sometimes you have to stop and smell the chamois butter

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


On January 18, 1896 a French military officer named Henry Gerard applied for a patent for the first folding bicycle.  Although the credit for the "first" is somewhat debatable, as an American named Michael B Ryan filed a patent two years earlier.  But leave the French to not be outdone.  Captain Gerard had a wealthy French industrialist named Charles Morel in his pocket, whose company bankrolled production.  The bikes were used by the French military for reconnaissance. 
While I can see the value of a folding bike in the city, it doesn't stop me from cringing when I see one.  I just can't help but associate them with clowns and circus freaks for some reason.  Maybe it's the little wheels and the fact that the only thing they do well is fold.  Give it up for the creepy folding bike!

Next up is a couple of birthdays.
Peter Van Petegem is a retired Belgian rider who was born on this date in 1970.  He won the Tour of Flanders  twice, 1999 & 2003 and the Paris Roubaix in 2003.  He also stood on the podium twice during the World Championships.  Way to go Pete-squared!

Also born today in 1979 was Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd.  Aptly nick-named "God of Thunder",  Thor chooses to use his legs instead of a hammer to smash his competitors hopes to bits.  Thor is the first Norwegian to win the World Champion jersey(2010).  He also won  the classic Ghent-Wevelgem in '06.  He is perhaps most notable for his sprinting power, taking the points jersey in the '05 & '09 Tour de France and the '06 Vuelta a Espana.  Today Thor's parents are toasting the fact that their child has not turned out to be a classical oboe player, which just wouldn't have carried the name as well.  Gratulerer med dagen Thor!!!

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