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Old 09-11-13, 10:42 PM   #1
vol
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Lots of bicycles on Paris streets during WWII

In this article there are quite a few pictures showing the bicycles on the streets of Paris during World War II: Paris through a Nazi's lens: Propaganda pictures of Occupied France taken by photographer ordered to prove city was thriving under German rule.

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Old 09-11-13, 11:26 PM   #2
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?
Yea, they were 'thriving' so much that they couldn't afford cars. :|

Somehow I'd bet they wouldn't have the same opinion of bicycles that you (or I) would today....
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Old 09-12-13, 07:31 AM   #3
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Yep 'good' ole time
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Old 09-12-13, 07:51 AM   #4
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Obtuse... Suggest the mods to delete the thread.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:36 AM   #5
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Obtuse... Suggest the mods to delete the thread.
I disagree. It's an important historical display. And a fascinating window into that time and place. When Rick told Ilsa, "We'll always have Paris." in Casablanca, this is exactly what he was talking about.

I hope that people can keep it to history and avoid the politics of the situation. We all know they were bad. Duh. This exhibit is an eye on the people trying to survive back then.

What impressed me were the tandem taxis. And I noticed that because of their cooperation, Parisians had rubber for their tires. The dutch did not and rode on bare rims if they had to.

Gasoline was the hard to get commodity. The cars may have been on blocks in the garage for the duration. It's not shown.

vol, thanks for sharing it. It certainly was time when bicycles were taken seriouslay.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:36 AM   #6
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stripped of the resources like rubber, for inner tubes, in the NL tires were filled with straw.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:57 AM   #7
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It certainly was time when bicycles were taken seriouslay.
Actually it was the end of such a time. As wealth and prosperity came to france post WWII most of the cycling ceased, though it was actually much more common pre-invasion than post. Bicycle Quarterly has had some interesting articles on cycling in France during periods prior to, during, and after the war...
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Old 09-12-13, 09:35 AM   #8
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I disagree. It's an important historical display. And a fascinating window into that time and place. When Rick told Ilsa, "We'll always have Paris." in Casablanca, this is exactly what he was talking about.

I hope that people can keep it to history and avoid the politics of the situation. We all know they were bad. Duh. This exhibit is an eye on the people trying to survive back then.

What impressed me were the tandem taxis. And I noticed that because of their cooperation, Parisians had rubber for their tires. The dutch did not and rode on bare rims if they had to.

Gasoline was the hard to get commodity. The cars may have been on blocks in the garage for the duration. It's not shown.

vol, thanks for sharing it. It certainly was time when bicycles were taken seriouslay.
Did you notice the cars modified to run on natural gas? But there were very few cars in the photos. In most scenes, the streets were literally filled with pedestrians.

Also, one bike appears to have a rear derailleur. I always thought that these weren't used until after the war. (The derailleur I thought I saw is on the bike belonging to the "shapely woman leaning over a bridge.")

i was in France for a few months in 1973-74. I bought my first "serious" bike there. It was a French built 10-speed. I don't remember the brand. I believe it cost about 100 or at most 200 dollars--much cheaper than it would have been in the US. It would have been considered a fairly high end bike at the time. The plan was that I would use it for transportation and touring in France, then have it shipped home. I was a participant in the "Golden Age" of bicycling at that time. Unfortunately, the bike was stolen in France and I didn't have the money to replace it.

At that time, in 1973, bicycling was very popular in France, both as sport and as basic transportation. By no means did all the French people give up their bikes as soon as the war ended. Motor scooters were also extremely popular, although virtually unknown in America.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:07 AM   #9
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vol, thanks for sharing it. It certainly was time when bicycles were taken seriouslay.
Thanks Artkansas. I really didn't think anything beyond the interesting bikes when posted (didn't even bother to read the article in fact).

P.S. Why couldn't we have tandem taxis these days?

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Old 09-12-13, 10:31 AM   #10
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At that time, in 1973, bicycling was very popular in France, both as sport and as basic transportation. By no means did all the French people give up their bikes as soon as the war ended. Motor
scooters were also extremely popular, although virtually unknown in America.
Apparently most of the French bicycle manufacturers and constructors went out of business in the 50's and 60's and those that didn't had to significantly down size--See BQ articles. So you are clearly wrong. That it may have eventually regained some popularity by the 70's does nothing to change that, nor do you have any idea if that level of popularity even approached what France experienced in the 30's...
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Old 09-12-13, 10:38 AM   #11
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Thanks Artkansas. I really didn't think anything beyond the interesting bikes when posted (didn't even bother to read the article in fact).

P.S. Why couldn't we have tandem taxis these days?
We can. Most pedicabs these days are toys though. Made to drag tourists around flat places. I'm guessing that the tandem taxi's were intended to actually cover a fair distance with some speed. Necessarily, though they would double your labor costs over a pedicab.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:42 AM   #12
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Did you notice the cars modified to run on natural gas? But there were very few cars in the photos. In most scenes, the streets were literally filled with pedestrians.
Yes I noticed them. That's why I postulated that perhaps the cars were hidden in garages, barns etc rather than just absent. People got creative, I've read about wood and coal powered cars in WWII.

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Old 09-12-13, 11:01 AM   #13
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Also, one bike appears to have a rear derailleur. I always thought that these weren't used until after the war. (The derailleur I thought I saw is on the bike belonging to the "shapely woman leaning over a bridge.")
They were invented in the 19th Century, (as were all things bicycle, it seems) but didn't become popular until the late 1930s.
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Old 09-12-13, 11:48 AM   #14
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They were invented in the 19th Century, (as were all things bicycle, it seems) but didn't become popular until the late 1930s.
Wow...derailleurs were first used in the Tour de France in 1938, so the woman in the 1941 photo was definitely an early adopter. I was also unaware of drop handlebars being used back then, but a lot of the bikes in these photos had them.
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Old 09-12-13, 11:54 AM   #15
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Wow...derailleurs were first used in the Tour de France in 1938, so the woman in the 1941 photo was definitely an early adopter. I was also unaware of drop handlebars being used back then, but a lot of the bikes in these photos had them.
Nope. They were in common use by cyclo tourists in France from the early part of the 20th century; however, the gentleman in charge of the Tour de France felt they were 'cheating' and damaged the purity of the race. Really interesting articles in Bike Quarterly on the subject if your interested. Your local library should be able to obtain copies.
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Old 09-12-13, 12:26 PM   #16
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I disagree. It's an important historical display. And a fascinating window into that time and place. When Rick told Ilsa, "We'll always have Paris." in Casablanca, this is exactly what he was talking about.

I hope that people can keep it to history and avoid the politics of the situation. We all know they were bad. Duh. This exhibit is an eye on the people trying to survive back then.

What impressed me were the tandem taxis. And I noticed that because of their cooperation, Parisians had rubber for their tires. The dutch did not and rode on bare rims if they had to.

Gasoline was the hard to get commodity. The cars may have been on blocks in the garage for the duration. It's not shown.

vol, thanks for sharing it. It certainly was time when bicycles were taken seriouslay.
This! And as Yom Kippur approaches, it is important to not forget that there are people with certain mindsets.
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Old 09-12-13, 12:36 PM   #17
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In America at the time, there was strict gas and tire rationing. My dad told me that the tire rationing was really harder to deal with than gas rationing. Speed limits were drastically reduced to save on fuel. Also, no new cars were built during the war, as Detroit became the Arsenal of Democracy.

I believe bike tires were exempt from rationing in the US. Even so, I have never heard that bike riding by adults was significant here. People combined trips, walked more, and used public transit to conserve raw materials for the war effort. It's interesting how different countries adapted differently to these circumstances.
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Old 09-12-13, 12:54 PM   #18
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In a Bicycle Quarterly article there is discussion of how cyclists were able to travel outside of Paris to the rural farms and trade black market goods for food. It was one of the few ways they could obtain sufficient food for their families. The article was written (and reprinted) by a cyclist who had been an active Raddoneur before the invasion.
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Old 09-12-13, 01:37 PM   #19
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Wow...derailleurs were first used in the Tour de France in 1938, so the woman in the 1941 photo was definitely an early adopter.
Bicycle tourists had been using derailleurs for years before the racers adopted them. The racers used to look down their noses at the tourists because of their reliance on multiple gears.
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Old 09-12-13, 02:33 PM   #20
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Wow...derailleurs were first used in the Tour de France in 1938, so the woman in the 1941 photo was definitely an early adopter. I was also unaware of drop handlebars being used back then, but a lot of the bikes in these photos had them.
It seems like there were a lot of Brooks saddles in the pictures too.
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Old 09-12-13, 03:08 PM   #21
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It seems like there were a lot of Brooks saddles in the pictures too.
Probably Ideale which was a French manufacturer. Brooks was English.

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Old 09-12-13, 03:43 PM   #22
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Probably Ideale which was a French manufacturer. Brooks was English.

Aaron
Did they look the same? I imagine they would but...
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Old 09-12-13, 06:05 PM   #23
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Bicycle tourists had been using derailleurs for years before the racers adopted them. The racers used to look down their noses at the tourists because of their reliance on multiple gears.
That's interesting. To this day, I believe the French racing authorities are very slow to allow technical innovations in the sport.
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Old 09-12-13, 07:02 PM   #24
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Did they look the same? I imagine they would but...
Pretty similar here is a link to a variety of Ideale saddles I have a couple that I use on some odd bikes I have. I don't like them as well as the Brooks and Wrights that I have though.

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Old 09-12-13, 09:38 PM   #25
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That's interesting. To this day, I believe the French racing authorities are very slow to allow technical innovations in the sport.
As exampled by racing recumbents, banned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in 1934. Seventy nine years later, still banned.

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