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Old 08-20-09, 10:32 AM   #1
Batman_3000
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Tour de France in 1895. Yes, 1895.

Everybody knows the TdF was first done by a bunch of heros in 1903 in a race organized by a well known sports magazine owner, Henri Desgranges. What a regrettably large number of people, even some serious historians and really earnest self proclaimed experts (), don't know is that a Tour de France (Tour of France of course) was done by somebody in 1895, and Desgranges got quite a bit of inspiration for his race from this guy's exploit. Theodore Joyeux, on a shaft drive bike, completed 5500 kms in 19 days doing a complete circuit of France on his bike. This record was official and undisputed.

Anyway, Theodore had a barber's shop up in rural Lot-et-Garonne in France, and one day decided (or so the story goes, probably he had it planned) to shut his shop, hop on his bike and cycle around France. Could be he needed a break from matrimonial bliss or something, who know's ?

So this is another reason for belonging to this forum, there are people on it who don't stop at what Google or the experts say, but hop on their bike and cycle down to the home town of this sort of guy, and get you the info. What's so great about C & V is it's not just experts arguing trivia.

The attached pics are a bit lousy, I have much better originals. And to all the parts vultures out there, you need not rush to this town and try to buy the guys bike, photos, loot the bike shops and ransom the inhabitants, I ransacked the place already

Anyway, you can click on the thumbnails, they're not that bad that you can't make out what it's about.
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File Type: jpg Joyeux 1895 TdF.jpg (92.3 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg Theodore Joyeux, a bit of history..jpg (80.0 KB, 115 views)

Last edited by Batman_3000; 08-20-09 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 08-20-09, 10:37 AM   #2
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So is he the father of Randoneuring or the father of the "Tour de France" (race).
Of course I could hope against hope that there would be an english translation of the book
but are there copies available? I can always trot out my high school and college french and try
to read it.

Thanks for the info, very interesting.
Marty
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Old 08-20-09, 12:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for making the ride there and posting the pics. Hard to tell with my phone but is the first pic of an early cycling magazine?
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Old 08-20-09, 12:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
So is he the father of Randoneuring or the father of the "Tour de France" (race).
Of course I could hope against hope that there would be an english translation of the book
but are there copies available? I can always trot out my high school and college french and try
to read it.

Thanks for the info, very interesting.
Marty
The pic is of a poster made from a print of the cover of an old cyclig magaine. There may (make that "must") have been a book about this guy, but I don't have that info. Probably somebody else will know. Mag is "Le Cycle", n° 19, Dimanche (Sunday) 16 Juin (June) 1895 .

Guess he qualifies as the first guy (I might be wrong) on record as having an official Tour de France record ride. And Desgranges was definitely inspired by him. Yes, you could also call him an early cyclotourist. What beats me is the 5500 km in 19 days on a machine weighing 20 kgs, and with shaft drive. Incredible endurance and willpower. I'll post some more info when I've finished reading it and compiling the stuff. Thinking about it though, if anybody calls this guy the Father of randonneuring, there will be a civil war in the States, because Velocio has been touted as THE founder of cyclotouring, and that is now accepted fact. Might be safe to say that unless other proof emerges, Velocio (Paul de Vivie) was a leading proponent of long distance riding on geared bikes ?

Anyway, it was just great to be on a bike outside of what was his shop ! A "must" visit for anybody touring France and heading Dordogne / Lot et Garonne way.

Last edited by Batman_3000; 08-20-09 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 08-20-09, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the research B3000, impressive work. Seeing as Maurice Martin organised the first brevets in 1888 in France, Joyeux isn't the 'father of randonneuring'.
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Old 03-01-14, 12:44 PM   #6
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Hi. I have just come across this conversation while researching our family tree. Rene Leon Bieleski always said he won the Tour de France in 1895 and had a medal to prove it.

Rene was born in Tours, France in 1874 and died in Auckland, New Zealand in 1959.

Lorraine
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Old 03-02-14, 04:13 AM   #7
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Hi. I have just come across this conversation while researching our family tree. Rene Leon Bieleski always said he won the Tour de France in 1895 and had a medal to prove it.

Rene was born in Tours, France in 1874 and died in Auckland, New Zealand in 1959.

Lorraine
Hi Lorraine, welcome to the forums. That's interesting, is he family of yours?
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Old 03-03-14, 03:55 PM   #8
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He was my husband's great grandfather. I have attached a newspaper cutting I have regarding him. Not good quality I'm afraid and I am trying to source one from the original.

Page Page 2 has a trophy Rene Leon Bieleski won in France in 1895 and Page 3 mentions the race. Sadly the image I have is not complete.

Any further information would be wonderful!


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File Type: jpg The Venus of Orakei 1.jpg (101.9 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg The Venus of Orakei 2.jpg (100.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg The Venus of Orakei 3.jpg (80.6 KB, 20 views)
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Old 03-03-14, 05:03 PM   #9
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He was my husband's great grandfather. I have attached a newspaper cutting I have regarding him. Not good quality I'm afraid and I am trying to source one from the original.

Page Page 2 has a trophy Rene Leon Bieleski won in France in 1895 and Page 3 mentions the race. Sadly the image I have is not complete.

Any further information would be wonderful!


Wow, what a story and what a remarkable man... Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-03-14, 05:29 PM   #10
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I love stuff like this. Definitely something that guys here on this forum will appreciate a lot.
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Old 03-03-14, 08:26 PM   #11
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Old 03-04-14, 12:15 AM   #12
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My calculator says that averages about 180 miles per day over a 19 day period on a single speed 1895 bike, on 1895 roads?

I must admit, I am skeptical. I guess you had to be there.
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