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.
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!!!