of AlleyCat races, West Virginia corn liquor, and Nascar.